Leafy salad (protected and outdoor), celery & watercress resources

AHDB Horticulture funded an extensive programme of research on many aspects of commercial protected and outdoor leafy salad production. The available reports and resources are listed below. 


Pest insects infesting lettuce crops


How to monitor and control the currant–lettuce aphid

IPM strategies for the control of aphids

Life cycle and identification of crop damage caused by the willow–carrot aphid

Management of the lettuce root aphid

Research project CP 067: Biology and control of currant-lettuce aphid (Nasonovia ribisnigri) (HDC Studentship)

Research project PC 290: Development of robust IPM strategies for the control of aphids

Research project PE 012: An investigation into the effects of Jasmonic seed treatments on aphid in protected lettuce and parsley

Research project PE 012a: An investigation into the effects of Jasmonic seed treatments on aphid in protected lettuce and parsley


Management of capsid (Mirid) bugs infesting outdoor celery crops

Research project FV 441: Celery - Investigation of strategies to control capsid bugs in outdoor crops


Monitoring and control of the silver Y moth on field crops

Research project FV 440: Lettuce and Baby Leaf Salads: Investigation into control measures for Silver Y moth and caterpillars


An introduction to hyperparasitism


Biology and control of spinach and chard leafminers

Identification and life cycle of the brassica leaf miner on vegetables and oilseed rape

Leafminers of cruciferous salad crops

Research project FV 397: Management, monitoring and biology of chard and spinach leaf miners


Risk factors and management of leatherjackets in field crops

Mammal pests

Rodent control on farms

Managing rabbit problems associated with horticulture


Damage caused by cutworms (noctuid moths) on field crops

Monitoring and control of the silver Y moth on field crops


Integrated slug control

Scaptomyza flava

Research project FV 408: Baby–leaf Cruciferae and Watercress: Improved control of Scaptomyza flava

Sciarid and Shore Flies

Research project PC 239 & PC 239a: Protected herbs; ornamentals and celery: development of an on-nursery rearing system for Atheta coriaria for reduced cost biological control of sciarid and shore flies

Tarnished plant bug

Biology and identification of the tarnished plant bug in field crops


Identification and management of wireworms in field crops


Diseases of lettuce crops

Research project PC 298: Protected Lettuce: Developing Best Practice for Disease Control


Research project FV 367: Spinach - biology and management of damping-off disease

Fungal diseases

Lettuce Fusarium wilt and root rot

Lettuce Fusarium Wilt Workshop

Research project CP 152: A Systems Approach to Disease Resistance Against Necrotrophic Fungal Pathogens in lettuce

Research project CP 198: Exploiting pathogenomics and resistance for control of Fusarium wilt of lettuce

Research Project CP 204: Diagnostic tests to assess Fusarium disease risk, select rotation crops and monitor microbial communities

Research project FV/PE 458: Lettuce - biology and management of Fusarium wilt

Leaf spot

Celery leaf spot

Spinach leaf spots and their management


Information on managing oomycetes

Video: Webinar - prevent, detect and control oomycete crop diseases

Research project CP 184: Aerial Oomycetes Cultural Control Review

Research project CP 184: Downy Mildew & Late Blight Control

Studentship project CP 186: Understanding population diversity of Bremia lactucae in the UK


Research project FV 427: Outdoor lettuce: screening crops for presence of virus

Weed control

Leafy salads weed demonstration trials

Research project FV 424: Leafy Salads: Review of groundsel (Senecio vulgaris) and other plant species contaminating leafy salad and herb crops in the UK



Biobeds for treatment of pesticide waste and washings

Biosecurity, hygiene and health and safety

Biosecurity guide Protected Edibles

Dithiocarbamate contamination of salad produce and the use of rubber gloves

Industry Guide to Good Hygiene Practice: Watercress

Video: Health & safety for protected edibles production


Research project FV 442: Leafy Salads: A program educating Key Stage 2 children about salad leaves and their role in a healthy diet.


GrowSave - a knowledge exchange programme to help protected cropping growers save energy

Research project CP 200: GrowSave – an energy efficiency platform

Research project PE/PO 011: GrowSave; Energy & Resource Efficiency Knowledge Transfer for the PC Sector

Research project PE/PO 011a: GrowSave; Energy & Resource Efficiency Knowledge Transfer for the PC Sector

Research project PE/PO 013: Refrigeration-based dehumidification: energy performance and cropping effect on commercial nurseries

Research project PE/PO 013a: Refrigeration-based dehumidification: energy performance and cropping effect on commercial nurseries. 2nd year trials

Food safety

How to keep fresh produce safe to eat

Monitoring microbial food safety of fresh produce

Video: Webinar - Microbials, managing risk in the production of fresh produce

Video: Webinar - Microbials, Keeping it clean

Research project FV 433: Watercress - effect of regular consumption during radiotherapy treatment for early stage breast cancer (PhD Studentship)


Establishing a resilient water supply

International innovations in irrigated salad production: A brief review of science and industry evidence

Protecting the water supply for your crops

Slow sand filtration

Video: Webinar - disinfecting irrigation water for use on fresh produce

Labour and skills

Edible horticulture skills survey

Video: Webinar - operating in a reduced labour market

Video: Webinar - using LEAN techniques to improve labour efficiency in horticulture

Video: Webinar - Using your time effectively

Nutrient management

Green manures – effects on soil nutrient management and soil physical and biological properties

Green manures – implications of economic and environmental benefits on rotational management

Green manures – species selection

Introduction to fertigation

Nitrogen recommendations for baby leaf salad crops

Research project FV 370b: Wild rocket and baby leaf spinach: Impacts of nitrogen and phosphorus fertiliser applications on yield and quality

Research project FV 418: Baby leaf lettuce: N response studies to maximise yield and manage nitrate levels


Research project CP 079: Understanding the mechanism and role that pre-harvest horticultural maturity, agronomic factors and growing conditions have on postharvest discoloration in celery

Research project FV 338a: Review and evaluation of two phosphate stripping materials for reducing phosphorus concentrations in watercress discharge outflows

Research project FV 413: A review of the agronomic factors that influence postharvest pinking in lettuce

Research project FV 438: Baby-Leaf Spinach - Investigating the impact of pre-harvest treatments on shelf-life and quality


Research project PE 004: Lettuce - An investigation into the use of seed treatments for the control of pests & disease


Research project FV 454: Lettuce: Improving quality and shelf-life in outdoor crops using precision irrigation deficit techniques

Research project FV 438: Baby Leaf Spinach: Investigating the impact of pre-harvest treatments on shelf-life


How to count earthworms

Management of the soil pest complex: millipedes, springtails and symphylids

Measuring soil nutrients, pH and organic matter

Video: How to conduct a quick assessment of your soils

Video: GREATsoils - the worm count test

Video: Webinar - Soil health for horticulture

Video: Webinar - Soil health improvement – Cover crops and organic amendments

Research project FV 421: Lettuce: Field Evaluation of rhizobacterial inoculants for enhancing lettuce production.

Useful links

Outdoor salads - lettuce & celery crop walkers' guide

Management of farmland birds on vegetable farms

Protected Edibles Review 2019