Current issue: 53(3)
Under compilation: 53(4)
This paper is a report of the authors visits to over 80 forestry nurseries in 20 countries mostly in the tropics or subtropics. The article aim is to describe the methods used in the various countries and compares them to the conventional methods of cool and temperate countries. The article introduces nurseries of Africa south of the Sahara, Mediterranean area, Australian and New Zealand and Latin America.
A complete revolution has taken place in the Finnish nursery practice, which used to raise the seedlings in natural field soil in open-air nurseries. The seedlings were usually transplanted into transplant beds at the age of two years. Now the use of plastic greenhouses of light construction and an artificial soil substrate (fertilized peat) are essential. The new technique has some similarities to the practises of the tropical and subtropical nurseries. In Finland cultivation in greenhouses has hastened the development of the seedlings and shortened the nursery rotation from four to two years, and provided better control of watering and fertilization.
Peat beds in greenhouses are used also in Swaziland. The advantage of peat is that it is free of weed seeds, which eliminates weeding. Peat substrate gives also better yield of seedlings, which decreases the need of seeds, which is important in Finland. Another technique common with tropical silviculture is the production of potted seedlings, which are easy to handle and transport. In tropics, peat pots (jiffy pots) have made it possible to grow plantable seedlings in one season without transplanting. The present Finnish technique means a decreased degree of mechanization compared to the conventional technique of modern European and American nurseries.