The nature of ornamental crops will mean plants are often in production for a long time, which can result in pest and disease carry over; so, it’s crucial that growers employ a rigorous hygiene and disinfection routine between crops.
Starting the season with remnants of inoculum in the glasshouse, means growers are already on the backfoot, as the growing environment will always favour pest and pathogen development.
With inoculum present the development of beneficial insects, micro-flora and fauna in the root zone is affected, which can have a major impact on crop establishment. It’s vital to keep pest and disease pressure down, to ensure fungicides and other preventative activities can perform to their optimum.
Following a thorough clean up and disinfection at the start of each crop, growers can continue to take steps to ensure the protected environment stays clean for as long as possible.
Quarantining plants before they are brought into the glasshouse can help reduce the risk of transferring diseases and pests in to the clean setting. Continuous examination and monitoring of the health status of crops during the season is a vital part of maintaining the right balance between the beneficials and pests and diseases.
It’s important to protect your investment and not cut corners when it comes to hygiene management, as doing so can have a direct effect on crop yield and quality. In some cases, high pest and disease pressure can result in total crop loss, stressing the importance of a ‘start clean and stay clean’ approach throughout the season.