Nursery management and land preparation for vegetable farming are two crucial areas for farmers. For the farmer to become successful in growing vegetables, it starts from the nursery. He must carefully nurse the seeds and care for them constantly to get the seedlings to mature for transplanting.
When to begin the Nursery?
For the elevated nursery, it is best to construct it especially during the raining season. The elevated nursery will protect the seed or seedlings on the nursery from heavy rainfall.
• It should be constructed using thatch or transparent plastic for the covering.
• The front view of the nursery should face directly to the position of sunrise.
• The height of the nursery bed should be as high as the waist or one meter above ground level.
• The floor of the bed should be covered with dry grass and then filled with top soil (soil consisting of rich organic matter).
For the ground nursery, it is constructed during the dry season. It should be located a distance away from the town to avoid pests (Chickens or other domesticated animals that damage crops).
• The ground nursery should be positioned against the slope.
• It should be raised 20-30cm above ground level and a trench of 40cm wide for drainage purposes.
• It should be one meter wide and an average of 3 meters long.
• The farmer should use the top soil for the nursery.
For the box nursery, it can be established both in dry and rainy season either in the yard or a garden away from home.
• Put the top soil in the bucket, pan, cup, crates, box, etc., with holes at the bottom to support drainage.
• Put small rocks or dry grass at the bottom of the container before filling with soil to enhance proper drainage.
• Make sure you use the top soil or soil that has been sterilized by using hot water or ashes before sowing seeds.
How can the farmer sow seeds on the nursery?
• You may use the drilling method or broadcast method.
• In drilling, draw a straight line in the soil and drill the seed.
• In broadcasting, spread the seed on the nursery bed with the hands.
After the establishment of the nursery, the farmer must now begin to prepare the land for transplanting the seedling on the nursery.
• It is sometimes advisable not to burn the grass on the land that you are about to cultivate. Burning can destroy the organic matter in the soil that can promote growth of the plant. On the other hand burning grass on the land could be necessary as it adds the nutrients, potassium to the soil.
• Do not prepare the land in the lowland when it is wet. Doing so drains the nutrients from the soil, especially during heavy rainfall.
• Clearly remove all of the debris when preparing the land to get ready for transplanting. The debris may choke the young seedling during germination.
About the Writer:
Judoemue kollie is a farm reporter with more than five years experience in agricultural journalism. He has taught agriculture at a government school in Salala, Bong County. Judoemue holds a certificate in general agriculture from the Tumutu Agricultural Training program in Salala, Bong County, and a diploma in journalism from the International School of Journalism in Monrovia. Currently, he works as a farm columnist at the Daily Observer Newspaper.