Autumn activities pay dividends

8 December 2015
  • Whastsapp

On many nurseries autumn is the quietest season and therefore a good time to plan an end of season clean-up and review crop nutrition programmes in preparation for the new season production, writes Dean Sandford, area sales manager for the North West.  

Carrying out a thorough clean up programme helps ensure zero carry-over of pests and diseases into the next crop.  Prevention is definitely better than cure with benefits to be reaped in reducing crop protection costs and the risk of pesticide resistance buildup, while minimising environmental impact.

At the end of the season, don’t forget to

  1. Remove all plant debris in covered containers,
  2. Thoroughly clean, wash and disinfect everything that could carry pathogens over to the next crop,
  3. Remove all weeds inside the structure as these can harbor insects capable of transmitting diseases, such as Sciarids and Shore Flies which spread pathogens such as Pythium and Thielvalopsis.
  4. Inspect all capillary matting and renew or, at the very least, disinfect. First remove as much root material as possible as these can harbor pathogens such as Pythium and Thielaviopsis.
Don’t overlook your irrigation system. To optimize performance and irrigation efficiency, any leaks should be repaired and nozzles cleaned. This will prove to be time well spent helping minimise any dry spots and, more importantly, any wet spots in crops next season.   


Further hints and tips can be found in the Fera booklet ‘A quick guide to nursery hygiene’ (sponsored by Everris). Copies are available free from area sales managers.  Useful factsheets are also available from HDC.

Good time to review nutrition programmes

Time invested now assessing and amending water and nutrition programmes can pay dividends next season.

The correct starting point for any nutrition programme is knowing what is, or is not, in the water supply. This is especially true for nurseries relying on boreholes, where seasonal fluctuations frequently occur.  

Did you know? 

An ICL Technical Area Sales Managers can arrange a water sample, free of charge, accompanied by a detailed technical report.


You can now match water soluble feed to water quality 

Responding to changing production and nutrient availability trends, we have made several important additions to our popular Universol and Peters Excel water soluble fertilizer ranges. 

It is now possible to optimize crop performance by matching Peters or Universol products to water quality. 

With their unique formulations, including the exclusive advanced M-77 chelating ingredient, Peters Excel CalMag products deliver a single product solution to complete plant nutrition in soft water.  Meanwhile, our tried and tested standard Universol WSF range has been extended with two new hard and soft water options.


Are you up to speed with Osmocote?

Varying weather patterns growers may have found that what worked well in 2014 may not have been so effective in these conditions. 

It is worth planning now to ensure you maximize crop performance by using the correct Controlled Release Fertilizer (CRF).  Maybe consider Osmocote Hi.End or Protect options to ensure nutrients are not lost before they are used.  

Also consider your options for top up feeds in season. When you are flat out in season what would suit you best?  WSF, topdress, tabs etc are all options and it may be worth discussing these with your local Everris area sales manager who has at his disposal our revolutionary AngelaWeb programme to ensure your crop needs and investment in fertilizers are maximized. This is a free service offered by ICL.

Did you know?

Our award winning AngelaWeb precision nutrition tool takes account of a nursery’s water quality and base feed to calculate an optimized nutrition programme, tailed to individual crops for both vegetative and generative stages.  Ask you Technical Area Sales Manager for more information.