A commercial nursery business requires a business license which is a rather lengthy process. In many cases zoning ordinances dictate possible uses for land. Normally, a nursery business would be considered an “agricultural use”, but in some cases it may also be interpreted as “commercial”, “agribusiness”, or some other classification. Permits regarding establishment of green houses must be taken before erection of a green house, storage building or warehouse for storing materials and equipment required in a nursery. A nursery business may require a property hazard insurance, workmen’s compensation if you have paid employees and general liability insurance if you expect visitors to your nursery. Nurseries in some areas may have to fulfill the government agricultural inspection requirements as per the body governing the area. Permissions are also required from the local authorities for availing electricity, water and other facilities.
Investigation of Potential Market for Plant Nursery
1. Nurseries under Horticulture Board Development Programs sponsored by State Agricultural Departments, Medicinal Boards, etc. produce plants for home gardens, landscaping, reforestation, and other uses. It should be decided as to which type of plants the nursery would produce, like the container grown, bare root, or root balled plants, etc.
2. Production of sufficient quantities of good quality material in order to satisfy the customer needs is essential. While producing more than the requirement may lead to unsold surplus which may cause losses to the nursery unit.
3. Advertising is costly but effective in horticulture nursery business. Marketing and advertising strategies must be preplanned to support each other and the business.
Site Selection for a Nursery
The site land should be suitable for nursery purpose. It must be laid out appropriately. It is also necessary for the site to have a good access for customers to reach the nursery.
Some Other Resources Required:
1. Seeds/Seedlings/Saplings/Budlings: The best quality pure planting materials are brought from authorized and well known sources.
2. Containers: This may simply be “peat cups” for seasonal vegetable or flower nurseries, or plastic pots and containers for growing potted shrubs and ornamental trees.
3. Landscape Fabric, Mulch, and Soil Conditioners: These resources are also required in nursery business and made available by registered stores.
4. Equipment and Implements: The various equipments and implements are required in a horticultural nursery. These may be bullock-drawn; man-operated or powerdriven. One should not depend on a single type of power. Small tractors with suitable trolleys, spray pumps, dusters, sprinklers, cranes, etc are very useful in nursery operations. These facilities can be bought, borrowed or hired on contract as and when needed. But the hiring, borrowing and sale agencies should be nearby and reliable.
5. Education and Knowledge: Educating oneself about the local growing conditions and the probable problems which may come up in the future must be considered and taken care of prior to venturing into the nursery enterprise. Interactions with the local landscapers and entrepreneurs could help to find out what items are in demand in the specific area. There are “staple” plant products commonly used in an area, but these are commonly available with all nurseries. The most unusual plants which are being requested must also be considered. Indigenous species which could be used as garden plants should be considered as they can be acclimatized with minimum environmental impact. A detailed study of the plant species to be grown and the time required for their growth in order to be ready for the market must be studied. Ornamental plants grow fairly fast in the right conditions, but they may still take a year or more to be ready for market. Trees may take 3 to 5 years, depending on the size and species, when propagated from seed.