The nursery plays a vital role in helping the plantation unit achieve its production target. The objective of the nursery is to supply high-quality and vigorous seedlings to the planting unit.
In 2020, Sapulut had re-designed and upgraded its existing nursery facilities. The upgrade was to accommodate and produce a larger planting target with higher quality seedlings. The main improvement of the nursery is as follows:
- Potting media changed from topsoil mixed with composted sawdust to cocopeat.
- Potting medium changed from a polybag system to a tray system.
- Shade house and open area fitted with irrigation and bench system to elevate the seedling from the ground.
Cocopeat provides a sterile medium in which Sapulut can sow into its seedlings.
Cocopeat helps eliminate any soil-borne pest and provide more consistent growth as the fertiliser and nutrients supplied to each seedling are controlled with no input from the media. Moreover, cocopeat provides a more porous media with higher Air Filled Porosity (AFP) which is less dense than soil and sawdust. This process allows for quicker development of plant roots.
Another improvement is replacing the old polybag with the BBC plotting trays.
This allows for better growing conditions for the seedlings and saves a large amount of space. The cells within the trays contain root trainers, which encourage downward root growth, reducing the chance of spiralling roots. With the trays, the handling and transport of seedlings are much more efficient as the trays hold many seedlings. These trays help done the estimation much more efficiently as each tray has a set number of seedlings. The removed cells within trays can conduct spacing. This allows for more space for seedling growth during the later stages of their developmental stage.
Constructing a shade house to place the seedlings during the germination and early transplant stages.
When the seedlings achieve a certain height, they will move to the open areas for continued growth, exposing the full sunlight to the seedlings. Installing systematic irrigation in both the shade house and the open spaces allows for more watering control by seedling batch sizes. The constructed benches are functioning to place the trays upon them. This construction also elevates the seedlings to not direct contact with the ground, reducing the probability of pest and disease attacks.
With the new facilities, observing the nursery’s production and quality have improved. This result will directly help the planting and maintenance team achieve our production targets and grow the next rotation of trees.