From the nursery

Autumn potting Applying an anti-transpirant to plants such as Pieris after potting may help to control transpiration and prevent brown leaf tips.

Warm, sunny days in autumn can cause problems for newly-potted stock so keep an eye on these plants, particularly evergreens. Make sure that autumn potted plants are in the right places for winter protection to avoid last-minute changes as soon as frost appears. Many plants are lost through poor planning.

Controlled-release fertiliser Many new formulations are available. Go through the options and select the most suitable for autumn potting.

Acers If you are potting up Acer understocks, now is usually the time to be bringing them in to get root growth ready for grafting. Spray the newly-potted material with Scotts Octave to clean up any fungal activity that may start when they are brought in under cover.

Mist units With cooler nights and shorter days, make sure that mist units are turned off at night to prevent rooting media getting too wet.

Leatherjackets Maintain leatherjacket controls this month with slug pellet applications or drenches of nematodes or chlorpyrifos.

Horse chestnut leaf miner Protect specimen trees this month with Admire (SOLA 2008-0298), Calypso (SOLA 2008-2831), dimethoate, Gazelle or Hallmark WZT (SOLA 2008-2944).

Water abstraction records Some of these have to be in as soon as possible after the end of October. Fill in the details and post now to your local Environment Agency office. Check to see whether your licence for spray irrigation stops on 31 October so you do not abstract water beyond your licensed period.

Phoma With growth slowing down it is important on susceptible species such as Ceanothus, lavender, Vinca and Viburnum to apply fungicides before winter dormancy. Consider Amistar (SOLA 2009-0443), Cercobin WG (SOLA 2008-1384), Scotts Octave, Signum (SOLA 2009-1842), Swift SC (SOLA 2008-2882) or Switch.

Powdery mildew Spray now and control any spores that may be present on the foliage. These will stay on the dropped leaves and re-infect new growth next year. Control with products such as Amistar (SOLA 2009-0443), Bumper 250EC (SOLA 2009-0707), Corbel, Cyflamid (SOLA 2007-0512), Folicur, Nimrod, Signum (SOLA 2009-1842), Stroby WG or Swift SC (SOLA 2008-2882).

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