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Moosa Creek Blog
NOV
27

Behind the Scenes

Creekside Chat

 Since 2004 Su and Hank Kraus have turned a backyard operation into a respected business through incredibly hard work and a clear vision.  A group from Fallbrook Land Conservancy were recently treated to a tour. Let’s peek at what happens at Moosa Creek Nursery.

Many of the over 400 species of native plants are grown from seed. Collected seed must be separated from the hulls, chaff or pods mostly by hand or by  a custom made machine . Sometimes Su can be spotted sorting seeds outside on her lunch break, allowing the wind to whisk the chaff away. Sprouting may be triggered by fire, drought, or by passing through an animal, so some seed needs pre-treatments prior to planting. Su has experimented with heat, liquid smoke, water and more to see what triggers growth in the most stubborn species.

Other plants are grown from cuttings taken from mother stock at the nursery. Two stalwart women spend the days processing bushels of plant stems. Young plants live in greenhouses under very specific watering, humidity and heating requirements before being repotted and hardened off under a shade structure.

On Mondays the retail side takes inventory at the outlets which sell Moosa Creek plants and fill customer special orders for delivery by Friday. The wholesale branch fulfills large orders, often for thousands of a specific species. Many of these orders are for restoration work.

Why isn’t the nursery open to the public? It is very easy to spread pathogens by walking through fungal spores or bacteria, or by using contaminated pots, seed or cuttings.  Spreading a contagion such as the water mold phytopthera could devastate a backyard or a restoration project. Moosa Creek is meticulous about sanitation, from seed to sale. Everyone entering the nursery must walk through a chemical foot bath. Tools and work areas are carefully sterilized. Seed sources must show their history. The plants you buy from Moosa Creek have had the best possible care.

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