From the nursery

Aphids and whitefly: These pests are still active in tunnels and glasshouses.

Clean up with sprays of contact-action products such as Aphox, Majestik or SB Plant Invigorator. Consider Decis or Hallmark WZT (SOLA 2008-2944), too, particularly if biological control applications have finished.

Chemical stores: Check your chemical store and make sure you have the older products at the front of the shelf. Check the MAPP number on the bottle or packet at to ensure correct rotation of use. Some products may be replaced by one of the same name but with an updated MAPP number. Try to purchase only what you need for a month and re-order as needed. Update your stock lists, make sure the copies of SOLAs you have are up-to-date. Download a copy of the HSE leaflet AIS16 (or SR24 for smaller stores) for useful guidelines on store organisation and positioning.

Pansies and violas: Watch for downy mildew during unsettled weather. Products for use under protection include Aliette 80WG, Amistar (SOLA 2009-0443) or Fubol Gold WG (SOLA 2010-2567).

Asbestos: Update your register of buildings that contain asbestos, revise the nursery plan and produce a policy statement on an action plan outlining what to do during maintenance or an accident. Laws relating to this substance also affect the buying, renting and selling of buildings containing asbestos.

Rust: Still active on many species; control with Amistar (SOLA 2009-0443), Bumper 250EC (SOLA 2009-0707) or Signum (SOLA 2009-1842).

Water discharge: If you are planning new container beds remember to include water recycling in the scheme. Legislation is now looking more closely at the water discharged from drains; water recycling will help you to control any contaminating discharges from your site.

Conifers: Once Piceas have become dormant, consider using Roundup over the trees to control perennial weeds growing around them.

Lighting: With low light levels, consider supplementary lighting over some crops. The benefits from lighting stock plants for earlier cutting production or seedlings for quicker establishment can soon pay for the investment. Lighting should be used in conjunction with adequate heating to get balanced growth.

John Adlam is managing director at Dove Associates for recent articles

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