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HazellLawnCare
01-01-2006, 10:51 PM
I am wanting to start a nusery to contribute to my lawn and landscaping business. I have a 140' x 200' area to start with. I actually have 20 acres but I have a really nice and flat area of that size right next to our shop so I want to start small on it. I am wanting to put a 60' greenhouse and keep a nice selection of plants and trees. I will also be building 5 bulk bins to keep topsoil, mulch, rainbow rock, inch creek rock, and 2.5" creek rock in. Do you all have any suggestions for my setup? I think I know how I want it but I am open for new ideas. Also what kind of stock would you suggest to have a nice selection? I know that if people come and are impressed with the selection they will talk. I will appreciate any and all help as I am looking to get started in the next couple of weeks, I want to have the greenhouse up and going in time to buy plenty of stock from the wholesalers to sell this spring.

HazellLawnCare
01-03-2006, 02:24 PM
Ok guys almost 50 people have looked at this and no one has any ideas?

Doug Z.
01-03-2006, 02:51 PM
I'm in the same boat as you are by the sounds of it. I want to start growing some of my more commonly used shrubs, rather, buy them as bare root and pot them my self. First off, I'm trying to decide when I should do it, and how big I should start. I've got 31 acres, 27 of which I rent out to a local farmer. My house and shops sit on 1, so that leaves me about a 3 acre piece to put this on. I'm just trying to figure out what is the first step I need to take.....I was thinking, since I already have a place that I bring in topsoil, mulch, and left over gravel, Im going to start by planting some trees this year, maybe next year get the nursery part up and running... who knows..???

HazellLawnCare
01-06-2006, 06:32 PM
I am really curious if a coldframe greenhouse will work fine for spring perennial sales? I am needed to know if this will be fine. I also need to know a good wholesale place to buy perennials from since I won't have time to grow them myself this year.

sheshovel
01-06-2006, 07:52 PM
Exactly your not going to have time this year.!st thing I suggest is you sterilize your potting medium by putting it under intense heat of composting or cooking somehow.Then I suggest you need a plant resale licence and then you need to go around and find some growers willing to share some info and sell you some stock.Remember not all plants grow true and you can't just take somebodys rose they developed and breed and sell it,that's why they are registered and numbered and named.I suggest you do a bit more research into how the industry works before taking off on it.You also need to find out what state or county inspections are required and what all licences you will need to do this deal

LandscapePro
01-09-2006, 12:24 AM
HLC & Doug,

First of all sit down and take a series of deep breaths!

You're wanting to enter the worlds of "retail" and "grower" both are very very different from the world in which you exist now.

I would suggest both of you leave the growing of nurserystock to those growers who've invested their life's work into that profession. That is unless you want to change professions.

There is a lot more to growing nurserystock that sticking a liner in a bucket and waiting. The timeframe from liner to finished product is much longer that you think and there's many many steps in between.

Growing is a 24/7-365 operation not a sideline.

As far as setting up a retail nursery / garden center, that can surely be done. However, you'll need another staff to run it. Yes, family members count as staff.

In either case, get a large piece of paper and start drawing things to scale after drawing the outline of your property. You've got to think years down the road to be able to expand without screwing up the works.

Everything must "flow" properly in order to be efficient. This includes people, raw materials, hardgoods, power, water, gas, etc. etc. With the margins the way they are in the commercial growing industry today, if you aren't efficient you're not going to make it. At least not for long.

In the garden center you'll want to choose lines that aren't available to the mass merchants. Fertilome and Greenlight come to mind.

Get in contact with one of the major hardgoods suppliers and horticultural brokers in your area. Have them send a salesman buy and listen to his thoughts on what you have in mind.

For the record, we've been in business for over 30 years as a retail nursery / garden center. We also have over 200,000 sq. ft. in production as a wholesale greenhouse operation. I do landscaping and irrigation, but it's a completely separate business.

I'll be glad to answer any questions if you guys want to discuss them.

Mike
La. Landscape contractor #2576

dKoester
01-09-2006, 12:43 AM
Start out with boxwoods. Easy to root. Keep them out of the sun and watered 3x a day.

n2h20
01-09-2006, 02:26 AM
I have thought about opening a shop for years.. I plan on it hopefully in the next 4 years. I am mainly pond and water gardens so the only plants i will grow would be aquatic and maybe a FEW others. SO i am interested in the topic.. What are some of the 1st things we should do..(besides the ones sheshovel sugggested) obviously decide what products you want to sell, and the layout of the store,,, but what else?

Doug Z.
01-10-2006, 03:38 PM
Thanks for the info she and Mike,
I used to be the yard manager at another nursey about 10 years ago, so I hear you as far at the time it takes goes. As far as man power, I do have the fact that my mother in law retired from farming in November, and is already looking for stuff to do, and this would be right up her alley. Right now, if I were to start it, I would basically do it to be able to supply my customers that I install for. 75% of the time, when I go and bid a job, I get asked where I get my plants from. As for the mulch, stone, and topsoil, those I would like to be able to sell to anybody.
One more question. I live in WI, do I need to have a hoop house to start with?? The only time they are used around here, is either for perenials, annuals, and sometimes shade plants. Otherwise they are only used in the winter. I have a barn that I can put the plants in when they go dormant otherwise, to protect them from the elements.

sheshovel
01-12-2006, 08:00 PM
I have seen quansit hut greenhouses made from schedual 40 PVC pipe and fittings for a frame and set in cement.They are easy to make and reasonably priced,then they are covered with heavy mill plastic and shade cloth.you also need vents,fans and heaters of some kind..and water piped in of course.

Keegan
01-16-2006, 06:05 PM
sell plants that other nurseries in your area don't. Get a niche. Every nursery I've been to sells the same plants such as marigolds, impatients, rhodendrums, etc. I've yet to see a nursery sell Joe Pie Weed or Hollyhocks.

bsmithalc
01-17-2006, 01:30 PM
I guess I'm in the same boat as some of you guys and gals. I graduated 3 years ago and worked on the maintenance side right out of college, but I've always wanted to start up a retail/garden center. I'm not even wanting to grow the plants, just buy the wholesale and maintain. There are so many questions I have but just don't know where to start. I was wanting to have a little place that offers plants for landscapers around and some unique plants as well. Want to offer mulch material, sand, pine straw, the whole bit. Statue's, water fountains, etc. There is alot more to this than you think:eek: but I would really like to try. Another thing against it is I am in a smaller town setting than I'm sure most or you are. Just wondering if some of you own your own place and do you shop online, or are there some good publications out there or what? Right now the maintenance side is getting very boring:sleeping:

sheshovel
01-20-2006, 12:50 AM
Well,the 1st place you start is figure out how much $$ you have to start up your idea.Then see if it is something that is needed where you are or not.Is there a Wall Mart or Home Depot or Lowes right close.?.if so you will never be able to compete in plant sales Where,how much room you would need and how much commercial zoned places are going for..if you want to rent or buy or if you are going to do it off your own property..do you need to get the zone changed to commercial retail so you can legaly do that kind of buisiness off your own property?.You can find that kind of info on your county website.How much $$ is it going to cost you to get off the ground with stock and place to sell out of insurance ect.
Then you will need a resale licence,a licence to conduct business and a plant selling licence in some areas.also
liability insurance in case somebody falls or hurts themselves while in your place of biz.
Once you have all that worked out and on paper
how much are you going to have to sell and for how long to get the start-up money back in your pocket?
If those #'s are to your liking THEN you can start to call companies and speak to rep's about what kind of discount on what materials they can sell to you for and do comparisons to get the most for your money.
Then you need to look at all of that info together and see if you really still want to do this or not.

bsmithalc
02-17-2006, 10:44 AM
Thanks for the insite Sheshovel. I checked on the majority of what you said. There is a Lowe's and a Wal-mart nearby but I'm thinking of starting out in bulk materials first and then moving on to plants if everything goes well. I want to start out by moving material like lawn and mason sand along with a couple of other grades of sand, stone gravel and crushed stone, mulch and topsoil, things of that nature. I got a couple of prices on things and wanted to see if they were comparable to what was in you guys region. I can get lawn sand for $9 per yard. Mulches vary with the different kinds but it would mainly be cypress and pine bark they run $35-45 per yard.

I'm also thinking about doing field stone and flagstones. The ones I'm looking at run from 16-34 cents per pound. I know some go for a lot more than that but I'm not looking that far ahead yet. I can also get 3/4" crusher run stone for $22 per yard. I would just like to see how these numbers compared to some of you guys.

Also I saw on another thread someone talking about using the concrete barriers for building storage bins. I'm looking into doing that to but the prices down here for those barriers are ten times what smeone said they were up north. They're $150 per block down :dizzy: here so I may have to go in another direction. Thanks for any help in advance!

muddy00
02-17-2006, 01:07 PM
That's what we Retail our Mulch and Natural Stones for around here. Concrete blocks $25 a block but had to truck them 30 miles, that added to the cost.