A whisper from the woods

Ask me (almost) anything, September 2022

Sep 29, 2022

In August’s article, Mark responded to Ralph and Jeremy’s question about planting in the tropics.

This month, Mark elaborates more on their question on how to start a nursery.

When starting a nursery, Mark suggests obtaining a small plot of land with water, security of tenure, and fencing. Then, practice some of the techniques beyond the textbook.

“Whenever one begins to build a nursery, soil mix quality is most important!” Mark says. This means, the correct mix of soil, gravel, sand, humus, and manure.

A nursery in Uganda

Another idea is to approach other nurseries in the region to see what materials they use. Many nurseries use materials that are available locally. This makes them cheaper to purchase, rather than importing costly materials.

“Try to avoid artificial fertilizers that are expensive and can cause damage to the natural environment. Organic and animal manures are the best option.” Mark says.

Potting mixes must be as sterile as possible. This is to avoid diseases that would cause the loss of plants as they mature.

Mark emphasizes the need for extremely secure fencing. This is to keep out uninvited guests, both people, and animals. Your plants are precious. It takes a long time to grow them, sometimes a year or longer.  You do not want to lose them for any reason.

Seedlings grown in the nursery.

Set a goal to grow a limited number of trees from seed or cuttings. Then, get them planted and care for their survival.

Finally, Mark encourages that, if you can grow around 100 saplings with community involvement at both the planting and caring stage, you will prove your abilities to manage such a project successfully. In this event, local or even international audiences may take notice and show a willingness to support the project and collaborate!

Thank you, Jeremy, and Ralph for raising these questions! Of course, a very big thank you to Mark for sharing his experience!

We want to hear from you! Let us know what questions you have for Mark. Send us an email or drop your question in the comment section below!



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