Notes to broadcasters
Information on this topic was requested by DCFRN Participants in Bolivia, Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Kenya, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Uruguay.
Before using the information in this item, please note that it is entirely directed to farmers who have no local forestry agency where they can get seedling trees for planting. If trees are available to your farmers at little or no cost, you should probably decide not to use this item. If the information is pertinent, however, please use Items 1D, 2 and 3 in the correct numerical sequence. Also, please read the Notes at the end of this item concerning other related DCFRN items.
1. This item (Item 3) is the third of three items in this Package on the subject of farmers planting trees.
2. In the third paragraph of this item, there is a reference to the type of seedling bed described in other DCFRN items. It is suggested that information in these items be used in association with this item. They are:
“Vegetable Gardening” — Package 7
Item 2 (part 2 — “Planting Seeds in a Garden and in a Seedling Bed”)
Item 4 (Part 3 — “Care of Seedling Plants in a Seedling Bed”)
3. The use of compost figures prominently in this item. It is therefore suggested that information on compost contained in another DCFRN item also be used in association with this item. It is:
“Making Your Own Compost” — Package 2, Item 4.
* For Information Sources, see Notes of Item 1D.
We at this radio station are part of a world-wide information network that gathers farming information from developing countries all over the world. It’s the Developing Countries Farm Radio Network, sponsored by the Canadian International Development Agency, Massey-Ferguson and the University of Guelph.
Through this Network we bring you information on ways to increase food supplies for your family, or to sell — ways that other farmers have used successfully.
Once again, let’s talk about planting trees. Here’s George Atkins with some information on raising seedling trees in your own nursery.
Atkins We’ve already talked on this program about deciding what kinds of trees to plant and how to gather and prepare tree seeds for planting. What you now have to do is to plant those seeds in a place where they can start growing, that’s protected from the wind, from too much sun, and where you can be sure that they get enough water to start them growing well. You must start them in a seedling bed, then later, when your seedling trees are big enough, you can transfer them to the place where they will grow into large trees.
Now, as seedling trees should be planted out at the beginning of the rainy season, you should start planting your seeds long enough beforehand so that the small trees will be ready for transplanting at the right time.
There are two ways to raise your seedling trees. One way is to prepare a seedling bed much the same as you would for growing seedling vegetable plants. In it you plant your seeds in rows and when trees from them are big enough, you transplant them to the place you want them to grow permanently. You do this more or less as you would transplant vegetable seedlings into your garden. When doing it, you should keep the roots undisturbed in the soil that they grew in and transplant roots, soil and all into the final planting hole.
David Coyle and Andy Kenney are foresters who have worked at Kanye in Botswana, and when I met them they told me about the other method of growing seedling trees.
— Instead of planting the seeds in a seedling bed, you grow each seedling tree separately in its own container of soil. — All the containers are placed close together in a special area where you can carefully look after them like you would look after a regular vegetable seedling bed or plot. This becomes your seedling tree nursery.
With all the seedlings close together like this, they can easily be shaded from the sun and protected from the wind; also they’ll be conveniently placed for watering regularly as they grow.
But what about all these containers for growing the seedling trees in? In some places people buy plastic or cardboard cups, but David says there are lots of other things you can use that won’t cost any money.
It’s nice to have a pot like this if you’re growing a tree because if you’re going to be taking the tree any distance to plant out, you won’t disturb the roots as much if you’ve got them growing in a nice pot. — So a banana stem, or if you’ve got some fairly strong leaves and you want to sew them together to make a little pot, you could fill it with nice soil and plant your seeds in that.
You should put some pebbles or small stones or something in the bottom to keep the holes open to let the water out.
If you make your own compost, it’s always good to mix it with your soil so your mixture is 1/3 or 1/2 compost, because it holds a lot of nutrients, it holds a lot of moisture and it can really give your little seedling tree the boost (start) that it needs before you plant it out in a field or a planted area.
So, grow your seedling trees in containers that are large enough that the roots won’t get too bound up inside.
Serving “Agriculture, the Basic Industry”, this is George Atkins.
Interviewees: David Coyle, c/o Kantor Bappeda II, Watampone, Kabupaten Bone, Sulawesi Selatan, Indonesia.
Andy Kenney, c/o Department of EnvironmentalBiology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1, Canada.
* For Information Sources, see Notes of Item 1D.