I watched gardeners world recently and heard the concept of a nursery bed for the first time.
I was just wondering what are the benefits to having a patch of land dedicated as a 'nursery bed'?
One thing has come to mind when I, say for example, receive plants which I do not know where to put at the time of receiving them. So I guess it would be advantageous to have a plant hotel area for short stays
I do not see any advantages of sowing seeds in a nursery bed as opposed to within plugs/containers within my polytunnel but that may just be because of I have yet to learn about any.
I have often thought about a nursery bed, too. I have thought about it for the reason you mention, to use as a holding place until I figure out where something will go. I have also considered using it as an experimental bed, for things that I am not completely convinced I want or not (barring that it can be moved after a year or two with no major concern). Additionally, it could be used as a holding place for grafted trees and cuttings, in essence, a propagation bed. I actually have a spot picked out on the east side of my house for that purpose.
"Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you." ~Maori Proverb
I'll start with a caveat: Not all plants deal well with transplanting.
For those that do well with transplanting, a nursery bed can be of great benefit.
Some need frequent nursing early on. If they are kept together, in one place, they are easier to tend than if they were scattered around the property. Having a central nursery near the house, where you can keep an eye on these plants on a daily basis assures that they will get the required attention.
With annuals, you will probably have some that are finished early in the season. When they are finished, you will have maturing new plants in your nursery that are ready to fill the vacant spots.
Also, if you plan on selling some of your 'starts', it is nice to have them all together. You can select which ones you will keep, and transplant them at once. The remainder can be potted up as needed for farmers markets, or other sales.
I think that if you have the space for a starting nursery, you will quickly see some of the other advantages as time goes on.
i have more than a few nursery beds in my propagation area near the greenhouse. i used them this last fall to start 10000 onions and 5000 leeks. in a very small space of 4x8'. i use them to root tons of cuttings, one of them is full of peach pits from last fall, they should be sprouting soon. i really like to use them for cuttings of perennial plants. these beds reduce the bill of me buying plants from a nursery 100 times over.
The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings. - Masanobu Fukuoka
That is a really big piece of pie for such a tiny ad: