Table of Contents
Gardens Nursery: 07 Think You Should Know About
1. Objectives of a gardens nursery
Exactly as it happens with regular, human nurseries, a gardens nursery is a place where people take care of plants while they are growing. Expert gardeners plant them in bulk and provide them with the specific cares they need, such as special temperatures, nutrients, water and/or pesticides. Plants stay on a gardens nursery until they are grown enough to be sold or moved to a less controlled environment, like a regular botanical garden.
2. Types of gardens nurseries
There are several different types of gardens nurseries, depending on the purpose that the gardeners had in mind at the moment of planting the first seeds. There are nurseries that aim only to sell regular plants for personal gardening; these types of nurseries frequently gather the seedlings or twigs for grafts to sell them to gardening enthusiasts.
Also, it is not infrequent to find nurseries destined to commercial agriculture, forestry or even conservation biology; on this last type, plants are often first moved from the nursery to a botanical garden before deciding whether or not to release the plant in question into nature.
While the words “gardens nursery” can make us think of a confined room, truth is that nurseries can grow plants in open fields, on container fields, in greenhouses or tunnels; it all depends on the plants the nursery is trying to grow and their particular special needs.
For example, ornamental trees and amenity plantings are grown in open fields, shrubs and herbaceous small plants are grown on container fields, and delicate plants are grown in greenhouses or tunnels to protect them from the frost and to properly control the nutrients, sunlight, and ventilation they get.
4. Relevant factors
One of the first relevant factors that come to mind when thinking about any type of gardening is the soil fertility since the seedling growth is incredibly conditioned by it; thus, gardens nurseries need to make sure that the soil they provide is readily amenable to amelioration. To improve fertility, gardeners and botanical scientists provide soils at gardens nurseries with several minerals –such as phosphorus, potassium, nitrogen, magnesium, and calcium-. This not only improves the survival rate of the seedlings in particularly harsh conditions, but it also helps the plants achieve sometimes even twice the height of their regular, unfertilized counterparts.
5. Planting stock
Planting stock is the name commonly given to the cuttings, transplants, seedlings, and wildings a plant nursery has destined to planting out. The quality of the stock relies upon several factors, but the main one is the ability of the nursery to implement the objectives of management –to the end of the rotation or achievement of the specified sought benefits-. This means that the quality of the stock depends on a clear expression of the intended objectives and the posterior evaluation of the results against the goals set.
It is important to differentiate the actual planting stock quality –which, as stated, is a comparison between the results obtained by a nursery and the goals they were pretending to achieve with that particular stock- and the planting stock performance potential –also known as PSPP-.
The actual planting stock quality depends on several factors inherent to the particular seedling, like resistance to harsh conditions, while the PSPP is how plants perform after being taken out from the nursery, and it relies on how well prepared they were at the nursery for surviving in a less controlled environment.
6. Stock classifications
Since there are several nurseries spread all around the world, a proper classification system and universalized standard for the stock is a very important step towards better organizing the industry. For example, the first of a series of identifying numbers in a plant indicates, how many years any particular lot of stock spent in the nursery seedbed.
The second number indicates the years spent between the first and second transplantation (if there is any) and the third number in the series indicates the time spent between second lifting/transplantation and the lot being sold.
There are also several other types of classification standards, such as seedling description codes, classification by system, by physiological characteristics and seedling nomenclatures.
It is safe to say that without gardens nurseries, our life wouldn’t be the same. While nurseries destined to personal gardening might only contribute to a beautiful and entertaining hobby, providing seedlings for personal use, nurseries destined to agriculture play a fundamental role in how we, the final consumer, get our hands around useful fruits and flowers in such an easy manner. Finally, gardens nurseries dedicated to conservation biology have probably the most impact of them all, since they are the place where experimented botanical scientists study the behavior, and characteristics of particular plants and seek to improve a particular ecosystem with the introduction, or withdrawal of some species, balancing life on it and improving sustainability.