SPERI LIVELIHOOD SOVEREIGNTY MECO-ECOTRA ECO-FARMING SCHOOL MEKONG DMP
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FK Follow-up activities: nursery method sharing session by Vieng Phet
05/10/2014
 
On the 21st of September 2014, Vieng Phet (K2A student) organized a practical sharing session in the HEPA nursery. The purpose of this sharing session was for Vieng Phet to share one nursery method that he has learned during his FK internship in Myanmar with nursery-related staff and students in HEPA.

It concerns growing and managing seedlings in a way that saves water and time. The method is very simple and very practical during the dry season and in case of limited nursery labour.

Materials:
- A big sheet of strong plastic without holes. For a garden bed of 1x4 meters, Vieng Phet used a sheet of about 1,5x5 meters.
- Hoe or shovel
- Water hose
- Seedlings in plastic bags filled with soil. The bags should be at least 10 cm high and the seedlings at least 25 cm (i.e. not very young seedlings with weak roots).
 
Method:
- Choose the area where you want to keep the seedlings (not far from a water tap), the size slightly smaller than the sheet of plastic.
- Dig out a shallow hole (10-15 cm deep) in this area, as the opposite of a garden bed. Make sure the bottom of this hole is completely level and the sides are straight, without curves.
- Make the edges around the hole a bit higher than the paths around.
- Spread out the plastic sheet on the bottom of the hole, with the tips on the higher edges so that it covers all and water inside cannot run out.
- Fill the bed with 1-1,5 cm of water and check whether the surface is indeed level. Adjust this if necessary.
- Place the bags with seedlings in the water inside the ‘garden bed’, close together so they don’t fall down.
- The seedlings will now slowly take up the water from the bed. Refill the bed with water when the level is low. How fast the water level drops depends on the weather and the seedlings.
 
Notes:
-  This type of ‘seedling bed’ doesn’t need soil (except inside the seedling bags), so it doesn’t necessarily need to be set up as a garden bed in the soil. Any flat area with upright edges will do, as long as it’s close to a water source and easy to take care of. Setting up high edges (by soil, wood or other material) around a flat area of land (instead of digging out the land) is also possible.
- Don’t use this design for small, vulnerable seedlings because their roots may rot if soaked in the water.
 
Advantages:
- During dry and hot seasons, this method will make it very easy to manage the seedlings and make sure they have enough water at all times. Watering seedlings by watering can, hose or sprinklers can take a lot of time and water. With this method, the seedling bed only needs to be filled up with a hose sometimes.
-  Because the seedlings are not kept on the soil and among other trees, it can prevent weeds from growing into the seedling bags.
 
Disadvantages:
- As it requires a big plastic sheet, the method may be more expensive than a normal soil bed.

Written by: Miriam van Muijlwijk  
A few pictures attached
 







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