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Home Publications Nursery Manuals Forest Nursery Manual—Bareroot Chapter 5: Establishing a Vigorous Nursery Crop - Bed Preparation, Seed Sowing, and Early Seedling Growth

Chapter 5: Establishing a Vigorous Nursery Crop - Bed Preparation, Seed Sowing, and Early Seedling Growth

Many aspects of preparing a production nursery bed, such as correcting drainage problems, eliminating disease potential, and maintaining fertility and pH, are specific to site history and soil properties. Efficiency of field use is a major concern in designing a nursery and should be considered when aligning beds and installing irrigation systems. Sowing should be done in spring, commonly in April or May, after soil temperatures at the 10-cm (4-in.) depth reach 10°C. Though seeders commonly used tend to produce clumpy distributions, adverse effects on seedling quality and quantity are reduced at low densities. Both seedling quality and cost are affected by seedbed density; therefore, great care must be exercised in prescribing densities. Sowing formulas must consider the desired seedling density as well as expected yields and various aspects of seed quality and quantity. Expected tree, yield,and damage percents, derived from experience, should be reevaluated annually. Proper care and tending after sowing are critical for obtaining high tree percents. Diseases, birds, and weather are the most common causes of loss, and preventive measures should be taken whenever possible.


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Author(s): Barbara E. Thompson

Publication: Nursery Manuals - Forest Nursery Manual—Bareroot

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