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Starting a nursery

Discussion in 'Nurseries and Growers' started by meets1, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. gardenkeeper88

    gardenkeeper88 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 350

    Meets1 I am at the same place as you are. I have run garden centers in the past (1983-1996). The last 13 years was spent 3 years as a maintenance manager for a local garden center landscape company, and 10 years on my own. I am at the stage that I am running 2 crews plus my truck that I fertilize 2 days a week and work with a crew or biz operations on the other days. I am having to think about another property for employee parking and equipment storage. The biggest thing I'm finding is property cost. But I am looking for 2-5 acres. The GC biz is down like the guys said due to the box stores, but i still feel it is a viable business IF you provide the services. So if your like me you either find a location to be able to expand my current operations with a major store front or jump in with both feet and retail as well. The little guy around here only gets the small landscape jobs because they give the credibility to the big businesses with the "store front" Other wise they look at all of us as every guy with a truck and trailer.
    JLSLLC likes this.
  2. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,036


    After Hurricane Charlie Blew my Nursery away I decided not to rebuild. Cost was a big factor, But the Fact Home Cheapo was building a new store on my side of town, KILLED THE DEAL for me.

    Like Allinearth said people go to the Big Box stores to buy first. They will come and pick your brain and then go buy the same plant for $ 0.50 cheaper. But it is the no question Guarantee of plant replacement that really kills the small nursery owner. BTW Home Cheapo has all those plants on consignment. The Grower doesn't get paid until 30 days after the sale is make by Home Cheapo. Then he has a hold back account for returned items that the Grower eats. Home Cheapo only eats the margin which they break even on by replacing the dead plant.

    OH How do I know about Home Cheapo's policy with growers?? I once tried to supply them. I could the Low margin High Volume thing but I couldn't take the loss of having every jerk in town returning dead plants.
  3. allinearth

    allinearth LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 614

    I saw an advertisement for Lowes mulch. They now offer a 1 yr guaruntee on mulch color. ????? Didn't see the fine print but I can just imagine some idiot rebagging all their mulch and taking it back. If you really want in the nursery business let me know. I have one for you set up and ready to go.
  4. OP

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,934

    I am getting pricing on a retail/garden center nursery. What I am doing and please tell me differently but I am pricing a new shop with 2 offices, bathroom which will be 80 x 100 - then connecting that shop with a walk way / breezeway to a NEXUS system green house which I am thinking 40 x 40 with open end side walls with sliding door for outside nursery stock, double slinding door on the rear of building with a small walkway to a "greenhouse" for annuals, and whatever else we can do. In that greenhouse, I hope, next year we can plug ourselves and be on the way.

    My goal here this spring is to have greenhouse up and signage to tell people were coming. With property, zoning, builders, plumbers, I have been working on this since alst fall and were finally getting drawings, zzoning with city and next will be banker. Takes time.

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