With over 30 years practical nursery experience, Stuart Gammage recently joined our team of technical area sales managers advising growers in East Anglia. As summer draws to a close, days grow shorter and Strictly Come Dancing and X Factor returns to our screens, he provides a checklist of points to consider - including making simple but all-important changes to feeding programmes.
- By switching to a high K feed plants will start hardening off ready for the autumn while still maintaining good leaf colour and compact growth.
- As days and nights become cooler it is important to adjust irrigation timings accordingly. While plants don’t require as much water on cooler days and nights, reducing irrigation will also help prevent Liverwort on top of pots and beds.
- Don’t forget that as of this autumn all spray operators must hold a recognised spray certificate. From 26 November 2015, you won’t legally be able to buy, or use, professional pesticides products without one.
- With damper days ahead, slugs and snails will continue to be a problem so monitor and control accordingly. Remember, chemical slug baits do have an application rate so be careful to apply only as needed and at the correct rate - and be mindful of the potential impact on hedgehogs and birds.
- As farmers finishing harvesting, rats and mice start to head to dryer warmer places so keep an eye around structures and plants for signs of damage. If using bait stations make sure they are protected from other wildlife and don’t forget to keep a record of where they are situated and how often they are refilled.
Stuart Gammage takes over from Mike Humphries
With nearly 30 years experience gained at Notcutts Nurseries, which became John Woods Nurseries, Stuart also has a number of qualifications including a City and Guild level 3 in Nursery Stock Production and is a member of NRoSO. Having overall responsibility for devising nutrition, plant protection and growing media programmes at John Woods Nurseries, he has plenty of hands on experience of ICL’s Osmocote controlled release range, the Peters and Universol water soluble ranges as well as Levington growing media and plant protection portfolio. Once settled in his new role, Staurt will be studying for the BASIS and FACTS qualification.
Stuart has taken over the East Anglian region from Mike Humphries. A highly respected, popular and longstanding member of the team, Mike retired at the end of July to become a consultant and devote more time to his Christmas tree growing business. We wish him well.
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