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Growing your own stock

Discussion in 'Nurseries and Growers' started by meets1, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,931

    Who does this? How do you do it? Where do you grow at (in shop, garage floor, greenhouse). HOw much do you plant/plug? Gotta get things rollinig for next spring and were talking already how were going to do things. ITs our first year as a nursery/garden center and things went over well but we were late to the game with greenhouse goinig up, flowers ordered, nursery stock ordered etc.
  2. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 20,412

    just interested
  3. OP

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,931

    A lot of views but no comments?
  4. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969

    Florida is totally different from Iowa so try and get local advice.
    But here goes a very simple over view.

    First you need land that has both Electric and Water. In your case Green Houses My case SHADY trees or Shady houses.

    I started by first having a holding yard for planned installs. If I needed 20 of the same 3 gallon plants, I purchased 25 or 30 so I had replacement if some went bad. Slowly I accumulated plants over the years until I reached the point of actually having some inventory.

    I found it was better for me to purchase certain plants and Propagate only those easier plants. There are in fact short term plants that have a lower profit margin but turn over quickly to create CASH FLOW. Next are the Medium fast growers with a higher profit margin but maybe a years turn around time. Of course Trees become high dollar long term projects that might be better considered as retirement planning. Proper space planning is important so Trees that grow big will have room when mature yet other plants can be grown between them especially went young.

    Growing Nurseries work on a high volume low profit. It takes a huge investment and high risk to be successful. I took a one year course at the local Voc Tec on Nursery Management before trying to start a nursery.

    The down side is Mother Nature can wipe you out with a multitude of Natural occurrences. Hurricane Charlie was my down fall just as I was in the process of going full retail. BTW Crop Insurance is available but at a price. Looking back, I couldn't afford the insurance and still of made a profit. Of course I am out of the Nursery Business now because of Hurricane Charlie. Plus add in the Big Box stores That sell plants cheap and Guarantee them. That is your biggest competitor in the Nursery business. People will come to you for advice and go to home cheapo to buy the plants because of the Guarantee we can't afford to give.

    The real profit in having a retail Nursery are the UP SELLS. Installs and Maintenance are where the money is. By having a retail Nursery you raise above the Average Yard Boy and can get more work at better prices. I have both Pesticide and Irrigation licenses which really put me a leg up on the up sells.

  5. OP

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,931

    Ric - I agree with you on the installs. IF anything having our own stock this year has helped greatly. We sold a ton of flowers but we wholesaled them. My designer who is also hortoculturist knows her stuff. She want to start plugging. But with that you need heat, shop space, the "special" lights etc. To cold to greenhouse them here.

    So looking for advice, no how, to do and what not to do type of thing. 78 views and really no responce.

    But in terms of one legging up the local yard boys - it is true. This is my first year in the retail nursery thing and I am amazed that now people ask us about landscaping, seeding, fert/squirt programs. So maybe I am stepping up the corporate ladder alittle!
  6. OP

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,931

    I think we are going to try our pernials this year. Start with plug in march some time, maybe split some stuff we have already that may be left over and see how things go. $3-4 of investment plus a little labor just might pay off.
  7. allinearth

    allinearth LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 614

    Ric gave good advice and is spot on. Look for little things that give you a leg up. Buy staple items in wholesale in gallons and bump to 3 gallon. Split grasses and perennials etc. Try not to invest too much in any one area or crop. A small retail garden center may be the toughest business out there to be successful. And yes the big boxes are tough to overcome. People have a perceived notion that they will be cheapest and will not even give you a chance. They (boxes) get in during peak seasons, sell cheap then get out when sales aren't there having no inventory to upkeep. I've also heard that they make warranty claims fall back on vendors. Wouldn't that be nice.

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