Short Course Starting a Backyard Nursery

Course Code: SGH12
Fee Code: SG
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 20 hours
Qualification Certificate of Completion
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Short Course Starting a Backyard Nursery

This short course is a guide for the person attempting to start or run a small nursery, herb or flower growing
enterprise as a backyard operation on their larger property. It endeavours covers the most important topics you need to get you started. 
Use this course as a starting point: 
Study the nursery industry and its sectors in your region – see what is and isn’t feasible. Look at what plants and related products are currently in demand. 
Consider opportunities open to you - for example:
You may start small, propagating, growing potted plants and selling at a local market
You may start by propagating herbs for sale, but also growing some, harvesting and producing some herbal products
You may propagate flowers, selling potted flowering plants; or growing in the ground, then harvesting and selling bunches of flowers to a florist or at a market stall.

Nurseries, herb or flower farms that have humble beginnings on just a few dozen square metres of land; can eventually develop into a large, full time business.

Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. This short course covers eight lessons:
  2. Lesson 1 Introduction and possiblities
    • Introduction
    • Form of product
    • Growth stage
    • Quantity
    • Selling
  3. Lesson 2 Management and organisation
    • Management and organisation
    • Selecting the site
    • Choosing what to grow
    • Layout
    • Managing manpower, equipment and materials
    • Developing a nursery stock list – an example
    • Nursery stocklist worksheet
  4. Lesson 3 Propagating techniques and equipment
    • An overview
    • Sexual propagation
    • Treatments
    • Asexual propagation
    • Propagating structures and equipment
    • Nursery irrigation techniques
    • Propagating beds
    • Shade houses
  5. Lesson 4 Propagating materials
    • Containers
    • Containers
    • Potting mixtures
    • Labels
  6. Lesson 5 Plant health problems
    • Diagnosing problems
    • Minimising the likelihood of problems
    • Treating a problem
    • Chemical controls
    • Minimising chemical use
    • Biological controls
  7. Lesson 6 Propagation - seeds and cuttings
    • Where to plant
    • Pre-germination treatments
    • Handling seedlings
    • Pricking out seedlings
    • Propagating ferns
    • Cuttings
    • Practical exercise
    • Budding and grafting
    • Layering
    • Propagation of specific plants
    • Ornamentals
    • Annuals, bulbs and perennials
    • Fruit and nut plants
    • Herbs
    • Growing on
    • Potting up plants
  8. Lesson 7 Starting a small herb or flower farm
    • Herb growing
    • Herbal products
    • Growing flowers for profit in your backyard
  9. Lesson 8 Management
    • Starting a nursery
    • Market research
    • Planning
    • Work scheduling
    • Operational flow charts
    • Nursery profile
    • Costing your production
    • Practical exercise
    • Hypothetical case study

Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

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