Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by cutbetterthanyou, Mar 26, 2007.

  1. cutbetterthanyou

    cutbetterthanyou LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,178

    I posted this in the nusery section and no one has probelly seen it, but here it goes again. Maybe someone that didn't see it there can help. I was wondering what was involed in starting a nursury/greenhouse that doesn't sell to the public. What I am intrested in is putting up a green house and getting 2-3 maybe more kinds of plants and selling to places like walmart, lowes, home depot, or maybe some very large nurseys that don't have the space or time to grow a certain type of plant. Has anyone on here done anything like this? What does it involve? Do you make any money at it?
  2. Focal Point Landscapes

    Focal Point Landscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 401

    Contract growing is fast becoming the domain of the big boys - incredibly high cost of entry with low margins . The only way to make it profitable is to deal with very large quantities. It is labor intensive , even with automated irrigation, etc. The big box companies can be very demanding and hard to deal with - you will do everything precisely by their rules or they won't accept your plants . If you don't have a lot of available acreage with abundant water supply and a lot of financing , I wouldn't try it . It can take a year to grow a plant from a liner to a one gallon size , obviously much longer if you are thinking 3, 5, or 7 gallon. By the way , has anyone ever told you that your screen name is offensive and does not encourage help from others ? Are you really the best mower in the world ?
  3. cutbetterthanyou

    cutbetterthanyou LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,178

    Thanks for the advice. Actually with the screen name you are the first. I am sorry it offened you it wasn't derected toward you or anyone directly if it was it would be "cutbetterthanfocalpoint' which I would never do. I have had a couple people tell me they wish they thought of my name they thought it was funny. The only reason I did it was because this is the first forum I have been on and I am talking to people I don't known, which kindof worried me at first w/ all the weird o's out there anymore (maybe I just watch too much tv) but I didn't want my name on here at first anyway. I tried my bussiness name but it was already taken. As far as "am I the best mower in the world?" I doubt it, but I do try to tell myself I am. This way in the back of my mind i keep tring to out do the othiers not in profit but by doing the best job I can possibly do. It is just ontheir way I motavate myself. I really didn't think anyone would have a problem, but the more I am on here the more I learn about the green industry, and people, so with all that said sorry.
  4. yamadooski

    yamadooski LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 434

    I wouldnt try to sell to the big box stores! You are in some deep competition with all the wholesale place here in Florida.
    Im talking some the biggest,hugest growers in the world are in the Miami area and some only grow for the the big guys.
    I called one place because the great price and the min order had to be $5k.

    If i were you. I would start the greenhouse and sell retail.
  5. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,406

    Most of the big box stores are having the growers care for the plants at the stores and the plants are on consignment, which means if they don't sell or they die, you don't get paid. Growing and selling of plant materials is a very time consuming business in itself. It's one thing to keep some stock around for your installations, but to attempt to grow and sell commercially is a full-time business.

    I keep 1 12' x 20' overwintering house and a larger field for laying the containers out during the growing season and that is almost more work than I can keep up with. You have irrigation, fertilization, pesticide and herbicide management to deal with as well as having the right plants at the right time. A greenhouse is only typically used for propagating or overwintering plant material as the heat of the summer can roast most plants kept in a house, unless you have thermostatically controlled fans and someone to open the doors and/or rollup the sides. Do you have a deer problem where you are? If you have deer and your are growing, you will have a deer problem, unless you fence the entire area with appropriate deer fence. You can use the greenhouse frame to drape shade cloth over for any plants that need shade to grow.

  6. Focal Point Landscapes

    Focal Point Landscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 401

    One thing you can do on a small scale is to set up an area or shade house where you can keep your own private stock of plants (eg. if you find a good deal on plants or remove one from a clients yard, etc.) , learn how best to grow and maintain them and include them in the design of a future job. My local nursery regularly sells less than premium plant material at drastically reduced prices , even as low as one dollar per plant if I buy them all. I usually have 100 - 200 plants and find a way to incorporate them into subsequent plantings. I do it because it is enjoyable to me and its a good way to learn more about plant care. But ,even on that small a scale , it is a pain to keep them watered , fertilized , pruned ,etc. Still would be a profitable way to see if you really like that sort of thing.

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