I don't think I'm a pessimist, perhaps it's just healthy paranoia. But as a grower, it's hard not to be wondering what is going to go wrong next.
That sounds a little dramatic and the thought could be better expressed - as the season progresses what should we be looking for next.
Insects, and forgive me for including mites, present a challenge on a container nursery. Sanitation and exclusion can be hard enough in a greenhouse environment. Alternate hosts surround us in the landscape and a preemptive preventative spray program is just wrong in most cases, although there are a couple of notable exceptions, borers being an example.
Scouting is probably your best tool to stay one step ahead. Walking a diagonal through a bed is a great way to see what is eating what. Determining a threshold level for a pest is tough. It's easy to say that two flea beetles is one too many, but not very practical. But I can understand the argument that if I'm finding one, I'm probably missing one hundred.
Then the technical fun begins, what chemistry to choose, what mode of action, how does it fit into a rotation. But, what better excuse to get out of the truck and just wander somewhat aimlessly. " I'm not doing nothing, I'm scouting."
By Jonathan McCombie, Grower