From the nursery

Vine weevil - Check for larvae in untreated containers. The compost temperature will start to get cooler now on outdoor plants but with Nemasys L that is less of a problem. For non-edible (ornamental) crops, drench with Intercept 70WG if no other granular neonicitinoid product has been used in the compost.

Cyclamen - Keep humidity under tight control to avoid the need to spray for Botrytis. Not all products are safe on open flowers and some can result in petal spotting. Wider spacing, careful watering and adequate ventilation are your best forms of defence.

Oxalis - If corms are showing signs of mould at compost level, spray the tops with Rovral WG, Switch or chlorothalonil.

Mites - Apply Apollo 50SC to outdoor crops of trees and shrubs with known spider mite problems. This will reduce the over-wintering egg population. October is the peak month for Aster lower bud malformation, so include these and Picea albertiana 'Conica' in the programme because conifer spinning mite over-winters as an egg too. On warm days you can see rust mites on ash and Malus buds. Spray them with bifenthrin, chlorpyrifos, Envidor (SOLA 2009-3366) or Sequel.

Leaf spots - Make sure that Cordyline, Phormium and Yucca are given a Scotts Octave spray this month. The oval, purple-edged spots (Coniothyrium sp.) can still develop.

Residual pests - The following are still active in tunnels and glasshouses: whitefly, western flower thrip, aphid, two-spotted spider mite, leaf hopper, leaf miner, mealy bug, vine weevil larvae, scale insects and slugs/snails. If you are still using biological control, consider Aphox, Chess WG (SOLA 2008-2834) or SB Plant Invigorator. For non-IPM systems, use Calypso (SOLAs required), Decis (SOLA 2007-1693) or Toppel 100EC.

Poppies - Bacteria that cause black oozing from flower heads and stems can be controlled with a tank mix of Cuprokylt and Serenade ASO (SOLA 2009-0246).

Field planning - Plan your next few years of cropping, making sure to mark the site of Rosaceae subjects with accuracy for tree replanting. If you are taking over cereal land, check what herbicides have been used for the past two seasons to avoid potential phytotoxicity problems. The new PCN regulations are also important now. Check the status from landlords and be prepared to do a test when you hand back the land.

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