Good nursery bed management involves many skills and attention to detail. The process starts with the acquisition of high-quality germplasm of known origin and recorded genetic quality, supported by documents recognising the rights of the supplier.
Furthermore, this germplasm must have been appropriately stored and handled to avoid loss of viability. Germplasm can be of two types: seeds and vegetative propagules. Seeds also are of two main types: those that can be stored by drying or freezing and those that are recalcitrant.
Both the latter and the vegetative propagules are short-lived from a few days to at most a few weeks. They have to be very carefully and rapidly handled to avoid water or temperature stress and any physical damage.
Accession records must be stored safely and the origin of every plant in the nursery must be labelled or in some other way traceable back to these records. Plants of unknown origin are of zero importance in a domestication program.
Joseph Male, a farmer dealing in nursery bed seedlings, takes through the process of how to manage your nursery bed on the farm.