Plant nursery hygiene is an important part of the nursery plant production process to control plant diseases and insect pests as well as to correct problems that might come up involving irrigation and plant access to sunlight. Also, keeping an inventory of plants and maintaining your tools in order allows you to keep track of what plants you have available to sell and what tools you have at hand.
Remove Dying or Diseased Plants
Remove all dead or dying plants even if they are receiving the same treatment as the healthy plants. All the clippings should be burned or completely removed from the nursery and garden area and should not be composted.
Remove plants that are showing signs of disease even if you are not sure they will die. There is no reason to keep a plant hoping it will return to good health when the plant can spread a diseases to the entire nursery and you could lose the whole inventory.
Clean Tools and Containers
Clean tools by rinsing with clear water then soaking in a solution of one part bleach and nine parts water. Wash buckets, used flower pots and containers that hold soil or irrigation water with warm soapy water and let air dry.
If you have irrigation lines, run a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water through the irrigation lines very slowly, for 30 minutes. Remove the irrigation lines from the plants so that the bleach solution will not enter the planting pots or landscaping plants growing in the ground.
Weeds easily become a vector for diseases. Insects use weeds to hide from predators or pesticide sprays and they can easily move from weeds to the desirable nursery plant. Removing all weeds from the nursery area will eliminate much of this problem.
Walkways that are covered with gravel or landscape cloth can become bare and expose the soil underneath. When this happens, water can stand and create mud that becomes a hazard for nursery workers. Also, it allows disease pathogens that are present in the soil to migrate from the soil to the planting areas on shoes as well as on garden tools.
Repair Tables and Plant Stands
Work tables should be repaired while cleaning the nursery because they are important for holding plants for pruning and potting. Also, plant stands for displaying nursery products and those that prevent plants from blowing over in high winds should be secured and repaired to prevent plant loss and breakage in high wind situations.