9 December - Protect heathers from Rhizoctonia

Heathers Ericas and callunas can suffer from Rhizoctonia now, particularly protected crops and young overwintering plugs.

Those where no control programme is in place are often most at risk. Control with Rovral WG or Switch.

Rabbits Using gas tablets such as Talunex during the winter months when populations are small and no young are present is also effective on any rabbit holes that have been established within the container area. Ensure that your staff are suitably trained and certificated to carry out the gassing work.

Heaters If you are using direct-fired heaters at the moment, remember that you should use paraffin with low sulphur content. Glasshouses or polytunnels shut up for extended periods need their doors or vents opened at least once a day for a short time to provide a change in air. This reduces the risk of foliar damage from sulphur fumes from paraffin or ethylene from gas.

Land preparations This process can make a major difference to the ease of planting and lifting, and contribute greatly to the growth of plants. Keep tractor movements to a minimum to avoid compaction and maintain levels of humus in mineral soils by introducing green manure crops into a crop rotation.

Insect controls Apply Certis Spraying Oil to dormant crops to control spider mites, mealy bug and scale insects. Avoid spraying before or after frost to prevent foliar damage.

Winter injury Watch for waterlogging, drought from unavailable water from frozen compost, physical damage, wind chill and wind scorch. Applying anti-transpirants helps to prevent water loss in plants in these situations. Make sure that vulnerable crops, including spring-flowering species, are suitably protected from strong winds by windbreaks, Cosytex or fleece. Plants that are pot-thick will have better root protection because less pot surface is exposed.

Twin-skinned tunnels The added value of having twin-skinned tunnels will show through when we start to heat crops. When you re-clad in the warmer months, think about having a twin-skin cover - the heating cost saving can be up to 45 per cent compared to a tunnel with a single skin.

John Adlam, Managing director, Dove Associates

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next



These compact, brightly coloured flowers can be very attractive for impulse sales, notes Miranda Kimberley.

Fertilisers Special Report - invaluable nutrition

Fertilisers Special Report - invaluable nutrition

Using the right fertilisers on your crops can make all the difference when it comes to securing repeat customers, Sally Drury advises.

IPM Essen Show Preview - New look for top trade fair

IPM Essen Show Preview - New look for top trade fair

Venue modernisation will mean better display space for exhibitors at Europe's largest trade fair for the horticulture industry, says Gavin McEwan.

Opinion... Gardening needs better promotion

Opinion... Gardening needs better promotion

British horticultural firms and organisations have not been the best at working together to promote our industry.

Opinion... A wish list for unblinkered thinking

Opinion... A wish list for unblinkered thinking

Opinion... A wish list for unblinkered thinking

Opinion... A wish list for unblinkered thinking

Generations of ordinary British people have been let down by weak, visionless leaders -- politicians more engaged by the next election than our national best interest.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production

Read Tim Edwards

Ornamentals ranking

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Tough retail pricing policies and Brexit opportunities drive the top 30 growth strategies.

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world

Read more Peter Seabrook articles