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What does a Nurseryman do?

Cassie L. Damewood
Cassie L. Damewood

A nurseryman, also known as a gardener or horticulturist, is certified to grow, care for and sell plants. These plants may be of one species or type or may include a variety of flowers and foliage. Common plants found in a nurseryman’s greenhouse or store include trees, bushes and flowers. The plants may bear vegetables, fruits, berries or nuts or be strictly ornamental varieties.

Some nurserymen own their own greenhouses or nurseries. Others work as employees in these environments. Those with degrees in horticulture may work for local or regional parks and recreation departments as well as teach their craft to others in educational settings.

A nurseryman grows and sells plants.
A nurseryman grows and sells plants.

Depending on his level of education and training, a nurseryman may also be involved in plant breeding and hybrid development. His responsibilities frequently encompass experimenting with flowers and fruit and vegetable plants to increase their yield, improve quality or enhance their resistance to pests and diseases. He may also research and incorporate methods to make plants more amenable to diverse soil mixtures and increase their tolerance to climate changes.

In commercial settings, he is normally required to advise customers on plant care, disease prevention and pest control. He is commonly called upon to advise on residential and commercial landscaping projects. In these cases, he typically recommends trees, shrubs and ground cover varieties based on customer preferences for levels of required care and how much irrigation is required for the plants to prosper.

If the nurseryman is in charge of the greenhouse facility, his duties customarily extend to the design and maintenance of the buildings, grounds and irrigation systems. He is commonly expected to have knowledge of pesticides and nutrients and how to use them safely and productively. A significant part of his job may involve researching solutions to problems that arise concerning propagation and disease control.

A nurseryman who is in charge of the nursery or greenhouse may also schedule, manage and supervise a crew. He customarily trains them in care and maintenance programs. The employees are generally closely monitored to ensure their treatment, storage and transportation of the plants meet the company’s quality standards.

A high school diploma or equivalent are commonly required for an entry-level nursery or horticulture position. To become a certified nurseryman, candidates can complete programs offered by their region or state. Some companies involved in horticultural research and development may also require a nurseryman to have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in horticulture or a related field. Classes in plant cultivation and agriculture are normally offered at junior colleges and technical institutes and may increase chances for employment if the applicant lacks experience in the field. Nurserymen frequently gain the bulk of their knowledge through on-the-job training as formal or informal apprentices to experienced professionals in the industry.

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    • A nurseryman grows and sells plants.
      By: Daria Filiminova
      A nurseryman grows and sells plants.