A nursery is a portion of land dedicated to propagate plants, provide nourishment for initial times, grow young seedlings and finally sell out for transplanting for commercial agriculture, horticulture, or hobby gardening like Kitchen Gardening, etc. The final step (selling) might differ depending on the type of nursery.
The nurseries are grown in the favorable conditions till the plant reaches a growth which is usable and comparatively robust to face the adverse climatic conditions like winds, heavy rain, scorching sunlight, etc. and it is easy to take care of these seedlings in a small area in soil beds or small containers
Types of Nursery in Agriculture
There are many types of nursery based on different needs and possibilities. For convenience we will divide them
- Based on time period
- Based on Plants grown
- Based on structure
- Based on landscape
- Based on sale.
Based on time period of usage
Nursery can be designed for temporary basis and for permanent use.
The Temporary Nurseries are season based. The nursery stock is supplied for a certain period. The production is stopped when the requirement is fulfilled.
Example: Rice seedling nursery, vegetable nursery
This is a nursery that does not depend on the season, and the owner uses it for commercial purposes. This is the reason; this land could be of any dimensions required by the owner, relatively larger than a temporary nursery. This type of nursery has all the structures like a selling point, compost pit, nursery beds, office, guard room, etc. as permanent structures to facilitate the propagation in a regular manner.
Example: Nursery of Forest plants, the nursery of fruit plants
These planting materials can be seeds or vegetative parts of the plant (asexual propagation methods like air-layering, grafting, budding can also be used). Nursery management is a very labor-intensive job.
Types of nursery based on Plants Grown
1. Fruit Plant nursery
It is an example of a permanent type of nursery as the living period of these plants is large. Since vegetative propagation is easier and takes less time to provide true to type plants as in comparison with sexual propagation, it is preferred for fruit plants. One can also produce grafts (example., sapodilla) to sell as well as the permanent mother plants are there (e.g., Guava for Inarching), which provide scion and root-stock are also. Air layering (rooting in Citrus) is also common in fruit plant nurseries. Nurseries of Apple, Walnut, Peach, etc. are highly grown businesses and have wide scope for temperate area entrepreneurs.
2. Vegetable plant nursery
Vegetable crops vary from seasonal, annual to perennial crops. Brinjal, Tomato, Gourds, Onions, and most vegetables are grown by seedlings. It is a widespread practice in Kitchen Gardening. With the decreasing faith in market vegetables due to the application of chemicals, people prefer homegrown vegetables; hence the market of these nurseries is continuously rising. Vertical Gardening is a fashionable idea to grow gourds, flat bean, etc. in urban houses with less space.
3. Ornamental plant nursery
This type of nursery is very popular and can do international business. The aesthetic use of flowers, succulents, and other ornamental plants makes its market a bigger place. Today with increasing day to day stress, people have become aware of the importance of ornamental plants in the home; hence the various types of plants with different varieties have appeared in the market. This is an ever-rising business because of its use in various types of occasions. Florists are even preparing new kinds of flowers, and when gifting, these plants add meaning to the purpose by becoming the representation of it. As mentioned earlier, Vertical Gardening has provided a new arena for plants to be kept around us in a more beautiful and manageable way.
4. Medicinal and Aromatic plant nursery
With the increasing awareness towards the use of ancient practices, it has increased the scope of this kind of nursery as a business. People have started to adopt rearing these plants and use them daily in one way or another instead of depending upon allopathic medicines only. The essential oils present in these plants and their aroma due to this provides health value and aesthetic sense.
These plants can be grown in the period after Wheat harvest and till Rice sowing to make an extra income source for farmers.
5. Forest plant nursery
Not just individuals but the whole world knows the importance of a forest. After the Arrey Forest cut and Amazon Rain-Forest Fire, saving trees has become a more prominent objective. People who think the road to development goes from between the forest keep destroying it in the name of planting new trees in similar size of land. In fact, many industries like timber, gum, fuel work only because there is a forest. It is essential to save these valuable trees and also the species that are about to be extinct. Forest plant nurseries can be invested upon privately and in collaboration with the Forest department. Some medicinal purposes also get fulfilled with this work.
6. Hi-tech Nursery
These nurseries are often maintained under shade nets, glasshouses, greenhouses, and other protected structures. All other plantations are maintained in open or can be grown with these protective structures. One can also have a Tissue Culture Laboratory along with it if he can afford its maintenance. It has grown as a future of the nursery. Some plants in fashion in these labs are Gerbera, Syngonium, Orchards, Calla Lily, etc. One might need scientifically managed Storage rooms also to facilitate winter plant nursery like Walnut, Apple, etc.
7. Agricultural crop Nursery
These nurseries are temporary in nature, and the land area used for these is later added to the land for cultivation. This is done to reduce the workload and time required to handle large areas under cultivation and to make fertilizers available in a better manner. It’s not for business purposes but solely for the seasonal crop.
Example: Rice Nursery, Pearl millet
According to the structure of nursery
1. Open nursery
This type of nursery is low cost and low maintenance nursery. No special overhead structure like a greenhouse, glasshouse, etc. is there except some shade nets or normal room/ office present.
2. Closed nursery
This type of nursery has special overhead structures to provide a definite amount of sunlight for plants like greenhouse, glasshouse, and shade-nets. These structures, in some cases, are scientifically facilitated with room temperature and humidity control.
According to the landscape
1. Horizontal nursery
Almost all the nurseries are horizontal in nature, i.e., they spread through the land area covering it as a whole. The people owning optimum or large land area and the people requiring small nursery as a part-time hobby or for Kitchen Garden find it best.
2. Vertical nursery
With the increasing urban and multi-story building culture, space has reduced too many folds for people staying in cities. The people who still want to stay near nature and wish to develop a nursery, which is space-effective, can go for Vertical Nursery. It holds a bright scope in the future.
According to the Type of Sale
1. Retail Nursery
These nurseries do sell directly to the people, to grow them at home or home gardens. These are run locally to sell seasonal and ornamental plants mostly and plant for decoration purposes and for humidity maintenance. These may also sell their plants to clients who require a specific type of plant.
2. Wholesale nursery
These nurseries grow their plants in bulk to cater to the needs of big clients like florists, companies, commercial farmers, other small nurseries, for environment landscaping purposes, etc.
3. Private nursery
These nurseries generally are one customer nurseries and provide the batches for a single customer or the owner itself. These clients could have large estates or someone who has a requirement to document historical tree preservation.
4. Mail Order
All the nurseries mentioned above can be a part of this type of nursery. These days online shopping has become a natural trend and is an ever-rising business. One can make an online portal like other goods and services to sell; just the additional requirement is of shipping facility, i.e., by courier or delivery man.