Purple carrots, black Russian tomatoes, yellow zucchini – having a nursery to grow your own seedlings means you can grow wonderful heirloom varieties that are often hardier, easier to grow and far more exciting than conventional varieties available at a typical nursery retailers. It also means you can have seedlings that are vibrantly healthy and ready for planting right when you need them.
We built our nursery out of recycled materials – the frame is made from old hardwood timber fence posts while the shelves are pre-loved ACR fencing. The nursery faces northeast to give them as much sun as possible. Sheeting on the south and west sides protects them from strong winter westerly’s and southerly winds, while sheeting on the roof shields them from heavy rain and hail.
We went for clear polycarbonate sheeting, as it allows full light into the nursery and to surrounding fruit trees. It was also a free material we re-used from another building site.
We’ve also wired the north and east side to protect them from hungry cabbage white butterflies and birds. For those hot summer days, white shade cloth can be rolled out over the roof to keep them cool and stress free.
An automatic timer waters them at the end of each day with water from our water tanks. And the floor of the nursery slopes slightly so that water runs off into the water loving blueberry patch – brilliant!