Yesterday I had the annual WV Department of Agriculture Nursery Inspection on my hardwood cutting bed in Romney, WV. The inspection itself only lasted about five minutes because I have a very small back yard setup at the moment. But I did learn a lot from the inspector.
The only plants that I have at the Romney, WV location are hardwood cuttings. Hardwood cuttings are cuttings that you take when the plants are dormant in the middle of winter. I simply dip the cutting in rooting hormone and stick it in the sand and let them be. Most of the plants leafed out in the spring and were doing fine until we hit a drought in July. I do not have a watering system set up, so I lost about a third or more of the plants due to lack of water.
Before the inspector came I removed all of the dead cuttings that didn’t take root or that did take root, but later died because of the drought and no irrigation on the bed. I also weeded the beds. The inspector is only looking for disease and pests on the live plants that I will be selling, so by removing the weeds and dead wood, it will make his job easier.
The inspection itself only lasted for about five minutes. He looked at the plants really quick, found no issues and that was that. We then talked for over an hour about many various topics. He stated that his job is to help educate and answer questions more than anything else. He said that on occasion he does find pests and he helps the nursery owner find the right remediation techniques to get rid of the pest.
The inspectors make an effort to not feel threatening and that is the exact experience that I had. He was a super nice guy that seems to really love his job and want to help the people that he serves. He gave me his card and told me to call him any time that I have a nursery related question.
One little nugget of information he gave me is a web site called National Plant Board. When you go to that site, there is a tab called Laws & Regulations and under that tab is a link to a page called State Law Regulation and Summary. This page gives the laws and regulations for each state regarding the nursery business. This past year was a pain for me looking up each individual state to see if I could ship a certain plant to that state, so this site will save a LOT of time.
WV Department of Agriculture nursery inspection process is done on an annual basis. There are three inspectors for the state of WV and they divide the state up into thirds, so you usually get the same inspector every year.
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