Horticultural Workers

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Horticultural Workers

Horticultural Workers - Overview

Nursery workers grow, transplant, and care for plants and trees for sale.

Nursery workers prepare greenhouse beds or nursery acreages for planting. They shovel, rake, and screen soil to fill cold frames and hot beds. They use wheelbarrows to haul materials, such as fertilizer and peat moss, to condition the soil. They drive tractors to fertilize, harvest, and spray plants. Some nursery workers plant grass seed or grass plugs. When the grass matures, workers cut, roll, and stack the resulting sod.

Nursery workers care for plants by pruning, removing weeds, and watering. They feel plants' leaves and note the coloring to detect the presence of bugs or disease. Workers apply chemicals to kill bugs or molds on plants. They may also trap moles, gophers, and mice that are harming plants. In addition, they graft plants and trees into different rootstock to reduce disease.

Some nursery workers spend their time caring for plants. They also regulate greenhouse conditions for optimum plant health. Other nursery workers answer customers' questions and help them select plants. They may transport large plants or trees to customers' vehicles using wheelbarrows.

Some nursery workers prepare cut flowers for shipping. They dip flowers in disinfectant, count them into bunches, and place them in boxes. In addition, workers prepare some plants for sale by digging them out of the ground and wrapping their roots in burlap or other protective materials. Some may deliver plants and flowers to customer homes.

Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.