A bed is made within the homestead in the back yard for ease of monitoring.
– Obtain the right mixture of the nursery media. Hold the bed in place by supporting the sides with bricks or wood.
– Spread it out to make a bed
– Raise the bed 15cm above the ground. This height allows dense and deep root growth. It also enhances easy drainage in the bed. If the bed is raised more than 15cm above the ground, it is subject to erosion and if it is less than 15cm above the ground, root length and development will be affected. The roots will have a low depth of soft soil and will grow into a hard pan. The rate of increase will be low reducing the length; growth of root hairs will be poor, so seedling development will be poor.
– Limit the width of the bed to 1 meter. This width enables the nursery worker to work on the bed without stepping on it.
– Build a shelter above the bed. The shelter should be 1 meter above the bed. A shelter less than 1 meter reduces light penetration into the bed and thus seedlings become tall, thin and weak. A height beyond 1 meter allows excess sunshine into the nursery and water loss from the bed is high. Seedlings at the edge of the bed are most affected. There is irregular growth of seedlings and more water needed for watering. Shelter should face east-west direction to ensure even exposure to the sun in the bed.
– The shelter above the bed should be wider than the bed below to ensure that seedlings all over the bed get uniform growth conditions.
– As the seedlings grow, keep on reducing the thickness of the shelter. This is to ensure that there is enough light for each stage of growth of the seedlings.