College publications are given 2-part "pub numbers" that are used to identify them. The first part (the prefix) is a set of letters that indicates which series the document belongs to. A series is a grouping of documents that share similar content. The second part of the pub number is just a sequential number.
In descending order, by date published.
The nursery business involves the production and marketing of various plants including trees, shrubs, grasses, perennial and annual flowers, and fruit trees. A landscaping service, garden center, or sod farm may also be associated with a nursery enterprise. A successful nursery operator must be knowledgeable about all phases of plant production and be willing to work long, hard days. Good marketing and management skills are essential. A passion for ornamental plants and an entrepreneurial spirit add greatly to the chances for success.
Propagation nurseries produce pre-finished plant material (liners), such as ornamental trees, shrubs, and grasses, fruit trees, and annual and perennial flowers. Plants are propagated either by seed or by vegetative means, such as by cuttings, grafting, or tissue culture. Some nurseries specialize in growing and selling pre-finished plants to other growers, making propagation their sole business. However, some wholesale nursery operations have their own propagation areas where plants are produced for in-house use.
Field nurseries are the traditional method of producing and marketing ornamental trees, shrubs, fruit trees, and perennial flowers. Until the mid 1900s nearly all nursery crops were produced in the field. Even with the advent of aboveground container and pot-in-pot production, field nurseries are still widely used. Some of the advantages of field production over other production methods include: less maintenance and labor requirements during the growing period, ability of plants to overwinter in the field without additional protective measures, and lower start-up costs. In Kentucky, most field-grown trees and shrubs are sold as balled-and-burlapped (B&B), meaning that the soil surrounding the plant's root system is dug with the plant and wrapped in burlap.
The container nursery business involves the production and marketing of ornamental trees and shrubs, fruit trees, and perennial flowers grown in aboveground containers. This production method has helped revolutionize the nursery business in the last few decades. Some of the advantages of container production include: less acreage required for production, handling convenience, and a nearly year-round harvest and planting season.
"Pot-in-pot" describes a nursery production system that uses containers (production pots) placed inside permanent in-ground containers (socket pots). Pot-in-pot is used for the production of caliper-sized shade trees, flowering trees, and large shrubs. The pot-in-pot system combines many of the benefits of field production with the marketing flexibility of container production. Container-grown plants can be sold at any time of year and with relatively short notice, whereas harvesting of field-grown plants requires more planning and is typically not done during the summer or extremely wet periods.
4/14/2014 (minor revision)
Authors: Cheryl Kaiser
Growers who plan to market their agricultural products as "organic" or "certified organic" must first be certified by a USDA accredited certifier. Certification, required by federal regulation, provides third party verification that the grower is complying with production standards regulated by the National Organic Program (NOP). Annual inspections and detailed record keeping are required for continuing certification. These strict regulations are meant to protect consumers by ensuring that all organic producers are adhering to the same set of uniform standards.
4/18/2013 (minor revision)
Authors: Cheryl Kaiser
Books can be obtained from the publisher (known links are provided), by ordering through a local bookstore, or by ordering through an industry trade magazine (books are generally advertised in each issue). Book sources can also be located by searching the Internet using the title as the keyword.
6/28/2012 (minor revision)
Authors: Cheryl Kaiser
Wildcrafters who want to harvest materials outside their own property lines need to know there are laws which protect other privately owned property and public areas from unauthorized harvesting and trespassing. Poaching, the illegal taking of wild plants or animals, is a serious problem in Kentucky. Not only are there legal ramifications, but poaching is also responsible for the decline in selected native Kentucky plant species, such lady slipper orchids. Some plant species are protected by state and/or federal laws. Even plant material collected and sold from personally owned property is not without its legal restrictions.
High tunnels, also known as hoop houses, are relatively simple polyethylene-covered greenhouse-like structures built over ground beds. High tunnels can be used to extend the production season and marketing window of a wide variety of crops. They have been used in Kentucky to produce early season vegetables, cut flowers, brambles, and strawberries. High tunnels can also make it possible to produce leafy greens and herbs during the winter. Shaded, well-vented high tunnels can be used to grow some cool-season crops later into early summer.
6/6/2012 (minor revision)
Authors: Cheryl Kaiser
Whether collecting for personal use or for commercial sales, wildcrafting has the potential of adversely impacting our native plant populations. While the effects of collecting NTFPs are not always as obvious as, for example, harvesting timber in logging operations, some wildcrafting activities can cause subtle but lasting damage to the forest ecology.
Kentuckians have been collecting plant products from forests, meadows, and other natural habitats for generations. This practice, commonly referred to as wildcrafting, is a tradition in many areas of the state, especially Appalachia. Plant materials other than timber that are harvested from the forest are generally referred to as non-timber forest products (NTFPs) or special(ty) forest products. Although often collected for personal use, many wildcrafted materials also have commercial value and could offer a means of providing additional income.
Agritourism is any commercial enterprise that combines agriculture and tourism on a working farm, ranch, or other agribusiness operation. The Commonwealth of Kentucky defines agritourism as "The act of visiting a working farm or any agricultural, horticultural, or agribusiness operations for the purpose of enjoyment, education or active involvement in the activities of the farm or operation."
Season extension techniques can be as simple as selecting early maturing varieties; or they can be a more complex combination of multiple methods. Regardless, the objective is to extend the growing season by producing earlier crops in the spring and/or push production later into the fall and early winter.
A greenhouse is a "tool" that can be used to facilitate the growing of plants. Generally, the tool is fitted for the job, and not the other way around. Growers need to determine what plants will be produced before making a decision about the type of greenhouse needed to accomplish the job. Depending on the crops to be grown, a conventional greenhouse may not even be needed. Instead, a simpler structure could more economically extend the growing season into spring and fall. For example, if the primary target is an early start date for farmers markets, row covers or a high tunnel may be quite adequate to handle the job.