Metam-sodium A revocation notice has been issued for this active ingredient. Advertising, storage and use has been extended until 31/12/2014 for essential uses, ie the treatment of nursery, outdoor, potting and glasshouse soils prior to planting. Metam-sodium (Discovery, Sistan 51 and others) or Dazomet (Basamid) are still effective at this time of year, especially after the warmer periods.
Wind, rain and Botrytis For some areas the wet August and September have brought constant demands to keep diseases under control, but after last week's rain even those in the east should start to be more diligent and check for levels of Botrytis. Make sure the ventilation fans are all running in tunnels and glasshouses; this is one of the most important times for them to be fully operational. Open the doors of polythene tunnels on all the days when the wind and temperature allow. This will reduce the incidence of Botrytis and ensure adequate air changes in a closed tunnel. Applications of Amistar (SOLA 2009-0443), Rovral WG, Scala, Serenade ASO (SOLA 2009-0246) or Switch need to have adequate wetting agent for good penetration on dense cropping.
Cyclamen Keep the humidity of Cyclamen under tight control to avoid the need to spray. Spraying when the flowers are opening can result in petal spotting. My experience has shown that not all products are safe on open flowers, so wider spacing, careful watering and adequate ventilation are your best forms of defence.
Downy mildew The weather is still suitable for downy mildew to spread on Hebe, pansies and roses under cover. For stock plants and crops under protection spray with Aliette 80 WG, Amistar (SOLA 2009-2443), Filex/Proplant, Fubol Gold WG (SOLA required) or Signum (SOLA 2009-1842); watch for petal spotting on flowering plants. Using high potash and phosphate liquid feeding in the autumn with potassium phosphite products can improve a plant's resistance to downy mildew.
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 the records 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.
Oxalis If corms are showing signs of mould at compost level spray the tops with Rovral WG, Switch or chlorothalonil.