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Grower Technical Workshops

The workshops are a great opportunity to catch up with developments in key areas of production, see a range of trials and demonstrations undertaken within a commercial environment, exchange findings and results and generally network with other growers and colleagues.

Please find below a summary of the grower member workshops and masterclasses for 2024, in association with Zest Sustainable ICM, covering a range of topical technical subjects, on various nursery locations around the country.

Note, that the workshop format is the same as in previous years - up to 30 delegates, nursery and local venue based, with various presentations and practical applications; while the new masterclass format is - up to 10 delegates, nursery based, more in-depth detail, a chance to modify your own programmes and procedures.

Please book into those that are relevant. Note, that there is a limit of two people per business for the workshops, and one person per business for the masterclasses to allow as many member businesses to attend as possible.

More detailed content will be e-mailed out in advance of each event and BASIS and NRoSO continual development points will also be made available. If, having booked, you are unable to attend for any reason, please inform us as soon as possible so we can offer the space to other HTA members.

Title and format



Provisional content

Tips for establishing crops in peat-free growing media


Darby Nursery Stock Ltd, Methwold and local venue

Tuesday 21 May 2024

Review of growing media characteristics and the key potting/transplanting processes. Handling and priming of young plant material prior to potting.  Potting depths with and without mulch. Irrigation and nutrient management of crops in the first 2-3 weeks of establishment. Use of biostimulants and other additives.

Vine weevil control strategies, including growing media considerations


Osberton Nurseries, Worksop and local venue

Tuesday 25 June 2024

Summary of the vine weevil life cycle.  Use of traps and lures for monitoring. Remaining available control measures and how to optimise their use. How incorporated, drench or applied treatments are impacted by different media types. How media impact vine weevil egg and larval development. Observation trials with susceptible species grown in different media.

Correct use of adjuvants


Nicholsons, Bicester (onsite)

Tuesday 9 July 2024

Types, properties, and activity of the various available adjuvants. Their correct selection and use. When to use them. Impact on spray distribution and retention. Cost : benefit ratios of their use.

Irrigation water treatment for chemical, physical and biological contaminants


Golden Grove Nursery, Boston and local venue

Tuesday 10 September 2024

Pros and cons of various treatments. Importance of regular monitoring of irrigation water and adjustments required based on growing media and irrigation type. Update on new technologies such as nanobubbles and ultrasound treatments.

Herbicides for container-grown hardy nursery stock


James Coles Nurseries and Sons (onsite)

Tuesday 29 October 2024

Presentations on herbicides and their use in container-grown situations. Weed identification and herbicide susceptibility of weeds exercise. Demonstration of how to build and get the best from an herbicide programme.

Root disease management


Wyevale Nurseries, Hereford and local venue

Tuesday 26 November 2024

Irrigation water sampling and monitoring of pathogens in plant tissue. Crop protection programmes for root pathogens and prevention of root disease through good crop husbandry and cultural techniques.



To book into any of the workshops or masterclasses click below

Previous workshops

After the delivery of each workshop, content is recorded on a webpage for future reference. Each webpage contains a short technical summary of the key points discussed, relevant images from each workshop, videos of some of the presenters answering key questions, and the presentations and handout from each workshop, which can be downloaded. The workshops delivered so far are summarised below, with links to the relevant webpage.


Managing Environmental Conditions in Protected Structures Workshop
  • Understanding the climate within protected structures
  • The importance of air movement
  • Alternative plastic structures
  • Securing sustainable energy sources
  • Digital crop monitoring
Nutrient Management of Field-Grown Ornamentals Workshop
  • Understanding soil structure and health
  • Crop nutrient requirements
  • Nutrient disorders
  • Fertiliser application techniques and timings
  • Developments in Europe

Getting to Grips with Biological Pest Control Workshop

  • Regulations governing biological control agents
  • Basics of biological pest control
  • Application of products
  • Agent compatibilities with plant protection products
  • Pest vs agent ratios when managing pests to maintain plant quality, cost effectively

Autumn Potting Deadlines and the Effects of Late Potting on Overwintering and Pathogen Susceptibility Workshop

  • Importance of potting date for different plant species
  • How do plants prepare for winter?
  • Improving crop hardiness through nutritional and crop protection products
  • Use of physical covers for frost protection
  • Use of frost protectants and the various types available

Herbicide Tolerance in Container- and Field-Grown Herbaceous and Hardy Nursery Stock Workshop

  • Importance of end of season weed control
  • Use of residual herbicides with contact activity
  • Selection of selective and total contact herbicides
  • Product reviews
  • Herbicide experiences from other sectors

Propagation in Peat-Free Substrates Workshop

  • Physical properties of peat-free substrates
  • The substrate and the container
  • Impact of bottom heat
  • Micronutrients and propagation
  • Water quality in propagation

Nutrient and Water Management in Peat-Free Substrates Workshop

  • Types of substrate raw materials and common blends
  • Back to basics with plant nutrition
  • Nutrient monitoring and planning
  • Matching irrigation need to blend
  • Tools and equipment

Non-Chemical Weed Control in Field-Grown Crops Workshop

  • The drivers for non-chemical weed control
  • Difficulties in implementing non-chemical weed control strategies
  • Cover crops and mulches, and the challenges in their implementation
  • Available non-chemical control methods and related costs

Improving Nursery Water Use Efficiency Workshop

  • The latest on legislation and water use parameters
  • Water sources and monitoring
  • Water capture and storage
  • Water filtration and treatment
  • Irrigation systems and efficiencies

Biostimulant Use Workshop

  • Current regulatory status of biostimulants
  • Types of biostimulants
  • How to differentiate them from plant protection products
  • What they are used to achieve
  • Tips for using biostimulants as part of an IPM programme