Growing stuff. Have you got a favorite plant? Do you like fast growing things like flowers and vegetable starts. Or have you got the patience to start shrubs or trees from cuttings or liners/plugs. One thing I have done is our local Home Depot had a huge sale on a bunch of gallon Pieris, Holly and some dwarf Alberta Spruce. $1.88 each. My wholesaler sells them for around $2.25 each. I bought them took them home and shifted them up to 2 gallon pots and have been selling them for between 8 and 10 dollars for two years. This fall I shifted them up again into 5 gallon pots and will sell them for $13-$15 next year. These are third year plants now. I’ve paid for them with the first 20 plants I sold and will end up making around a thousand dollars on those one hundred on sale shrubs. This is the patience part I was talking about.
If you like fast think about bedding plants. There is a lot you can do with them. You can sell them in six packs, 31/2″pots or 4″ pots. If you have any sense of color or artistic flair (I have neither but my combos keep selling) you can put several plants into a combo. The bigger the pot the bigger your return. To a point of course. There are some things that sell very well in a 31/2″ pot for very good money. Some of them are things like wave petunias, trailing mini petunias (Calibrachoa, calis) Bacopa, Diascia, strawflower, lotus vine,lobelia,sweet potato vine and another hundred different types of plants you buy in as liners/plugs. Liners and plugs are usually patented plants that are grown by huge wholesale growers strictly for the retailers out there. You can go to companies like Park Seed Wholesale and look at their plug and plant lists to see all of the different thing available in varying sizes and different price points.
Most of these plugs are bought in 50 or 100 cell plug flats. A flat is a 10″x20″ plastic tray that has anywhere from 12 to 512 plugs in it.You pay somewhere around 50 to 75 cents each and at the higher price it will include shipping and a tag. The smaller the plug the lower the price. If you order a 512 flat of Lobelia you will pay around 5 cents a plug. That’s only $25 for the whole flat. Imagine that 5 cent plug in ten cents worth of pot and soil,then think of what you can sell them for. With Park Seed you can order as little as three or four flats of fifty plants (each flat is one variety) and have them delivered for $125- $175. You decide when you need them so that your pots or baskets will be ready during the growing season and they will deliver on your date. Another way to order plants is to find your local plant broker. They don’t really make you broker and you don’t pay them any more for your plugs than you would pay the grower. In fact most large growers will only sell through a broker. In the Pacific Northwest I use a broker called Wehop. Western Horticultural Products. You can find them online along with another fifty or so other brokers. I have been using Wehop for over 20 years now, and am almost always happy with our relationship. They take a huge load off of you when it comes to ordering your stuff. The nice part about a broker is they will help you with your order. They can give you invaluable tips when it comes to ordering the right plugs for you and help you schedule your delivery dates. Park Seed Wholesale is basically a seed seller and plant broker. They have a dozen or so growers that they sell for so you can go to their site and find almost any plant in production today. You then order directly through Park Seed Wholesale.
The picture below is my stall at the Friday market in downtown Centralia. It’s a small market with only 15 vendors.This is more of my social market. Interacting with other vendors. Note the baskets are almost gone.
That’s it for today, if you have questions feel free to post them in the comment section. If I left anything out that you want to know just ask. Tomorrow we will talk some about your growing operation.