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Nursery Practices - Agriculture Form 2

Suggested Practical Activities in Nursery Practices

Activity 1 : Crop project

a)Learners to prepare and establish a cabbage nursery bed as follows:

  • Mark out the nursery site
  • Clear the vegetation.
  • Dig / plough deeply.
  • Harrow the bed to a fine tilth.
  • Mix the soil with well-decomposed FYM and phosphate fertilizer.
  • Level the bed.
  • Make drills of 10 to 20 cm apart of any vegetables crop.
  • Thinly and evenly place the seed along the shallow drills and cover lightly with soil.
  • Mulch with dry grass and water the bed using a watering can.
  • Remove the mulch and evict a shade of 1m high as the seedling germinate.

b) Carry out the following management practices on the prepared nursery bed.

  • Watering.
  • Weed control.
  • Shading.
  • Pest and diseases control.
  • Pricking out.
  • Hardening off.

Crop Production III (Nursery Practices)

Nursery Practices Background Information.


Land preparation makes land suitable for planting. It involves ploughing, harrowing ridging and rolling.
Crops are established by various planting materials which are either seeds or vegetative materials. These materials are either planted directly in the seedbed or indirectly through a nursery bed.







Nursery Practices

Mulching - light mulch to prevent loss of moisture. Mulching also moderates soil temperature.

Watering - done immediately after planting and thereafter water regularly early in the mornings and late in the evenings.

Weed control- to keep the nursery bed completely weed free by uprooting all the weeds.

Shading- to maintain cool temperatures for proper seedling growth. Light shade to prevent dark conditions that may encourage etiolating of seedlings.

Pricking out- crowded seedlings should be removed to a seedling bed at a spacing of 3-4 cm apart. The remaining seedling will grow strong and healthy.

Pest and disease control- control by application of appropriate chemicals. e.g Furadan.

Hardening off- its preparing seedlings to adapt to the conditions that exist in the seedbed 1-2 weeks before transplanting.

Crop Production III (Nursery Practices)

Sub-topics Objectives.

By the end of the sub-topics, you should be able to;

  • describe a nursery bed.
  • distinguish between a nursery bed, a seedbed and a seedling bed.
  • state the importance of a nursery bed.
  • select a suitable site for a nursery bed.
  • prepare a nursery bed.
  • manage a nursery bed.

Crop Production III (Nursery Practices)

Introduction


Production of crops is important because it enables us to produce our daily food and to earn income. In this lesson we will discuss the nursery practices carried out in production of various crops. Enjoy your learning.


See the video below to appreciate nursery practices


Crop Production III (Nursery Practices)

Nursery Bed

Nursery Bed is a special piece of land, normally of varying sizes (big or small) prepared for raising seedlings of certain of crops which normally would not be sown directly into the field before they are transplanted. Nursery practices refer to all activities carried out when preparing and managing a nursery bed.
Seedbed is a piece of land or field that normally prepared ready to receive planting materials directly or indirectly from a nursery bed.

A seedling bed is a special type of nursery bed used for raising seedlings that have been removed from an overcrowded nursery bed before they are ready for transplanting.

Importance of a nursery in crop propagation

  • Production of many seedlings in a small area.
  • Easy management practices in the nursery.
  • Best conditions for growth can be provided.
  • Facilitates the planting of small seeds easily transplanted.
  • Only healthy and vigorously growing seedlings are obtained.
  • Mature are seedlings are transplanted therefore any excess seedlings from the nursey bed can be sold to earn income to the farmer.

Procedure of establishing a vegetable nursery bed

Most vegetables are established through nurseries.

The following is the procedure of establishing a vegetable nursery bed;

  • A suitable site is selected and marked out.
  • All the vegetation and foreign objects such as stones roots etc, are then cleared from the site using appropriate tools such as pangas, slashers, mowers among others.
  • All cleared trash is removed and the site is deeply dug/ploughed to remove all perennial weeds.
  • Broadcast Organic manures or fertilizers on the nursery bed and work it well into the soil.
  • Measure and mark the width of the nursery bed (1m-1.5m) and of any appropriate length.
  • The Paths 60cm wide are left between individual beds, for management purposes.

Procedure continues

  • Raised or sunken bed are made depending on weather conditions of the place.
  • Work the soils to a very fine tilth.
  • Level the bed using a rake and remove all trash from the surface.
  • Make shallow drills 10-20 cm apart are and drill the seeds uniformly and cover lightly with soil, by shuffling the soils back with feet.
  • Erect a shade over the nursery bed to prevent excessive moisture loss and raindrop impact.

Now that you know the procedure of nursery bed preparation, you can practice preparing a nursery bed at home and establish vegetable seedlings.

Crop Production III (Nursery Practices)

Procedure for establishing a tree nursery

  • Prepare a selected site for tree nurseries.
  • The spacing should be specific to the tree species to be planted.
  • The potting mixture is made up; of Subsoil, Double super-phosphate (DSP), Sulphate of potash and Insecticide.
  • The seeds are pre-germinated 24-48 hrs by soaking in water then planted in polythene sleeves half filled with soil.
  • The sleeves facilitates the easy transportation of the seedlings when transplanting.
  • Arrange the filled polythene sleeves under a shade in the nursery site.
  • Rooting media is used to stimulate rooting in cuttings.

Crop Production III (Nursery Practices)

Characteristics of a good mother plant

Characteristics of a good mother plant for obtaining stem cuttings include;

  • High yielding.
  • High leaf quality.
  • Good rooting ability.
  • Easy adaptability

Tea cuttings

  • The cutting is obtained using a sharp knife, making slanting cuts above the axial buds; each cutting should have a leaf and is 2.5-4.0 cm long.
  • Place all cuttings in water immediately to avoid dehydration, until they are planted in the polythene sleeves.
  • The sleeves are then thoroughly watered; cuttings are inserted at the centre of each sleeve.
  • The cutting leaf should not be in contact with soil to avoid rotting.
  • Arrange the sleeves in the vegetative propagation unit.
  • Erect wooden hoops over the arranged sleeved cuttings.
  • Place a polythene sheet over the wooden hoops and the edges buried into the ground to make airtight.
See the video below to appreciate nursery practices

 

Crop Production III (Nursery Practices)

Routine management practices carried in the nursery

These refer to all those management practices carried in the nursery while seedlings are growing, they include;

  • Mulching : light mulch to prevent loss of moisture. Mulching also moderates soil temperature.
  • Watering : done immediately after planting and thereafter water regularly early in the mornings and late in the evenings
  • Weed control: to keep the nursery bed completely weed free by uprooting all the weeds.
  • Shading: To maintain cool temperatures for proper seedling growth. Light shade to prevent dark conditions that may encourage etiolating of seedlings.
  • Pricking out: Crowded seedlings should be removed to a seedling bed at a spacing of 3-4 cm apart. The remaining seedling will grow strong and healthy.
  • Pest and disease control: control by application of appropriate chemicals. e.g Furadan.
  • Hardening off: Its preparing seedlings to adapt to the conditions that exist in the seedbed 1-2 weeks before transplanting

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