Leaf and bud nematodes (LBNs) can cause serious and costly damage to more than 700 species of hardy nursery stock plants. If buds or young leaves become infested, development can be affected, leading to the plants becoming unsaleable.
Plant-protection products have now been identified as part of AHDB project CP 104 to potentially provide growers with control options.
The results from the project showed that Movento (spirotetramat), Dynamec (abamectin), HDC 069 (plant extract) and HDC 071 (elicitor) used in a foliar application programme resulted in the effective management of LBNs on a range of ornamental plants.
The treatments limited nematode multiplication and led to an improved post-treatment appearance compared with untreated plants, although in the case of badly infected plants the recommendation is still to dispose of them.
While the new plant-protection products identified in this research could be of great value to growers, effective management of LBNs can only be achieved in an integrated pest management programme.
Cultural control methods are an important part of the programme and the most effective of these is a high level of crop hygiene because foliar nematodes can survive for several years in infested dried leaf debris.
Growers should also:
- Remove and destroy infested plants.
- Avoid replanting in contaminated soil.
- Sterilise pots and equipment.
- Avoid use of overhead irrigation and misting systems where possible because they create ideal conditions for nematode infection and spread.
For details on all AHDB Horticulture activity, see horticulture.ahdb.org.uk.