Starting a plant nursery can be a daunting task. The amount of time, effort, and skill required can often feel overwhelming. However, there is a solution that can help you modernize your nursery, reduce labor requirements, and ultimately grow more plants for less. The answer is automation.
In this article, we will discuss some practical solutions to common problems faced by plant nurseries, including planting, irrigating, fertilization, and moving plants in and around the nursery. We’ll also share our top three tips to modernize your nursery and offer a free ebook to help you get started.
Plant Propagation is Made Easy with Automation
Multiplying plants in your nursery is time and labor-consuming. Fortunately, there are many automatic machines on the market that are designed to mix soil, fill pots, and sow seeds. These machines not only protect your workforce from back-breaking physical work but also improve uniformity.
If you’re looking for some inspiration on plant propagation, check out Modern Growerco on Instagram. They have many innovative ideas designed to help make your job easier.
Automated Irrigation Systems for Plant Care
It would be ideal if we could just plant our stock and leave them to grow without any additional care. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Irrigation is probably the most important factor as a plant grows. Providing they have enough sunlight, you’ll do yourself a big favor by installing an automated irrigation system. Better yet, computer-controlled systems will allow you to leave your plants over the weekend without having to worry about if they are getting enough water.
Sprinkler and drip irrigation systems are the most common option used by growers and allow you to water your plants gently and evenly. Other options include ebb and flow designs where water periodically floods the root zone and then drains.
Efficient Fertilization with Automation
When it comes to fertilization, even simple spreaders and sprayers will help apply nutrients quickly and evenly. We’ll discuss another option in our tips coming up later in this article.
Moving Your Plants with Ease
Moving your plants in and around your nursery is a hefty task. Loaders and trucks should be at the top of your priority list, especially as your business grows. If your business affords it, you can also take a look at robots that can move your plants with ease.
Top Three Tips to Modernize Your Nursery
Tip One: Benefit from Other Growers’ Technology
There are many ways you can benefit from other growers’ technology. It can be as simple as ordering Yancey lens really rooted plants that you can grow in your nursery. This limits the need for mother stock labor to make your own cuttings and ensures you always receive high-quality plantlets.
Many research trials are done to create new and improved plants every year. These plants will ultimately be easier to grow and have greater pest and disease resistance, which will greatly reduce the inputs required from you. However, due to royalties, you will need to be able to sell your plants for a high enough price to justify the initial investment.
Tip Two: Use a Fertigation System
Fertigation combines the processes of irrigation and fertilization by adding fertilizer to the irrigation water. Fertigation offers many benefits, including lowered labor requirements and reduced fertilizer waste by delivering a small number of nutrients on a regular basis, thus minimizing leaching.
It is recommended you flush the system once a week to prevent toxic nutrient buildup in the soil. You can do this by simply running fertilizer-free water through your system.
Tip Three: Grow Your Plants Hydroponically
Hydroponic systems are designed to reduce labor, nutrient, and water requirements. Once set up, a high-tech hydroponic system could function with minimal inputs, allowing you to focus on