From the nursery

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

Fruit on plants A reminder to make sure you remove the fruit from fruit trees before sale to comply with pesticide and edible crop regulations.

Leaf miners Levels of leaf miner continue to be high on many crops of field-grown and container-grown crops. If seen, spray with Dynamec if you have a biological control programme in operation or, if you do not, with Toppel 100EC.

Irrigation Make sure your irrigation system is turned off on outdoor beds if it rains. I have found container plants outside with irrigation systems left turned on and not regulated according to rainfall. Far more plants on nurseries are killed by overwatering than underwatering.

Downy mildew Maintain the control of downy mildew with sprays of Aliette 80WG, Filex/Proplant, Fubol Gold WG, Subdue or Valbon (SOLA 2007-0240). Weather conditions are everything with this disease, and trying to dry off the leaf surface once every 24 hours makes all the difference to your control programme.

Eelworm Tell-tale angular patches on the lower, older leaves of Buddleja, Philadelphus and Weigela can mean the presence of leaf and stem eelworm. Do not take cuttings from these plants. Vydate 10G applications (SOLA 1993-0020) will reduce the levels of infection from the pest but render the plant unsaleable for six weeks.

Buxus Wet, warm and humid weather will increase the risk of box blight. Control with Signum (SOLA 2009-1842) or Switch and routinely apply at monthly intervals. A winter wash with Certis Spraying Oil together with pruning out damaged branches will help to keep your bushes less prone to an attack. Check that box sucker is not to blame; this is where the dead areas of plant have curled foliage with a white, fluffy growth surrounding the insect inside the curling. Control with Decis if seen.

Scab Wet weather or wrongly timed irrigation on 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 seven- to 10-day protectant effect. Check Chaenomeles, Crataegus, Malus, Pieris and Pyracantha leaves.


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