Three months on: how our seedlings are developing

Rolman Velarde at the Motacusal nursery with one the seedlings sown in October. Note the length of the roots!

It is now three months since we sowed our first seed and most of the seedlings are now 40  cm tall and ready for planting out. Together with Terry Pennington I am planning to travel to Bolivia in a couple of weeks where with Peruvian Jaime Leon  we will assist with establishing the first Inga agroforest plot in the Amazon. The only problem is that most of the community members are deep in the forest harvesting Brazil Nuts!

Below you can see how quickly Inga edulis seedlings can develop. The seedlings were sown on the 10th of October. Our main concern now is planting the seedlings out before they become root-bound. Once the roots begin to grow round the bottom of the  bags they are grown in then they can develop a cork-screw habit which will slow down their growth once planted out. It can also lead to the roots growing through the plastic and into the ground below meaning that they have to be cut prior to planting. Again delaying growth once planted out.

motacusal 3 month
Inga edulis seedlings sown on October 10 in the Motacusal community

Seedlings of Inga thibaudiana develop much more slowly. Below you can see seedlings sown on October 7. This means that the seedlings are still not ready to plant and probably wont be for another couple of months. This is something we would not have known had we not decided to trial several species. I. thibaudiana has never been trialled before but the adult trees look promising.

three months san jose thibaudiana
Inga thibaudiana seedlings sown in the San Jose community on October 7

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