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To work efficiently and profitably, a nursery or herb farm must be both well organised and properly managed in a clear and conscious manner. As with any business, it is essential to be confident enough to make firm decisions as and when needed.

Many nurseries or herb farm businesses can begin life on a small scale in the home garden. It's often amazing how much can be produced, and the profit that can be made from a few hundred square metres of land.
This book arms you with the basic information you need to make a start. It's easy to read, and provides a rare insight into possibilities in a way not commonly found in other books.

A revised and expanding edition of a book first published by Night Owl Press. It reflects changes in horticultural practice and botanical classification.




1. The Alternatives   form of product; growth stage; quantity; quality; selling

2. Management and Organisation   selecting the site; selecting the crop; layout; managing manpower, equipment and materials

3. Propagating Techniques; An overview sexual propagation; asexual propagation

4. Propagating Structures and Equipment    cold frames; glasshouses; irrigation; propagating beds; shadehouses

5. Propagating Materials    containers; potting mixtures, labels

6. Plant Health Problems    diagnosing problems; minimising the likelihood of problems; treating a problem

7. Seed Propagation   collecting and handling seed; where to plant; pre-germination treatments; handling seedlings; propagating ferns
8. Vegetative Propagation    cuttings; budding and grafting; layering

9. Propagation of Specific Plants    ornamentals; annuals; bulbs and perennials; fruit and nut plants; vegetables; herbs

10. Herb Production    families of herbs; herbal products

11. History of a Nursery

12. Nursery Profile

13. Herb Farm Profile



This revised second edition contains a new chapter is devoted to setting up a commercial herb farm, and deals with capital and land requirements, distribution and marketing of herbs domestically and overseas, and includes a feasability exercise for intending herb farmers. Further chapters delve into the history of nurseries and provide on both a herb farm and nursery environment. A directory at the end of the book contains references for suppliers of seed, equipment, media, etc. There is also a comprehensive glossary and easy to follow information guide to available horticultural courses.

Want to get more serious? Consider studying the Nursery Growers Course, developed by the author of this book as a starting point for establishing a small scale backyard nursery.  click for details

Other Distance Education Courses 
click for details


The first decision to make is whether your operation is to be wholesale (selling to retailers or resellers) or retail (selling direct to the general
public). Retail operations are generally more demanding in terms of time, but give a better return per plant A retail nursery or herb farm must
be attended at the advertised opening times irrespective of whether customers are there or not It is difficult for someone running a oneperson
retail operation ever to have time to take a holiday, whereas a wholesale nurseryman needs only to employ a person on a part-time
basis to do some watering when he takes annual leave.

You should aim at growing your produce for a particular market

Consider the following alternatives:

  • your local area, your region or perhaps interstate. Interstate sales (southern states in Australia) are appropriate for 'indoor' or tropical plants grown in for example, in Queensland
  • bulk users of plants such as council parks departments, housing estates, landscapers, farmers etc.
-supermarket chains and other large business organisations
-home gardeners. Even here you may decide to aim at inner suburban, outer suburban or country markets.

Plants can be sold both retail and wholesale by a number of alternative methods.

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