Preparation of nursery bed and seed sowing of ornamentals

Horticulture Guruji

Exercise 3

Preparation of nursery bed and seed sowing of ornamentals

HORT 222

A nursery is a place where seedlings, cuttings, and grafts are raised with care before transplanting.

Advantage of raising seedlings in the nursery

  • It is very convenient to look after the tender seedlings
  • It is easy to protect the seedlings from pests and diseases
  • The economy of land usage (duration in the main field is reduced)
  • Valuable and very small seeds can be raised effectively without any wastage
  • Uniform crop stand in the main field can be maintained by selecting healthy, uniform, and vigorous seedlings in the nursery itself.


Preparation of nursery 

Selection of site

  • The nursery area should be nearer to the water source
  • Generally, the location should be partially shaded i.e. under the trees. If not, artificial shade is to be provided
  • It should be well protected from animals
  • Proper drainage facilities should be provided.

Types of nursery bed

a) Flatbed b) Raised nursery bed


Preparation of raised nursery bed

Selected soil should be worked well to break the clods. Weeds, stones, and stubbles should be removed. The height of the raised bed should be 10-15 cm with a width of 1m and length may be according to the requirement and conveniences. Two parts of fine red earth, one part of sand and one part of FYM can be incorporated into each bed to improve the aeration and fertility of the soil. Before preparing the bed, the soil should be drenched with 4 % formaldehyde or 0.3 % copper oxychloride to kill the pathogenic spores in the soil.

Advantage of raised nursery bed

  • Water movement will be uniform and drainage of excess water is possible (In the case of flatbed water moves from one end to the other and there is the possibility of washing away of seeds).
  • The germination percentage of seeds is normally high. Operations like weeding and plant protection measures are easy.


Media for propagating nursery plants

Several materials and combinations of different materials are available are media for germinating seeds and rooting cuttings. A good propagating medium should possess the following characters.

  • It must be firm and dense to hold the cuttings or seeds in place during rooting or germination.
  • It must possess sufficient moisture retaining capacity
  • It must be sufficiently porous to permit excess water to drain away and to admit proper aeration
  • It must be free from weed seeds, nematodes, and pathogens.
  1. Soil mixture

This is the most commonly employed medium for pot plants. It usually consists of red earth, well-decomposed cattle manure, leaf mold, river sand, and also charcoal in some cases. Soil mixture commonly used for propagation is

Red earth       –          2 parts

FYM              –           1 part

Sand             –           1 part


  1. Sand

It is the most satisfactory medium for rooting cuttings.

  1. Peat

It consists of the remains of aquatic marsh, bog, or swamp vegetation that has been preserved underwater in a partially decomposed state. When such peat is derived from sphagnum, hypnum, or other mosses, it is known as peat moss. it is used in the mixture after breaking them and moistened.

  1. Vermiculite

It is very light in weight and able to absorb large quantities of water. This can be used as a rooting medium for air layering and also in pots for raising certain plants.

Seed Sowing

Seed is sown by two methods viz. Line sowing and broadcasting. Ornamental crops have small seeds before sowing they mix with ash or sawdust or sand for uniformly broadcasting.

   Usually, the broadcast method is adopted for seed sowing because; in-line sowing damping-off disease has more incidence than broadcasting.

After preparing seedbed seeds are broadcast manually and cover with a layer of fine sand or compost. Immediately after sowing, watering the bed with a rose cane.


All Types of Horticultural Crops