How to Make a Vegetable Nursery Bed

By Mulopi Joseph, chairperson CELAC Mayuge farmers’ network

A nursery bed is a specially prepared portion of land put aside for raising seedlings. It acts as a temporary home for young plants until they are eventually planted in a permanent garden.
Seeds which need extra care should be grown in a nursery. Also, it is less costly to sprout your own plants especially vegetables ed to make a nursery bed

Fork :For removing any unwanted materials from the garden
Hoe:used for tilling and removal of weeds
Spade:for carrying soil,weeds a
Rake:Used to remove any unwanted rubbish
Water can:For watering the plants
String and sticks:For measuring to ensure proper spacing

Site selection
The nursery should:

Be located near the planting site so as the transplants are taken to the main garden without any damages that may be involved where distances are long.

  • Be located Near a water source because irrigation may be necessary
  • Be protected from strong wind

  • Not be located on a slope unless it is terraced since this may lead to erosion of not only the necessary top soil but the plants as well.
  • Face where sun comes from as crops need some sunlight for better growth
  • Not to be located in a water logged area

    Establishment preparation

  • Clear all the weeds and grass
  • Measure one meter wide of any convenience length
  • Dig it well
  • Fertilize each three meters square with one wheelbarrow of compost and sand to make a seven cm layer
  • Water the bed

    Planting seeds

  • Plant your seeds in rows
  • The lines must face where the sun raises from

  • Make the lines at a spacing of 15 cm apart
  • Use a string to make straight lines

  • The line must be 2 cm deep
  • The size of the seed is the size of soil you put or cover the seed with

  • Mulch the bed with dry grass, then water it using a watering can with a nozzle on it


  • The seeds will start germinating after 5 – 7 days

  • Remove the grass and then put a shade over the bed
  • The bed is 1 m high, cover it with grass but let some sun light go through


  • Water the bed whenever it is necessary
  • Avoid over watering the nursery bed for it can cause stress and compaction

    Results of water stress

  • Slows down photosynthesis
  • Wilting

  • Prevents adequate transport of nutrients

    Results of over watering

  • Compaction and suffocation
  • Creates an environment of damping off diseases

  • Also prevents transportation of nutrients
  • Leaching of nutrients from the soil

    Diseases caused by fungus

    Seed decay before germination

  • Seedling rot
  • Stem rot at the base


  • Mulch the seed bed
  • Provide enough shade to the crop

  • In case of no or limited rain, provide water at dawn and dusk
  • Thin the crops properly
  • Remove weak seedlings and plant them in another bed

    Seedlings will be ready for trans-planting within 21 –30 days. So remove the shade a day before trans-planting as this gives the seedling chance to get used to the strong sun-shine. This term is referred to as hardening.Reduce water at this stage

  • Trans-plant early in the morning or late in the evening (from 6 – 10 am or 4 – 6pm)
  • Spacing will depend on the type and variety of the vegetable that has been planted

  • Water the plants as soon as trans-planting is done if planting has not been done during a rain season.
  • Protect young crops from animals like pigs by placing dry thorn tree branches around the garden.

    Nursery bed

  • 45 responses to this post.

    1. Please oh please keep writing! Your articles are wonderful!


    2. Posted by Otuli Munlo on February 20, 2008 at 12:23 pm

      I would liek to use thsi article in a women’s supplement here in malaiw. Is that fine?


    3. Posted by Otuli Munlo on February 20, 2008 at 12:23 pm

      I would like to use this article in a women’s supplement here in malawi. Is that fine?


    4. Hallo Otuli Munlo
      It is okay that you can use the article provided that you state the source.

      Aside that, is your supplement online? Could we get copies or better still, can you avail us a URL to where we can access this and previous supplements? … Maria Nakirya – Program Manager, BROSDI


    5. Posted by Ensa Touray on September 24, 2008 at 12:40 pm

      I would like to use your article to help us in designing a project for Women’s Horticultural Garden that we envisage to set up soon.

      Can I use it? How can we be in touch?


    6. Posted by Daniel Kivaya - from Kenya on October 30, 2008 at 5:00 am

      Thank you for the good notes. I wish to make this observation, the hardening period given is so short and the seedlings are seriousily likely to have a great shock in the main field.
      Otherwise the notes are quite good.


    7. Posted by Alex Suah Mulbah on August 24, 2009 at 3:07 pm

      thank you for your shared knowledge. this very good for the world as a whole.


    8. Posted by ADEBISI WASIU on January 23, 2010 at 5:33 am



    9. Posted by N,Noel on May 25, 2010 at 6:56 am

      its nice articles please keep on wrtting so that we can facilitate our farmers in Tanzania


    10. Posted by Noel on May 25, 2010 at 6:58 am

      its nice articles please keep on writting so that we can facilitate our farmers in Tanzania


    11. Posted by AKORA .B on October 30, 2010 at 12:01 pm

      thanks for that good information you have prepared for us students who seek for such very important academic material. keep it up.


    12. Posted by SAMEER on February 13, 2011 at 4:56 pm

      i would to interesed to grow comercial nurserybed,i have agriculture student please some guideline to initiate business in this segment.


    13. Posted by SAMEER on March 13, 2011 at 6:05 am

      I would like to initiated nursury raising bussiness on commercial part of view & sellingg seedling in local market,crop like chilli,tobbaco,brinjal,tomato.
      Please help to send buyer list exporter list by mail.My nursury location charotar region-anand district-middle gujarat……….


    14. Posted by jun on December 1, 2011 at 7:39 am

      Thank you so much for the information. It gives much idea.


    15. Posted by Neyo90 on December 4, 2011 at 6:41 am

      Keep on writting your articles are great,kip it up.


    16. Posted by Onen godfrey on December 19, 2011 at 7:54 pm

      Wonderful article.send more


    17. Posted by Wilson on December 23, 2011 at 6:34 pm

      Hi an very grateful for information i got about seed bed thanks.


    18. Posted by godspower on January 20, 2012 at 8:42 am

      pls i’ld like to have feeds of this website


    19. Posted by Afetorgbor Stephen on February 23, 2012 at 12:10 am

      this is perfect guideline


    20. Posted by Namuge Racheal on March 20, 2012 at 9:52 am

      i’ve really learnt alot from this article and would like 2 use it for an examinable presntation. is it okay?


    21. Posted by noah on March 27, 2012 at 1:07 pm

      I really love your information.It is really useful for plant lovers like me.Keep on writing because i know that others out there would love your information.8)


    22. Posted by Kyaka Alfred on June 28, 2012 at 5:35 pm

      The definition is superb.


    23. Posted by Joseph Mulopi on August 11, 2012 at 10:07 am

      Dear readr i made a mistake with the hardenig part; i put a day which is not so, it is 7 days before transplantig……Mulopi Joseph.


    24. Posted by kilama patrick otukene on September 26, 2012 at 11:33 am

      ooh wonderful page, pliz keep helping us , may i know the website of these page


    25. Posted by dorothy moriango on November 8, 2012 at 3:07 pm

      hi, am a student doing a degree in agriculture. am doing my research and this information has been of great help, thank you


    26. Posted by Morish on December 14, 2012 at 11:58 am

      Generally,i do appreciate that information so much as an agronomist that one contribute a lot to our farmers and hence their livelihood is to be improve much more better thanks and you must maintain that where possible you can invite us to give help Morish Agronomist at victoria seeds limited


    27. Keep on advising us on how to make change on our gardens


    28. all always be following u in each and every innovation that u will be coming up with


    29. Posted by Henock fantahun on April 7, 2013 at 2:06 pm

      I appreatiated a lot for giving this information for better & clear understanding on how to prepare vegetable seed bed.


    30. i love this, they find solution for my problems.


    31. We thank you for the good work and wish to establish collaboration and astrong partnership in delivering services to ovcs and their households.
      Our website is
      Thank you

      God bless you

      Boaz Buyinza
      Foundation for Aids orphaned children


    32. Posted by nanyange gloria on September 30, 2013 at 7:22 pm

      It’s great information ,it was of great help


    33. Posted by Opiyo Daniel on March 14, 2014 at 2:12 pm

      Wonderful explaination, but pliz may u add more about east-west orientation over north-south orientation of nurserybed?


    34. Posted by Damalie on August 1, 2014 at 11:08 am



    35. Posted by oceng louis on December 1, 2014 at 9:19 am

      Am very glade the i got access to to this site.For only today ,i happen to get alot of new knowledge in my life.i thank you people for openly giving these kind of knowledge to the comunity.i strongly believe that this will help many youth to stary their own bussiness rhrough opening their farm with this kind of abandon free knoledge you are airing out for them on a young man who have just finished studied from an agricultural college one tear ago but there is nothing like work.with this knoledge i got today from your sit,it gave me a very high interest of planting onion next year.i believe if i continue visiting your site ,then nothing will defeat me in growing vegetable .am very happy of you all may God bless you .amen


    36. Posted by Omara Boniface on April 1, 2015 at 12:24 pm

      I am really impressed by your article and i think this will help me out as i start supporting my APFS (Agro-Pastoral Farmer Field School) in nursery bed establishment and planting since we are done with the site selection criteria.


    37. Posted by Fred on June 26, 2015 at 9:37 am

      It was so educative
      thank u


    38. Posted by DHAGOMBA BAKALI on September 15, 2015 at 2:29 pm



    39. Posted by musimami gerald on September 21, 2015 at 3:14 pm

      oh man God bless u for the work done of highlighting farmers on agriculture tips which can make them to improve on the yields of their vegetables.


    40. Posted by leonard on January 3, 2016 at 3:42 pm

      i like and i will do it ,


    41. Posted by Yohannes on August 20, 2016 at 2:23 pm

      I have been working on Small Scale irrigation on facility part, design, construction and contract management. Currently I am working on capacity development on SSI- engineering and Irrigated agronomy part. I found your article brief, and easily understandable. I will try to use it with proper acknowledgment.


    42. Dear Joseph Mulopi, I have read your article this year and I find it very useful for gardening. However, in order to minimize fungal infection and depending on the size of the nursery one can water the area with boiled (100 Centigrade) water or spray it with copper based fungicide. Otherwise am real grateful for this article.


    43. Posted by gebeyhu haile on May 18, 2017 at 12:41 pm

      it is good idea as horticulturist thank you


    44. Posted by BEINEMBABAZI BENJAMIN on May 30, 2017 at 4:36 am

      Thanks so much….am also a farmer


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