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Pricing and installing seasonal color?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by syzer, Jul 17, 2001.

  1. syzer

    syzer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,272

    I am now offering this as a full service. I really like color and am doing everything I can to learn about it. I wish there was a huge book out there on all the annuals and planting ideas. However I have a hang-up and its pricing. I am never really comfortable giving estimates so here is my questions.


    If the ground needs prepping (which I plan to do on almost all of them except the ones that are already taken care of) how and what do you guys do? I figure worst case scenario till in compost and fert? But for most of them I assume just adding some fert while planting will suffice. What type of fert do you guys use when planting begonias, pansies, petunias, etc.?


    How do I know how many to plan in a desired are? Say it is 10x10 (100sq ft) I want these things tightly packed for impact of the color, how many ? Do you guys just go from experience?


    I have been trying to read up on pricing and know that many contractors just double the price of the plant, but is that enough. Like in a mag I read does that cover your experience, your planning, fuel to pickup, fert, and replacement if they croak? What do you guys do with this?


    Do you offer a package? Example: Plant x amount of begonias, mulch, fert, come back to remove weeds monthly, spray for insects, replace dead flowers, come back in two months rip out color and install another color?

    Thanks allot for the input!
  2. syzer

    syzer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,272

    Anyone =(?
  3. Comet

    Comet LawnSite Member
    Messages: 165

    I have a spec sheet on the amount of plant material needed in an area in my Bissett Nursery Catelog
    Dont know how to get it to you though.
    Ill try scanning later if I get time or otherwise theres lots of books out there (like I have here) tons of books ,even home depot sells good books
    The ortho's All About Trees, Grass
    Sunset:Annuals & Perenials,
    Better Homes & Gardens Landscaping
  4. bam

    bam LawnSite Senior Member
    from .
    Messages: 261

    Is this for residential or commercial sites?

    Regardless, our company focuses on installing "blocks" of color or dedicated landscape beds for seasonal color.

    First prep the bed by tilling it. If there have not previously been flowers, add a soil amendment and till it in to "fluff up" the bed. Rake the bed out so its ready to plant. Don't ask what type of spade, shovel, or trowel you need, because if you prep the bed right, you should be able to "dig" a hole for the plant with your hand...Add a 14-14-14 slow release fert., Lesco carries it, and finally plant the flowers. Applying the fert. first allows it to fall into the planting hole around the roots making it very available to the plant.

    Make your perimeter planting evenly spaced and straight, however inside plants can just be quickly planted, since the display will soon fill in leaving only the edge of the bed visible to passerbys.

    If you have enough interest try and find a greenhouse or nursery who will grow and sell the plants to you. 4" pots are a great size to work with for the landscaper, but aren't offered at garden centers for fair prices, if the garden center has them, usually they only carry market packs...You need to buy wholesale to offer your customers a decent price.

    Keep your plantings simple. Use a few colored petunias, a few mixed colored impatiens, a few colors of vinca. While there is celosia, marigolds etc that the homeowner can care for, you will not be able to maintain them well in a commercial setting...also people don't care what kind of plant it is, they just want an awesome display of color...so plan accordingly...

    and water and price for watering...once the plants are established, either charge for additional watering, or write down that the customer is responsible to keep them alive...

    Price will vary based on your costs...

    Consider your labor, cost of plant material, cost of equipment(tiller rental or purchase), spade, hard rake, fertilizer, "soil", disposal fee for all your empty flats...

    Also, are you planting yourself or do you employ 1 or 2 guys...We use 3 men per crew. At min. get in 100 flats/day.

    As you can tell, we plant alot of flowers.
  5. KerryB

    KerryB LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 661

    Hey Thom,
    I have tried to find a web site for Bissett nursery.
    Do they have one? Wanted to order that catalog with the spec sheet.
  6. kels

    kels LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 280

  7. thill

    thill LawnSite Member
    Messages: 245

    I can help with how many to plan for a specific size. I got this a couple of years ago by asking the same question. Hope it helps.

    Spacing .... Plants per square foot
    4" ................ 9
    6" ................ 4
    8" ................ 2.3
    10" ............... 1.4
    12" ............... 1.0
    15" ............... .65
    18" ............... .45
    24" ............... .25

    Ground Cover Spacing ...
    One flat of 100 plants will cover:

    Inch Spacing ... Square Feet
    4 ................. 11
    6 ................. 25
    8 ................. 44
    10 ................ 70
    12 ................100

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