Pest and disease management in Solanums

Jez Taylor, Head of the Daylesford Market Garden, talks about pest and disease management in Solanums.

  • He begins in a polytunnel containing peppers, chillies and aubergines and explains how he is dealing with an outbreak of red spider mite.
    • Jez is combating the red spider mites using a biological pest control called Phytoseiulus. He has released the population of Phytoseiulus into the crops and hopes that they will predate on the red spider mites, reducing their population and the subsequent damage to the crops.
    • As well as using the biological control, Jez says that ensuring there is good ventilation and regular irrigation will help to reduce stress to the plants and therefore reduce the impact of the red spider mites. 
  • Jez then moves to a polytunnel of hybrid tomatoes and talks about how to manage the crop to prevent blight.
    • Keeping the air flowing through the polytunnel and keeping the humidity low is really important to help prevent blight. 
    • The plants are irrigated from the ground using drip lines rather than overhead. This helps to keep the plants dry.
    • The polytunnel is on a slight slope, creating a natural convection current and encouraging air flow through the crop. 
    • Defoliating allows good air flow between the rows of tomatoes and reduces the humidity.

View Jez’s Agricology grower profile here.

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