Ideas for new yard

Discussion in 'Nurseries and Growers' started by HazellLawnCare, Jan 1, 2006.

  1. HazellLawnCare

    HazellLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 833

    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.
  2. OP

    HazellLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 833

    Ok guys almost 50 people have looked at this and no one has any ideas?
  3. Doug Z.

    Doug Z. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    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..???
  4. OP

    HazellLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 833

    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.
  5. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    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
  6. LandscapePro

    LandscapePro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    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.

    La. Landscape contractor #2576
  7. dKoester

    dKoester LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,566

    Start out with boxwoods. Easy to root. Keep them out of the sun and watered 3x a day.
  8. n2h20

    n2h20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 502

    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?
  9. Doug Z.

    Doug Z. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    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.
  10. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    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 also need vents,fans and heaters of some kind..and water piped in of course.

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