You can grow a large number of seedlings/cuttings in outdoor nursery beds. These beds are fairly similar to garden beds and they can be raised or in the ground, whichever you prefer.

The only main difference is in the soil you’ll need to provide for your plants and the fact that you need to put some kind of a hardware cloth (screen) or weed barrier fabric in the bottom to keep critters out and prevent roots from going too deep.

Most seeds and cutting are planted in a nursery bed during autumn and winter and then transplanted after one or two growing seasons. These nursery beds work well for hardwood cuttings and large seeds such as chestnuts, oaks, walnuts, hickories and some nitrogen fixers with bigger seeds.

What you’ll need?

Estimated cost: $20 -$50

1. Hardware cloth or weed barrier fabric or geotextile – for the bottom barrier
2. Course sand/coconut coir – for good drainage
3. Fugal dominated soil and mulch – for creating ideal soil conditions filled with mycorrhizal fungi

  • Local forest soil
  • (Fungal) compost 
  • Leafmould   
  • (Ramial) Woodchips


How to prepare outdoor nursery beds

Estimated time: if you have existing garden/raised beds – 30 min. per standard (8ft x 4ft, 1,2m x 2,4m) nursery bed

Prepare your nursery beds just like preparing a garden bed but use the bottom barrier and soil mixture as outlined above.


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