BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES:
Guide for Producing Nursery Crops
Third Edition
2013

BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES:

Guide for Producing

Nursery Crops

 

Third Edition

2013



Southern Nursery Association

PO Box 801454

Acworth, GA 30101

Tel: 678.809.9992

Fax: 678.809.9993

Email: mail@sna.org

Website: www.sna.org

BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES:

Guide for Producing Nursery Crops

 

The development and production of this guide was funded in part by grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through the Non-point Source Management Program pursuant to Section 319 of the Federal Clean Water Act, and the USDA's Risk Management Association (RMA) in cooperation with the North Central IPM Center at the University of Illinois. All programs and services of the federal, state, and local agencies are available on a nondiscriminatory basis without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, handicap, or disability.

 

Mention of trade names and products is for information purposes only and constitutes neither an endorsement or recommendation nor discrimination for similar products not mentioned.

 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, by any means (electronic, photocopying, recording, manual, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of the publisher.

 

Disclaimer of Warranty

Although this guide contains research-based information and the contributors and publisher have used their best efforts in preparing this publication, the publisher and contributors make no warranties, express or implied, with respect to the use of this information. Users of this guide maintain complete responsibility for the accuracy and appropriate application of this information for their intended purpose(s).

 

Limitation of Liability

In no event shall the publisher or contributors be held responsible or liable for any indirect, direct, incidental or consequential damages or loss of profits or any other commercial damage whatsoever resulting from or related to the use or misuse of this guide. Always follow label instructions and inquire with state regulatory personnel about permits and whether plants are invasive in your locale.

 

The publisher and contributors emphasize the importance of consulting experienced and qualified consultants, advisors, and other business professionals to assure the best results for producing container- and field-grown plants.

 

Availability

This publication is available in English and Spanish for viewing (compliments of USDA Risk Management Agency and the University of Illinois North Central IPM Center) on the SNA website (www.sna.org). A printed version is available by contacting the publisher.

 

Publisher

Southern Nursery Association, Inc.

PO Box 801454

Acworth, GA 30101

Tel:          678.809.9992

Fax:         678.809.9993

Email:      mail@sna.org

Website:   www.sna.org


Preface

The following Best Management Practices (BMPs) were developed as a guide for implementing proactive management practices that are necessary to produce plants with minimal environmental impact.  Some of the topics are addressed in detail while others lack research-based information needed for detail.  Additional information will be added in future updates.  Some BMPs may be very specific for your site or production practices while other BMPs may not be applicable to your situation.  Thus, a menu of BMPs is presented so that nursery operators can select and implement as many BMPs as possible.

 

Many people from universities, and nursery and allied industries have contributed to the development of these guidelines.  Input and comments of each contributor were very helpful in developing this guide and appreciated by the authors listed below.

 

Ted Bilderback, PhD

North Carolina State University

Department of Horticultural Science

Box 7522

Raleigh, NC 27695-7522

919.513.7006

ted_bilderback@ncsu.edu

 

Cheryl Boyer, PhD

Kansas State University

Department of Horticulture

3601 Throckmorton

Manhattan, KS 66506

785.532.3504

crboyer@ksu.edu

 

Matthew Chappell, PhD

The University of Georgia

Horticulture Department

211 Hoke Smith Building

Athens, GA 30602

706.542.9044

hortprod@uga.edu

 

Glenn Fain, PhD

Auburn University

109 Funchess Hall

Auburn University, AL 36849

334-844-8674

gbf0002@auburn.edu

 

Donna Fare, PhD

USDA

Nursery Crops Research Station

472 Cadillac Lane

McMinnville, TN 37110

931.815.5144

donna.fare@ars.usda.gov

 

Charles Gilliam, PhD

Auburn University

Department of Horticulture

101 Funchess Hall

Auburn University, AL 36849

334.844.3045

gillic1@auburn.edu

 

Brian E. Jackson, PhD

North Carolina State University

Department of Horticultural Science

130 Kilgore Hall

Raleigh, NC 27695-7609

919-513-3187

Brian_Jackson@ncsu.edu

 

John Lea-Cox, PhD

University of Maryland

Department of Nat. Resc. Sci. & Lscp. Arch.

2120 Plant Sciences Building

College Park, MD 20742

301.405.4323

jlc@umd.edu

 

Anthony V. LeBude, PhD

North Carolina State University

Mountain Horticultural Crops Research & Ext. Ctr.

455 Research Drive

Mills River, NC 28759

828.684.3562

anthony_lebude@ncsu.edu

 

Alex Niemiera, PhD

Virginia Tech

Department of Horticulture

401-A Saunders Hall

Blacksburg, VA 24061

tel 540.231.6723

niemiera@vt.edu

 

Jim Owen, PhD

Virginia Tech

Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Ext. Ctr.

1444 Diamond Springs Road

Virginia Beach, VA  23455

Tel:   757.363.3904

Fax:  757.363.3950

jim.owen@vt.edu

 

John Ruter, PhD

University of Georgia

Department of Horticulture

221 Hoke Smith Building

Athens, GA 30602

706.542.9059

ruter@uga.edu

 

Ken Tilt, PhD

Auburn University

Department of Horticulture

167 Funchess Hall

Auburn University, AL 36849

tel 334.844.5484

tiltken@auburn.edu

 

Stuart Warren, PhD

Kansas State University

Department of Horticulture

2021 Throckmorton

Manhattan, KS 66506

785.532.3365

slwarren@ksu.edu

 

Sarah White, PhD

Clemson University

Department of Environmental Horticulture

E-143 Poole Agricultural Center

Clemson, SC 29634-0319

864.656.7433

swhite4@clemson.edu

 

Ted Whitwell, PhD

Clemson University

College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Life Sciences

101 Barre Hall

Clemson SC 29634

864-656-5333

twhtwll@clemson.edu

 

Robert Wright, PhD

Virginia Tech

Department of Horticulture

306-F Saunders Hall

Blacksburg, VA 24061

540.231.6833

wrightr@vt.edu

 

Tom Yeager, PhD

University of Florida, IFAS

Environmental Horticulture Department

2541 Fifield Hall, PO Box 110670

Gainesville, FL 32611-0670

352.273.4574

yeagert@ufl.edu


Other individuals who made significant contributions to the development of this guide:

 

Win Dunwell, PhD

University of Kentucky

Research and Education Center

1205 Hopkinsville Street

Princeton, KY 42445

270.365.7541 x209

winston.dunwell@uky.edu

 

Frank Gouin

420 East Bay Front Road

Deale, MD 20751

 

Bryson James, PhD

Bry-J Farms and Services

2120 Red Road

McMinnville, TN 37110

 

Ron Kujawski

121 Hurlburt Rd.

Great Barrington, MA 01230

 

Adolph Laiche, Jr.

Mississippi State University

Southern Branch Experiment Station

Poplarville, MS 39470

 

Joe Neal

North Carolina State University

Department of Horticulture

262 Kilgore Hall Box 7609

Raleigh, NC 27695

 

Allen Owings

Louisiana State University

PO Box 25100

Baton Rouge, LA 70894


Craig Regelbrugge

American Nursery & Landscape Association

1000 Vermont Avenue NW, Suite 300

Washington, DC 20005

 

Mary Ann Rose

TruGreen-ChemLawn

135 Winter Road

Delaware, OH 43015

 

David Ross

University of Maryland

1426 AnSc Ag. Eng. Building

College Park, MD 20742

 

Chris Strarbuck

University of Missouri

1-87 Agriculture Building

Columbia, MS 65211

 

Mickey Taylor

Clemson University Institute of

Environmental Toxicology

509 Westinghouse Dr.  PO Box 709

Pendleton, SC 29670

 

Marc Teffeau

American Nursery & Landscape Association

1000 Vermont Avenue NW, Suite 300

Washington, DC 20005

 

Carl Whitcomb, PhD

Lacebark, Inc.

PO Box 2383

Stillwater, OK 74076


As a regional association, the Southern Nursery Association works with the state associations across 16 states.  Each state nursery association has been supportive of the development of these BMPs on behalf of the industry in their state. The state nursery associations are listed below.


Alabama Nursery & Landscape Association

PO Box 9

Auburn, AL  36831-0009

tel 334.502.7777, fax 334.502.7711

info@anla.org

www.alnla.org

 

Arkansas Green Industry Association

PO Box 21715

Little Rock, AR 72221-1715

tel 501.225.0029, fax 501.224.0988

office@argia.org

www.argia.org

 

Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association

1533 Park Center Drive

Orlando, FL  32835-5705

tel 407.295.7994, fax 407.295.1619

info@fnga.org

www.fngla.org

 

Georgia Green Industry Association

PO Box 369

Epworth, GA  30541-0369

tel 706.632.0100, fax 706.632.0300

info@ggia.org

www.ggia.org

 

Kentucky Nursery & Landscape Association

216 Pendleton Lane

Frankfort, KY 40601

tel 502.695.0106, fax 502.695.8455

mail.knla@gmail.com

www.knla.org

 

Louisiana Nursery & Landscape Association

444 Fox Trot Drive

Mansfield LA   71052

tel/fax 318-872-4677

scd357@cmaaccess.com

www.lnla.org

 

Maryland Nursery and Landscape Association

PO Box 726

Brooklandville, MD  21022

tel 410.823.8684, fax 410.296.8288

mnacma@aol.com

www.mnlaonline.org

 

Mississippi Landscape & Nursery Association

PO Box 4190

Brandon, MS  39047

tel 662.919.8111, fax 662.919.3388

haleymsnla@aol.com

www.msnla.org

 

Missouri Landscape & Nursery Association

PO Box 81

Bowling Green, MO 63334

tel 636.542.1234

admin@mlna.org

www.mlna.org

 

North Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association

968 Trinity Road

Raleigh, NC 27607

tel 919.816.9119, fax 919.816.9118

info@ncnla.com

www.ncnla.com

 

Oklahoma Nursery & Landscape Association

400 North Portland

Oklahoma City, OK  73107

tel 405.945.6737

info@oknla.org

www.oknla.org

 

South Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association

4661 Crystal Drive

Columbia, SC 29206

tel 803.743.4284, fax 803.787.2919

scplant@bellsouth.net

www.scnla.com

 

Tennessee Nursery & Landscape Association

P. O. Box 57

McMinnville, TN  37110-0057

tel 931.473.3951, fax 931.473.5883

louree@tnla.com

www.tnla.com

 

Texas Nursery & Landscape Association

7730 South IH 35

Austin, TX  78745-6698

tel 512.280.5182, fax 512.280.3012

Einfo@txnla.org

www.txnla.org


Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association

383 Coal Hollow Road

Christiansburg, VA  24073

tel 540.382.0943, fax 540.382.2716

info@vnla.org

www.vnla.org

 

West Virginia Nurserymen & Landscape Association

PO Box 20284

Charleston, WV 25362

tel 304.553.1234

wvnlassoc@gmail.com

www.wvnla.org


Appreciation is extended to the following Federal and State Agencies and industry organizations for their input:

 

Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM)

Cooperative Extension Service (CES)

Environmental Protection Agency Region IV (EPA IV)

Environmental Resource Management Research Group

Floriculture and Nursery Research Initiative

Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP)

Florida Office of Agricultural Water Policy (OAWP)

Horticultural Research Institute (HRI)

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

United States Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service

Water Management Districts (WMD)



CONTENTS

 

1     GENERAL INTRODUCTION

                           Nursery Site Selection

                                    Location of Nursery Site Within Geographic Area

                                    Considerations for a Specific Site

2     IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT PRACTICES

                            Introduction

                            Irrigation System Design

                                    Overhead Irrigation System Design

                                    Microirrigation System Design

                                    Subirrigation System Design

                            Irrigation System Management

                                     Methods of Application

                                     Irrigation Application Amount

                                     Time of Irrigation Application

                            Irrigation Water Sources

                            Irrigation Water Quality

                                     Sampling Irrigation Water

                                    Irrigation Water Quality Guidelines

                                    Management Strategies for Irrigation Water Problems

                                    Management Strategies for Water Conservation

                            Runoff Water Management

                                    Critical Area Stabilization

                                    Temporary Vegetation-Seeding

                                    Permanent Vegetative Establishment

                                    Establishment of Vegetation

                           Mulching

                                    Erosion Control Blankets and Netting

                                    Ground Covers

                                    Vegetative Zones/Buffer Zones

                                    Grass Waterways

                                    Constructed Wetlands

                                    Management of Stormwater

                            Collection Structures

                                     Volume of Water Collection

                                    Lined vs. Nonlined

                            Managing Pesticide Runoff

                                     Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

                                    Pesticide Applications

                            Equipment Operation and Maintenance for Pesticide Management

                                     Equipment

                                    Storage

                                    Mixing, Loading, and Rinsing

                                    Other Pesticide Considerations


3        CONTAINER NUTRITION MANAGEMENT PRACTICES

                            Introduction

                            Container Substrates

                            Container Substrate Physical Properties

                                    Air Space and Water-holding Capacity Measurements

                                    Handling Pine Bark Inventories

                                    Container Substrate Chemical Characteristics

                            Pre-Plant Fertilizer Applications

                                    Dolomitic Limestone

                                    Micronutrients

                                    Macronutrients

                            Post-Plant Fertilizer Applications

                            Controlled-Release Fertilizer (CRF)

                            Fertilizer in Irrigation Water

                            Supplemental Fertilization

                            Record of Fertilizer Application

                            Monitor Container Substrate Nutrient Status

                                     How Often to Monitor

                           Substrate Monitoring Considerations

                            Substrate Sampling Methods for Nutrient Extraction

                            The Pour-through (PT) and Suction Lysimeter (SL) for Monitoring Nutrients

                            in Container Substrates

                                    General Considerations

                                    Small Containers

                                    Large Containers

                            Interpretation of Substrate Extract Measurements

                                     Electrical Conductivity

                                    pH

                            Fertilizer Storage Considerations

                                    Granular and Solution

                            Foliar Analyses

                                     Tissue Sampling Considerations

                                     Taking Samples

                                    Interpretation of Tissue Analyses

4     WATER AND NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT PRACTICES

                           Introduction

                            Overview of the Water and Nutrient Management Planning Process

                            Factors to Consider

                                    Site Evaluation

                                      Collection Structures

                                       Vegetative Zones

                                    Irrigation Management

                                       Plant Water Requirements

                                    Irrigation Systems

                                    Substrates

                                       Substrate Selection and Management

                                    Plant Nutrient Requirements

                                       Fertilizer Type and Rate

                                       Plant Nutrient Requirements and Application

                                       Monitoring Substrate Nutrients

                                       Record of Fertilizer Application

                            Developing a Nutrient Management Plan


5     FIELD PRODUCTION OF NURSERY STOCK PRACTICES

                           Introduction

                            Site Selection

                            Site Development and Layout

                            Soil Amendments, Cover Crops, and Vegetative Zones

                                   Soil Amendments

                                    Cover Crops

                                    Vegetative Zones

                            Planting and Planting Density

                            Irrigation

                            Soil Fertility

                                    Dry Granular Fertilizer Application

                                    Soil Auger Controlled Release Fertilizer Application (Drill and Fill)

                                    Liquid (Solution) Fertilizer Application via Microirrigation (Fertigation)

                            Pest Management Planning

                                    Weed and Ground Cover Management Planning

                                    Weed Scouting

                                    Between-Row Vegetation Management

                                    In-Row Vegetation Management

6        CONSTRUCTING WETLANDS

                            Nutrients & Water

                            Planning                  

                            Construction & Establishment                  

                            Operation

                            Application

7     CROP INSURANCE FOR NURSERIES

 

8     REFERENCES

 

9     GLOSSARY