Contract growing


LawnSite Senior Member
Lexington, KY 6
Went to the Columbus CENTS show this week and was talking with one of the growers from Maine and they offered me a 20% discount on their prices for contract growing and was wondering if anyone does that here or would do that. If you haven't heard about it here is a brief summary. Sounds like a great idea for some larger companies that put in alot of the same trees every year and can estimate how many they need one year ahead of time. There are some obvious risks but for myself being the size I am, I can be certain that I will put in so many Red Sunsets, Legacys, Birch, Ash, etc. per year and saving a good amount of what I pay now and having guaranteed pricing and availability seems like a great idea to me. And if I need more than what I contracted, I could buy at a lessor discount.



LawnSite Member
Contract growing is very popular here, especially amongst the re-wholesalers. The real estate has gotten so expensive that very few growers are left in my area. The few who are left are using contract growers to supply their 'nurseries.' If I drive 50 or 75 miles (or more) I can get a common 3 gal. shrub for $10 or less. The re-wholesalers (using contract growers) are charging anywhere from $14-18 for the same plant. It has gotten so bad, that some retail garden centers are no more expensive than the re-wholesalers.

I have always thought that landscape installers in a geographic area should form a co-op, so they could at least partially bypass the re wholesaler, and buy the plants from the grower. If you had enough landscapers, you could contract-grow enough of the common plants to purchase them at less than catalog prices. The downside is the co-op would need a yard to store and maintain the plants until each contractor took delivery.

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