With temperatures set to rise here's a quick rundown of the controls you can use early in the season.
Pest control at 15°C and below
There are a handful of plant pests that it's a good idea to get ahead of right now, with some controls working from 5°C you stop them before they have a chance to get going.
The nematodes that control slugs and vine weevil can be applied as soon as the soil reaches 5°C. Both of these pests will be active soon. The slugs will be growing in numbers and the vine weevil grubs will be starting to feed so it is a good idea to get an application down asap. These products can be used on the same areas, they will not interact with each other as they are pest specific.
I spoke to a customer this week who already has aphids! He is growing under glass but it's still very early. Saying that it doesn't take long for greenhouses and polytunnels to warm up if we have lots of sunshine, so it is good to be vigilant. There are a couple of aphid predators that are active at lower temperatures, ladybirds from 12°C and lacewings from 15°C.
If you have had red spider mite before you will know that it takes hold really quickly in warm weather. This is because the pest is often already there. They overwinter and come out of 'hibernation' when temperatures reach 10°C. Luckily our brilliant Amblyseius Andersoni are active from 6°C so you can head them off at the pass. Introduce the sachets now before the spider mite has had a chance to stretch its legs!
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