Anyone growing their own plants for installs?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by andyslawncare, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. Cloud9Landscapes

    Cloud9Landscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ca
    Messages: 558

    What a great thread, a bunch of true horticulturalists here.
    I've considered many, many times to start growing poinsettias to give to my customers at Christmas as a gift. Next year I'm going to accumulate some pots off installs to do this. The only thing that is also stopping me is a lack of space and supplies, could easily rig up a irrigation system like you guys have off the existing drip at my house.
    I'd like to grow my own shrubbery and annuals as well, if I get good at it.
  2. sgbotsford

    sgbotsford LawnSite Member
    Messages: 127

    I've got 20,000 trees right now, mostly started from 1 year old pruchased plugs, although I start a lot of my own poplar and willows from cuttings.

    You can't grow everything you sell, unless you sell a limited market. I grow most of what I sell, but I track requests, and will buy trees from other nurseries, 5 or 10 each for anything I get more than one request for in a year. On the average half of those go in a year, and the other half move to a larger pot for next year.

    I don't figure it's worth bothering with less than 300 of anything. Each batch requires individual attention in the watering cycle, althoguh I try to group similar things together.

    If you are starting lots of things, look at styroblocks. They outlast the cheap plastic cells -- good for 10 years if you store them out of the sun when they aren't working. Each block is 13" by 23" and has 15 to 120 cells in it, range in volume from 40 ml to 1000 ml. Overwintering is reasonable with these.

    Another trick: For seeds, just start them in large trays, then transplant as soon as they ahve 2-3 true leaves into #1 pots.

    I have two streams of transplant: Styroblock -> #2 pot -> #7 pail and #1 pot -> #5 pot -> #10 growbag. In each case the size differential permits good access to pack around the edges.
  3. SRT8

    SRT8 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CA
    Messages: 1,318

    In the past we have purchased 1gallon plants and transplanted them to 5gallon pots and just waited for them to grow. We buy 1 gallons for less then $3 each, and charge $50 for each 5gallon install.
    We also have purchased 15gallon trees and transplanted them to 24" boxes. We buy 15gallons for less then $30 and charge about $250 for each 24"box install.
  4. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    I guess you fellas don't get inspections from the Ag. Inspector's.
    As long as you aren't taking clippings from regiatered is okay!
    My landscape contractor's license allows me a 5,000 sq.ft. heel yard. It often will get a surprise inspection for such violations. The state will take anything that is registered otherwise. What species are you finding that has a out of date trademark for quick growth and resale.
    Other than that..........I will make my own money by taking the plants from those that have them uprooted and removed. They go right into my stockpile for resale.
    Maybe, it is a Arkansas thing only????

    Didn't want to break in and offer bad news but to those that may think this is a easy business for growers, It isn't! If you play by the rules.
  5. sgbotsford

    sgbotsford LawnSite Member
    Messages: 127

    Canada is a lot lower key about such things. Most plants are registered through COPF, and that is a self reported royalty system. The fees are low enough that it's not worth the hassle to cheat. (Typically 10 c to 50 c per plant.)

    I've never seen an ag inspector other than the county weed inspector. Our county and the one to the south share a horticulture agent. She's a resource, not an enforcer.


    How would the agent know if you had another 5000 square ft (or 50,000 square feet) yard somewhere else?

    If you buy X registered willows for resale, then, as long as you show less than X in your yard, how do they know you are in violation? Do they go through your books? (In which case I would keep my books on paper using roman numerals just to piss them off.)
  6. andyslawncare

    andyslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 812

    Poinsettias require greenhouse for winter flowers. You have to trick them to bloom at that time. I don't have experience with poinsettias, this is just some random knowledge that I've gathered.
  7. andyslawncare

    andyslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 812

    Ag inspections are here. As a grower in GA, you are suppose to have a license (I haven't gotten mine yet, because my operation is so small; I'll get my license in the spring). Here the inspections can be pretty random if you get inspected at all. They check that you aren't propagating patented plants without paying royalties.

    You have to pay royalties for any current patented plant (this is the same across the country), such as how every time you buy a knock out rose, it is in the knock out container--you pay the patent holder to buy the container, and that is how it works (at least for knockout).

    You can search patent information here:
    The google search is a good source to search cultivars, just type the species and the cultivar to check if it has a current patent.
  8. andyslawncare

    andyslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 812

    First cold frame built!
    I've since amended the soil and moved some things in there. I have irrigation, heat wires (in the mail), and automatic openers (in the mail), a thermatic vent on the back wall, also has a min max wireless temperature sensor inside. Investment=~$150

    Rooted Sky Pencil Hollies, Lantana montividensis, chapel hill lantana, soft touch holy, some new types of daylilies (I just bought 9 new varieties on ebay), gardenia radicans, gardenia august beauty and rooted soft touch holly inside now. Rooting inside is purple heart, homestead purple verbena, variegated dwarf boxwood, and some other stuff too. Its packed full, I need to add onto it already.


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