From the nursery

Hedge cutting - This can now be carried out with the passing of the 31 July deadline.

Drains - With the high-level and short-duration rainfall we have had this month, check the effectiveness of your drainage system. It is becoming more important to keep drains clean and weed-free. If you "strim" ditches, make sure that the bulk of the weed growth is kept away from the main water flow. Herbicide applications on the banks of ditches are subject to LERAPs and stewardship schemes and you should check the product label before spraying ditch banks that have standing or flowing water in them.

Spraying windows - With constant showers, spraying can often be difficult. Consider adding products such as Celect, which can improve the rain-fast nature of products.

Fruit on plants - Make sure that you remove the fruit on fruit trees before sale to comply with pesticide and edible crop regulations.

Buxus - With warm, humid weather the risk of box blight increases. Control with routine monthly applications of Cercobin WG (SOLA 2008-1384), Scotts Octave, Signum (SOLA 2009-1842) or Switch. A winter wash with Spraying Oil together with pruning out damaged branches will reduce the risk of attack. Check that box sucker is not to blame - dead areas of plant have curled foliage with a white fluffy growth surrounding the insect inside the curling. Spray with Hallmark WZT (SOLA 2008-2944), Gazelle or Dursban WG. For integrated pest management systems, try Chess WG (SOLA 2008-2834) if seen.

Scab - Wet weather or wrongly timed irrigation onto protected crops can encourage scab on susceptible species. If you have maintained a routine "top up", continuing that now will keep it at bay. Eradicants such as Radspor FL or Barclay Dodex will control existing scab growth and Topas and Systhane 20EW have a sevento 10-day protectant effect. Check Chaenomeles, Crataegus, Malus, Pyracantha and Pyrus leaves.

Pansies - Once plants have been transplanted, make sure that plant growth regulator and downy mildew programmes are in place.

Leatherjackets - Check liner pots and sand beds where they can migrate into pots. Treat the sand or pots with nematodes or consider an application on outdoor crops of Draza Wetex slug pellets. Spannit Granules are effective for outdoor sand bed leatherjacket control.

John Adlam is managing director at Dove Associates for recent articles

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