View Full Version : Flats

06-12-2003, 06:14 PM
How much do you guys pay for a flat of annuals. I'm paying about $12 to $16 here and charging $30 to buy and plant. I think I'm too low but I can't see people paying more for these small flowers. Do any of you guys grow your own?

Green in Idaho
06-12-2003, 08:32 PM
Originally posted by grassyfras
I think I'm too low but I can't see people paying more for these small flowers. Do any of you guys grow your own?
They are not paying more for the flowers. They are paying more for your service of

Your time to select them
Your time to pick them up
Your time to deliver them
Your knowledge of which flowers where
Your knowledge of how to design
Your knowledge of planting them
Maybe some fertilizer too?
Your time to plant them
Your time to water them in
Them NOT having to worry about it
Maybe a guarantee as to them surviving
And they are contributing the your business' profitability.

Don't worry about charging too much. If they think it's too much they are perfectly capable of jumping in their car and getting their own and planting them. And a business, don't feel bad if some people choose to do just that.

As far as additional pricing info, one ought to adjust your prices for volume. The 20th flat ought to be less than the 1st flat. And if they are buying only ONE flat or a small number consider an additional service charge just for the TIME & PITA of getting a small qty.

Even IF you grow your own (flowers that it not herbs) then you should still charging the same to the customer.
$30-$45/flat easily. I've seen higher. It's based on qty, selection, size, distance to nursery...etc

Customer wants ONE flat??? = consider $45+$30 service charge. Yup that's HIGH! It encourages them to go do it. Or have a minimum qty to make it worth your time. Because IF you do it for any less $ you are going to lose $ = an opportunity cost. You could be digging holes or laying pipe and making that money instead of picking out pansies.

If you have a division or a person that specializes in just flower installs (and maint) in which case they are at the nursery anyway, and they are not sitting with $25,000 of equipment on the curb....then a rate like $30 can work well- it's competitive and and more buyer friendly. Even with $30 that $15 for your labor to plant them, fert, & water...

How long does in take YOU
to plant 10 flats?
What hourly rate do you have for expenses?
What labor rate do you want?

06-12-2003, 09:22 PM
I pay $7.50 each for all annual flats and usually charge $30 to plant each flat.

06-12-2003, 10:23 PM
Green and Idaho- Thanks great post. That makes me feel better with my prices. I think I might start charging at least 35 to 40 per flat now with a 2-3 minimum plus materials and try to sell them on fertilizing. Again great post.

NCSU- How are you getting such low prices on flats? Do you get a big contractors discount?

06-12-2003, 10:33 PM
I buy for $8 a flat. Install for $30. If I'm in a prepped bed already to go, I can put 40 flats in a day, no problem.


06-12-2003, 10:42 PM
Originally posted by grassyfras
NCSU- How are you getting such low prices on flats? Do you get a big contractors discount?

Thats the price for 100+ flats per year.

gene gls
06-12-2003, 10:46 PM
I pay $8.00 per flat wholesale.


06-13-2003, 07:23 AM
I try to stay away from flats and plant only 6" plants. Green ib Idaho is right, make sure you charge for your service.

Green in Idaho
06-13-2003, 11:49 AM
Grassyfras, you also ought to be getting a contractor's price at a quality nursery. Pony packs are pretty much the same from nursery to nursery unless they seed and grow their own. Most in my area get them from the same grower. So I would look for discount pricing. But don't expect it just because you are a contractor. You pretty much need to be doing some volume with them, like the above pricing for 100+ flats.

For the next flower project you do, be sure to time the different steps in the whole process. Just like knowing 40 flats in one day (8hours) = 5 flats per hour= 12 mintures per flat. Round it to 15minutes. If you need $30/hour for labor that equates to $7.50 of the total price just for labor to stick them in the ground.

BUT you need to do that with YOUR times and YOUR costs.

That says nothing about the time it takes to prep the bed, and everything else....

Happy planting.

06-13-2003, 07:20 PM
Thanks for the advice guys. I'll try to time myself a little more closer then I did before and just kind of guessed at how long it took me. I do get a contractors discount of anwehre from 10% to 20% depending on where I buy them. I start looking for more of a volume discount.

06-14-2003, 06:34 AM
I pay 8$ a flat-I charge 30-40-planted(depending on amount)-and more for fert-I used a slow release flower fert from Lesco and broadcasted before planting and it seems to be doing great-Vinca is not doing so good with all this rain-Harry

Gene $immons
06-15-2003, 10:42 AM
The flats I buy here are $11.00. I charge $40.00 per flat. I also have a bulb planter drill bit which works well for planting annuals. I got it at home depot. 3 man crew can install 1 flat in about 1 minute with that tool.