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Grow a career in horticulture (part 1)

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General post from Ben's Botanics

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I could easily say that a career in production/retail horticulture is not for the faint hearted, but that might put you off a fun and challenging career. I work in a production and retail nursery at the moment, but previously I worked for a garden centre in Cheshire. There's never a dull day, but with the wide range of businesses out there I'll split production and retail down to make things clearer.

A production nursery is, on the surface, an easy thing to describe; it's a nursery that produces plants. Some nurseries produce starter plants (9 cm plants known in the trade as 'liners', although the pot sizes vary, and let's not forget plug plant producers) to be grown on by other nurseries, others propagate all their own plants and then grow them right up to a size where they are sold to the public, while others buy 'liners' and grow them on to a saleable size. There are almost innumerable variations to these nurseries; where I work we grow a lot of plants from 'liners' produced in France, Holland and the UK, but we also propagate many plants ourselves, as well as buying from wholesalers- a complicated business model to follow! We grow an extraordinary range of trees, shrubs, perennials and indoor plants ourselves, and as such we, the production team, face many challenges to grow each plant to perfection. Add the challenges of peat free composts and we are always busy! Each member of the production team is tested each day with pests and diseases, decisions to do with pruning and maintenance, feeding, watering and of course the universally applicable weeding. The secret to growing a good plant commercially is that you must be passionate about what you do and able to think on your feet. Although the plants themselves may seem to grow slowly you can't afford to delay important decisions!

Continued in Part 2

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  • Posted: Sun. 27th October 2013 16:25