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Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Nursery Crops

Landscape, Nursery and Urban Forestry

The 2009 Massachusetts Best Management Practices Handbook for nursery production was the result of a joint project involving the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation, the Massachusetts Nursery and Landscape Association and the UMass Extension programs at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

BMPs are an industry-driven effort to maintain agricultural production in a proftable, environmentally-sensitve and sustainable manner. BMPs are not meant to be regulatory, as every farm operation and site is different and may require special practices. BMPs are meant to provide guidance as to practices that can be implemented on most Massachusetts nursery operations.

BMPs are an evolving tool to provide producers with the latest guidance to benefit their operation.


Originaly compiled by Tina Smith and Paul Lopes, University of Massachusetts Extension

Edited by:

  • Weed Management - Randall Prostak, University of Massachusetts
  • Pest Management - Robert Childs, University of Massachusetts
  • Disease Managment - Dan Gillman, University of Massachusetts
  • Energy Conservation - John W. Bartok, Jr. University of Connecticut
  • Soil Conservation - reviewed by Thomas Akin, Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS)
  • Composting - reviewed by Gerard Kennedy, Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
  • Nutrition - reviewed by Dr. Douglas Cox, University of Massachusetts. Revised in 2014 by Geoffrey Njue, University of Massachusetts

The Nursery BMP Manual was reviewed by a Grower Advisory Board consisting of Pat Bigelow, Bigelow Nurseries, Inc.; Wayne Mezitt, Weston Nurseries, Inc.; John Kinchla, Amherst Nurseries; Fred Dabney, Quansett Nurseries; Jim McBratney, Sylvan Nusery, Inc.; and Rena Sumner, Executive Director, Massachusetts Nursery and Landscape Association.

Nursery BMP Manual

Overview of BMPs and Types of Nurseries Adobe PDF icon
Establishing Field Nurseries: Regulations, Site Selection, Water Management Adobe PDF icon
Container Nurseries, Horticulture Distribution Centers: Regulations, Site Selection, Water Mgt. Adobe PDF icon
Nutrient Management (revised 2014) Adobe PDF icon
Fertilizer Storage and Handling Adobe PDF icon
Field Nurseries: Nutrient Management (revised 2014) Adobe PDF icon
Container Nurseries: Nutrient Management Adobe PDF icon
Soil and Tissue Testing Service (University of Massachusetts) Adobe PDF icon
Interpretation of Soluble Salts and pH Measurement by Extraction Method Adobe PDF icon
Soil Conservation Adobe PDF icon
Massachusetts Prohibited Plants Adobe PDF icon
List of Prohibited Plants Adobe PDF icon
Worker Protection Standards (WPS) Adobe PDF icon
Pesticide Storage Adobe PDF icon
Pesticide Licensing Adobe PDF icon
Integrated Pest Management and Plant Health Care Adobe PDF icon
Disease Management Adobe PDF icon
Weed Management Adobe PDF icon
Wildlife Management Adobe PDF icon
Organic Waste Management, Composting Adobe PDF icon
Inorganic Waste Management Adobe PDF icon
Energy Conservation for Greenhouses and Field Nurseries Adobe PDF icon
References, Resources and Links Adobe PDF icon


Mention of trade names and products is for information purposes only and constitutes neither an endorsement of, recommendation of, nor discrimination against similar products not mentioned. Although this guide contains research-based information and the contributors have used their best efforts in preparing the guide, the contributors make no warranties, express or implied, with respect to the use of this guide. Users of this guide maintain complete responsibility for the accuracy and appropriate application of this guide for intended purposes. In no event shall the contributors be held responsible or liable for any indirect, direct, incidental, or consequential damages or loss of profits or any other commercial damage whatsoever resulting from or related to the use or misuse of this guide. The contributors emphasize the importance of consulting experienced and qualified consultants, advisors and other business professionals to ensure the best results for producing