HRT 310: Nursery Management


  • Dr. Tom Fernandez (lead)
    1066 Bogue St, Room A216
    East Lansing, MI 48824

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HRT 310: Nursery Management

Credits and Offerings

  • 3 credits (2 lecture and 3 lab hours every week)
  • Fall semester of every year

Course description

To learn management practices for wholesale container and field production nurseries. Business development, management, site selection, financial aspects, legal regulations, production practices (nutrition, water management, pest management, pruning and training, storage and handling, shipping). 

Course objectives

  1. Develop an understanding of nursery business management (financial, marketing, personnel).
  2. Develop skills necessary to manage a wholesale nursery.
  3. Acquire knowledge regarding theory and practice of cultural and production techniques and methods.


  • Types of nurseries and industry profile
  • Determining cost of production
  • Business types and establishment
  • Laws, regulations and codes for nurseries
  • Introduction to personnel and business management
  • Site selection and layout
  • Water management and quality
  • Soil and substrate qualities
  • Technology for nurseries
  • Winter protection
  • Introduction to nursery pest management


  • Weekly labs that will implement above topics.
  • Students will learn how to operate farm equipment.
  • Students will work in groups to establish a semester-long nursery including growing plants, tracking costs, developing marketing material, mock selling of plants, and determination of profit or loss.
  • A field trip to companies in the nursery or nursery supply industry is required.