From the nursery

White fleece - There is still a risk of some very cold snaps and damaging frosts so don't put the white fleece away just yet.

Tortrix moth - Where you see tortrix moth caterpillar activity, spray with Dimilin Flo, Nemolt, Majestik or SB Plant Invigorator in integrated pest management areas and Decis, Insegar WG, Runner, Stalwart or Toppel 100EC in others.

Phytophthora - Consider a drench of Aliette 80WG, Filex, Previcur Energy (SOLA 2008-2667), Proplant or Subdue to Chamaecyparis species to suppress Phytophthora in the growing media or field situation. These plants are very susceptible and treatment now will give them some protection from the disease that may colonise on any dead roots resulting from the winter period. Drenches of Trianum P give added security to these susceptible crops and I have seen good early-season control from their use. Serenade ASO has shown similar responses in overseas work. Cytisus also benefits from a drench to control Pythium root damage, which can sometimes be the cause of yellow foliage emerging.

Box blight - Nurseries can control this disease successfully with sprays of Cercobin WG, Bravo 500 and Signum. Those nurseries in public gardens or non-commercial environments have very few products that are really effective and are basically reduced to the use of copper or the citrus-oil-based products.

Vi-Nil - Stocks are still available of this product, with last sales at the end of March. The product can be stored and used in growing media until 30 September so make sure you purchase enough for your needs.

Botrytis - Check for Botrytis on tree paeonies and other larger varieties. This shows up as dark purple blotches on the stems near the soil surface. Left untouched the stems will rot off. Spray with suitable products such as Frupica SC, Rovral WG, Serenade ASO or Teldor when seen.

Edible crops - Remember that although some crops are grown as ornamentals they are still considered to be edible with specific harvest intervals that must elapse prior to dispatch. A considerable list of SOLAs relate to outdoor and protected herbs too, which must be printed off and read before application.

Bacterial infections - Make sure you have sprayed Croptex Fungex on peaches to control peach leaf curl and include plums, damsons and greengages if you experienced pocket plums last year.


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