Woodstock Trees and Shrubs is based in Carbury in County Kildare the premier nursery stock production area in Ireland and is a member of the Kildare Growers producer group who have been the drivers behind the very successful Kildare growers show for over 21 years.
It’s a family run nursery which was founded by Matt Lohan in 1990 and has grown over the years to become a mixed production unit with approximately 1.75 ha of container based units including polythene tunnels and glasshouse areas, plus approximately 8 ha of tree production area. Initially, their main markets were the landscape and local authority sectors, but in the last few years more emphasis has been placed on supplying the garden centre market.
Historically the nursery had been using suSCon Green granules for the control of vine weevil larvae, but with the removal of this product from the market they needed to find a suitable alternative. Having already utilised IPM systems for several years the team were happy with both the performance of the programmes and the principles behind them, including reduced chemical usage, greater safety to staff and greater safety to the environment. As an effective biopesticide product, Met52 fit this philosophy perfectly. As Met52 was approved for use in Ireland in June 2010, before the UK, Woodstock Trees became the pioneers and the first Irish commercial nursery to work with the product. Working closely with their suppliers, National Agrochemical Distributors, and with Neil Helyer of Fargro, their IPM specialist, they were able to ensure that the transition to a new biological insecticide went as smoothly as possible.
One of the keys to successful use of Met52 is to ensure that no untreated plugs or liners enter the system, so they drenched any susceptible plants with Nemasys L before potting into Met52 treated compost. Their compost mix, which has Met52 incorporated, is produced and supplied by Bord Na Mona in bulk mixtures.
To date Woodstock have been very happy with the performance of Met52 especially as they are seeing extended control into a second season as has been demonstrated in many trials.
Compost samples were taken 15 months after initial mixing to test for Met52 activity, these were taken from a range of plants and all showed high levels of activity, this followed the hard winter of 2010–2011. Although there would be no activity from Met52 during the colder months, full activity returned when compost temperatures reached 15ºC. A similar result was seen in Scotland earlier this year. It is worth noting that there is very little vine weevil development below 8ºC and good control is achieved from late spring to early winter when compost temperatures are warm enough.
Source: Hortitrends News Desk