GREENHOUSE FOR SEEDLING
Production using transplanted seedlings of vegetables crops is an important method for vegetable growers. Healthy seedlings ensure the successful development of the plants and ultimately result into more profits for the farmer. Moreover, in a climate-controlled greenhouse, healthy seedlings can be produced in advance as compared to those produced in open field conditions. As the seedling for transplanting would be available early, a better price for the farmer could be ensured, as during peak season, prices of seedling would be higher, and this would be helpful in augmenting the farmer’s income. Many growers prefer to buy seedlings from nurseries because it is often difficult for farmers to produce quality seedlings under open field conditions. A greenhouse with controlled environment permits efficient seedlings production with desired attributes.
ADVANTAGES OF GROWING SEEDLINGS IN NURSERY BEDS.
Although many vegetable seeds can be sown directly in the field, experience has shown that raising seedlings in a nursery has a number of advantages;
• Producing grafted seedlings - A seedling renders possible to produce grafted seedlings.
• Intensive care - Seedlings receive better care and protection (from animals, weeds and pests) in the nursery. The average garden soil is not an ideal medium for raising seedlings especially from the point of view of soil tilth. At an early stage of development most vegetable crops require special attention that is not possible in the main field.
• Reduction of costs - Fewer seeds are used for raising seedlings in the nursery than for sowing directly in the field,because in the latter seedlings have to be thinned to one, which is wasteful. When expensive hybrid seeds are used, transplants therefore become more economically attractive. Pesticides and labour are also reduced under nursery conditions as compared to planting directly in the field.
• Opportunity for selection - Raising seedlings in a nursery affords the grower an opportunity to select well grown, vigorous, uniform and disease free seedlings.
• Extend a short growing season for late maturing crops - Seedlings can be raised in a nursery under a protected environment before conditions outside become suitable for growth and transplanted into the field when conditions allow, thus reducing the amount of time spent in the field.
• Forced vegetable production for an early market - Generally prices of horthorticultural produce are attractive when production or supply is low. Vegetables can be grown ‘out-of-season’ in a nursery when conditions are not yet favourable. Such crops will thus mature earlier after transplanting and hence stand to fetch a higher price in the market.