The third item needed to start a plant propagation business is space.
Surprisingly, you really don’t need much space to start your plant propagation nursery. I know what you are thinking; every nursery you have been to has been fairly sizable if not quite large. True, but to start your nursery you only need an area about 1/20th of an acre, or 2178 square feet. Now figure that the average home is somewhere near 2,330 square feet, and you can quickly see that you only need an area that is about the same size as an average house.
What is needed to start your plant propagation nursery
Surprisingly, there are few things needed to start your nursery.
- Stock plants
- Misting beds
- Misting system
- Grow beds
- Compost heap
- Sale area
That is a short list isn’t it? Of course as your nursery grows you will need to add a few more items, but that is essentially all you need to begin.
I touched upon stock plants already but will mention that the best way to maintain your stock plants is to simply plant them in your landscape. Using them in your landscape benefits in two ways;
- You beautify your landscape
- They only need to be purchased once
Misting beds are simply beds made specifically to propagate softwood cuttings. The beds can be as small as 4’x8′, and you can begin with just one. To make things even better, sand can be used to root your cuttings in so you don’t need to buy peat, perlite, or flats for rooting. Four pieces of lumber can be used to form the side to hold the sand. Nothing fancy there.
An intermittent misting system is installed in the misting bed to provide moisture to the cuttings as they form roots. Intermittent misting systems have traditionally been controlled by two mechanical timers. The newer digital misting timers are far superior and less expensive. Be sure to read the article Intermatic Timers-Why you should not use them for misting systems to learn about the benefits of digital misting timers.
Take the misting system e-course to learn everything you need to know about misting systems for propagating plants!
Grow beds are simply beds you create to hold your newly rooted cuttings for them to grow. These beds are not essential if you are planning on selling the rooted cuttings, but if you plan on selling plants that have put on at least one years growth you will need to have them. Plants that have been rooted and grown for at least a year are called liners. These liners are what you would purchase at a local nursery.
Compost is one of those items that is essential to starting your propagation nursery. Compost is nothing more than decomposed vegetable matter that releases its nutrients into the soil, providing your rooted cuttings with essential nutrients. If you are thinking compost is difficult to do, go ahead and read this article at ezinearticles.com.
Do you have a front lawn? How about a driveway? Well, you have a sale area! When you fill your sale area with great plants, folks will drive from miles away to buy your plants. Have a big box store nearby and are worried that you won’t get any business? When word gets out about how great your plants, knowledge and customer service is compared to theirs, you will draw them in droves.
The next article will go into a little more detail on what you can use for rooting media.