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Backyard Nursery
Prepared by:
L. Robert Barber, & Ilene Iriarte
Guam Cooperative Extension Service & Guam Department of
Funding provided by:
United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources
Conservation Service, Western Region Sustainable Agriculture
Research and Education, Administration for Native Americans,, &
Sanctuary Incorporated
Why we need a Nursery
• List purposes and needs in detail
– What are we trying to do?
• List potential ventures
– What are possibilities in the future?
Starting a Backyard Nursery
• To run and operate a nursery requires knowledge in all
phases of plant production
• Requires a knowledge of what plants are desired by
your market
• You will need to know:
– Market, desired species, propagation methods, production costs,
& market outlets
• Backyard nursery can be started with very small capital
– If attention is not paid to, cost can quickly add up
How To Enter the Nursery
• Start with an idea!
– Produce a product or service that no one else is
filling or do it better than everyone else!
• Develop a detailed business plan
– Include targeted products, production methods, &
Goals, Resources, Action Plan, Monitor
• Experience and knowledge of plants is a must!
• Research and evaluate operations
Nursery Design & Space
• The space you need depends on:
Plant requirements
Number of plants to be produced
Facility restrictions
Resource limitations
• The ultimate goal in design is to use space
• Plant turn over is key! The longer a plant stays
in your nursery, the more it costs to produce, the
smaller the profit
Nursery Components
• Storage (inclusive or separate)
• Potting area
• Propagation area
• Grow out area
• Hardening area (Avoid if possible)
Nursery Components (cont.)
• Soil Media
• Pots
• Irrigation
• Nutrition
• Weed and Pest Management
– Control what comes into the nursery
• In the propagation area think about:
– What are the propagation requirements of the
plants you want to grow
– What size you want to sell or grow or use
– Design & installation of irrigation & or mist
Sexual Production
• Clean seeds
• ? Scarification
• Keep moist do not over water
• Flats or individual cells
Mist System
• Recommended for asexual propagation
• Conserves water
• Reduces water loss from plant leaves
• No need to soak soil and favor rotting
• Plant leaves can remain on plant and
make energy to produce roots faster
• Lower labor cost
Mist System
Non-Mist Propagation
• Low tech
• Needs more monitoring
• Must be cool
• Shade is a must
Things to watch out for!
• Tall lanky seedlings
• Timing for use
• Pot bound plants
• “J” rooted plants
• Mislabeled plants
• Frequent inspections
• Sanitation
• Determine what and how many plants
you need to produce in your nursery
• Plant requirements
• Pot selection
• Soil Media
• Schedule propagation of each