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Growing plants from seeds - page 10 / 12

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Water A nursery needs an all-year source of water. The water source should be close to the nursery because you should never allow the soil of nursery plants to dry out. You can use watering cans or hose-pipes to bring water to your nursery. Water early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the sun is not strong. Always water with a fine spray. Hard watering can move seeds and damage seedlings. Shading plants, either in propagation structures or under trees, reduces the

amount of water that plants need.

Propagating structures Propagating structures are built to provide the best conditions for raising plants. A propagating structure should provide:

  • stable temperatures, not too hot or too cold

  • a controlled flow of air, not too dry or too wet

  • controlled light, enough for growth but not enough to burn the plants.

Water with a fine spray through a grass shade to not damage seedlings

It is best to propagate most plants in the shade, and then move them into the sun or remove the shade once they are growing strongly. You will need two types of structures for propagating plants:

1 A place where seeds are germinated or cuttings are rooted. 2 A place where the newly established plants are stored or grown. You do not

need a structure for these plants if you can keep them under trees or vine trellises.

Shade houses are the most common propagating structures used for school nurseries. You can build a shade house from upright wooden or metal poles, cross supports of wood, bamboo or cane and a cover of thatch grass, reeds, palm leaves or shade cloth. The upright poles can be concreted into the ground to strengthen the structure. If you use wooden poles, protect them against termites by painting them with creosote. The cover must not be too thick. Light must still pass through it.

A simple shade house made from wood poles, bamboo and palm leaves

Shade cloth is made of woven plastic thread, similar to orange bags. It can be woven tightly or loosely, to let through different amounts of light. Shade cloth is light, long-lasting and easy to work with. You can use shade cloth on the top and sides of a shade house or you can hang it between supports such as growing trees or buildings.

Propagating soil There are many different mixes for filling the containers in which you propagate plants. The mix should have the characteristics below:

T E A C H E R S N O T E S PA R T 1 0

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