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Home Publications Land Land, 2021 The High Cost of the Low-Cost Polybag System: A Review of Nursery Seedling Production Systems

The High Cost of the Low-Cost Polybag System: A Review of Nursery Seedling Production Systems

Haase, D.L.; Bouzza, K.; Emerton, L.; Friday, J.B.; Lieberg, B.; Aldrete, A.; Davis, A.S. The High Cost of the Low-Cost Polybag System: A Review of Nursery Seedling Production Systems. Land 2021, 10, 826. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10080826

An important strategy for meeting global landscape restoration goals is nursery production of high-quality seedlings. Growing seedlings with attributes that promote post-planting survival and growth can be dramatically influenced by the nursery container system. In many countries, nurseries produce seedlings in polybags filled with excavated soil. These seedlings often develop deformed roots with limited fibrosity which can lead to poor survival and growth after outplanting. Polybags are initially inexpensive but using these single-use plastic containers accrues expenses that are often untracked. Comparisons among nursery production systems must account for factors such as container longevity, labor efficiency, and seedling field performance. A more holistic approach to account for environmental, economic, social, logistic, and cultural elements in the cost–benefit equation that influences nursery production systems is needed. Converting to a modern container system requires concomitant adjustments in nursery scheduling and culturing matched to the new stock type. Doing so provides an opportunity to align nursery production techniques and resulting seedling attributes with anticipated field conditions. This article describes and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of nursery production systems and provides recommendations and case studies to aid nurseries in improving seedling quality toward meeting restoration goals in a cost-effective and timely manner.

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Author(s): Diane L. Haase, Karma Bouzza, Lucy Emerton, James B. Friday, Becca Lieberg, Arnulfo Aldrete, Anthony S. Davis

Publication: Land - 2021