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What Is a Seedlings Nursery?

By Anna B. Smith
Updated May 16, 2024
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A seedlings nursery is a type of gardening center, the purpose of which is the production and encouraged growth of seeds and young plants. This type of facility is typically designed to create the new growth of native plants in a particular region of a country. The nursery may be operated by a government agency, and work with local landowners and farmers to achieve their goals. Nurseries are also run by commercial companies for the purpose of selling new and young plants to garden centers for distribution to the public.

This type of garden center is frequently owned and operated by local and national government conservation programs. The seedlings nursery run by such organizations is designed to improve the natural habitats located around the region. The nursery often carries a wide variety of seeds, including trees, shrubs, and flowering plants that are native to the area. Plants produced in the garden center are typically available in seed or bare-root form, or may be up to three years old. Older plants are often maintained on a permanent basis on the garden center property to propagate new root cuttings and seeds for future generations of plants.

The seedlings nursery staff is trained to work with local landowners and park rangers on publicly owned land to create a planting conservation plan. The purpose of a planting plan is to distribute the new seedlings in such a way as to help with reclaiming previously deforested areas, improving wildlife habitats, and protecting some areas from excessive soil erosion and harmful watershed. These organizations often require that such a plan be filed prior to placing any new orders for plants.

Vegetable and fruit plants can also be produced through a seedlings nursery. Commercially sold seeds and young plants of produce plants are often grown in large nurseries that carry older plants as well. These older plants can be used for cross pollination, plant hybridization, and continuation of the business. Some plants may be kept in reserve by these greenhouses while the majority of the seedlings are sold off to local home improvement and gardening centers around the area.

Home gardeners can create a seedlings nursery at home on a smaller scale. Gardeners should carefully craft their greenhouse growing area prior to purchasing any new seeds. The greenhouse can be located in any part of the home that is conducive to a large scale growing effort, such as a basement or sun porch, and does not necessarily require a special outbuilding. New seedlings can be started from seed and allowed to germinate into full flowering or food producing plants. Any seeds that are shucked off by the plant naturally during the growing process should be preserved and used the following year to create a self-reproducing nursery.

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