From the nursery - New products

Take a look at Borneo (etoxazole) for two-spotted spider mite, Previcur Energy (propamocarb + fosetyl-aluminium) for Pythium and Phytophthora root rots and Serenade ASO (strain of Bacillus subtilis) for Botrytis.

Borneo and Previcur: Energy already have SOLAs for use in ornamental plant production that can be downloaded from the Pesticides Safety Directorate website. The SOLA for Serenade ASO will be issued soon.

Casoron G: Approval for sales of this product ends on 18 March this year. The current use-up date for all stocks is 18 March 2010. Do not apply if frost is predicted or present and also avoid using in areas that flood.

Bedding plants: Make sure growing areas are properly sanitised prior to sowing seed this spring. Starting the season on a sound hygienic footing will help to reduce the risk of pest and disease establishment.

Propagation: If you carry out propagation and use a rooting hormone, remember that IBA-based hormones do have a shelf life. The efficacy of IBA reduces with time, high light levels and high temperature. Ideally, you should keep the product in a refrigerator in the dark and renew the material at least yearly. Small pots of powder used for dipping cuttings should be cleaned out monthly and the whole contents renewed in the pot. Rooting efficiency can increase with this practice.

Fireblight: A field-test kit is available from Pocket Diagnostic to test vulnerable plant subjects for the presence of this notifiable disease.

Hydrangeas: Keep hydrangeas outside still; they have not had enough cold quite yet to finish stimulating bud initiation.

Leaf spots: I have noticed that protected crops of various shrubs and herbaceous plants are still suffering from a range of leaf spots. Photinia, in particular, seems to still show small, red, circular spots on the leaves. This can often be put down to powdery mildew but if there are small, black pimples in the centre of the spots on the younger leaves, it is possibly fungi called Entomosporium. This is controlled by mancozeb, Bravo 500 or Systhane 20 EW.

Damping off: Damping off of seedling material is now upon us. We have a range of products suitable for seedling bedding including Aliette 80 WG, Basilex, Cuprokylt FL, Filex, Proplant or Subdue.

Oxalis: If the corms are showing signs of mould at compost level give the tops a spray over with Rovral WG or Bravo 500.

- John Adlam is the managing director of Dove Associates

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