pots for plants to sell

hedwig(QLD Brisbane)March 15, 2006

hello, since a few days i've a very small display at our garden fence - and the first 10 $, which is nothing but a start. Yes, Triangle John you're right, people do not search for strange unknown herbs, more for thyme, basil...

My biggest problem at the moment (and i have still not enough plants to sell at the market) are pots. I thought about sowing really easy things for autumn planting like lettuce etc. but the which pots do you use for this? Egg cartons? But they are looking a bit unprofessional. And we do not have so much. Hand made newspaper pots? Plastic pots, then you have the problem to transplant. The pot should not be expensive I think lettuce seedlings are sold for 40ct.

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Pots are a problem. If you are small scale you'll always struggle with storage (keeping the pots clean and undamaged) and some wholesalers want you to buy in massive quantities. Since I sell at a flea market my customers do not mind buying small plants in paper cups - they seem to like the "homemade/home grown" look of it. I also use large styrofoam cups for larger seedlings. I like that I can write names and instructions right on the pot and that I can poke holes as needed.

I think that part of any success story is getting the customer to come back, to be a repeat customer. Many people buy seedlings and never get around to planting them. This isn't your fault or your problem except when their lack of success with your plants affects whether they buy more the next time. For this reason I offer seedlings in as large of container as possible - I want to give them plenty of time to get around to planting. Thinking that the more successful they are at gardening the better customers they will be. I toy with the idea of using pressed paper pots or peat pots but worry that the pot will break down before the people ever get it in the ground. Someday I will have enough business to offer discounts on new plants if customer bring back plastic pots. Currently I have so many friends that garden and they all collect and share with me their unwanted plastic pots that I have all that I can use but soon that won't be enough and I guess I will have to purchase them.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2006 at 11:30AM
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hedwig(QLD Brisbane)

HI triangle John, I tried with paper pots (without this wooden tool) but I didn't find the right method - it is time consuming and the pots does not looks very professional. The real advantage that many plants don't like transplang. The idea with friends and pots is very good - most of our friends live in units! The nice thing about paper pots is the environmental aspect. I tried with eggboxes for myself once but they dried out too quick. Saturday I go to buy some used pots, and then I wash ans wash...
It would be a nice buisiness as well making paper pots like they make eggcartons but bigger and a more useful form for planting, perhaps adding something that the paper breaks down slower - exactly at the right time.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2006 at 7:04PM
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sandy0225(z5 Indiana)

I had all the elderly ladies at church save me their yogurt cups. Those elderly women eat a lot of it since their dr's tell them to. If you can get 20 of them saving you their cups, you're in business. So if you're not in a good church with a lot of elderly ladies, find one! ha ha ha
Seriously, though, when you put a good hole in the bottom, they work just fine, and a lot of people like the idea of using recycled products, it can even be a selling point!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 6:30AM
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hedwig(QLD Brisbane)

though I should get religious for the yoghurt cups!
Ourselfs we're trying not using so many plastic cups, but perhaps I should try to find a source like this. Does anybody know if australian nurseries are selling used pots? I yet tried with handmade paper pots im my own garden and it is very good to transplant, but until now I am too slow. This wooden potmaker is quite expensive ( round §30)and I don't know if you are more rapid using this tool.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 6:50PM
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Check out this link for making paper pots. Very easy to make.

Here is a link that might be useful: Paper Pot Instructions

    Bookmark   March 23, 2006 at 1:48AM
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I've sold perennial plants for years, some at the market, most from my home. I tell everyone who visits, whether they buy or not, that I am always looking for pots, 6-packs, 4-packs, hanging baskets, etc. I tell them to just leave them at the end of my driveway whenever it's convenient. People hate to throw them in the trash, so I get loads of pots, more than I can use. I scrub them in hot, soapy, bleachy water before using and have never had a problem with any kind of disease. Pots I cannot use (those that are too big or that I get too many of) I have found many nurseries are more than happy to receive.

Of course you may get cracked/broken pots, old Kool Whip containers, etc., but I've found that to be a really small percentage. The free pots I have received have made my offerings more professional, more consistent, and easier to transport. Oh, I also get a lot of nice trays this way, along with lots of peat pots that people bought but never used.


    Bookmark   March 25, 2006 at 3:36AM
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snappybob(SaTexas Zone 8)

Try going to some of the larger nurseries and ask them if you can get some used pots from the "boneyard" Most of the them the let me have them for free. As KMS said, you might have to weed out the broken ones.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2006 at 3:53PM
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seneca_s(6-7 Idaho)

Hi how's business? I sell from home too and am loving the newspaper pots. I use a soup can to form mine, I am sure the potmaker tool would make too small of a container. I crease the bottom in and it kinda unfolds until I get it filled with potting mix and sat down in a tray, then it forms together after being wet. I put one staple in the top to keep in it a roll which I suppose will rust out and disapear in the ground. Professional? You're selling outside your house. People don't expect you to be a nursery. Put your energy into maintaining a nice looking yard and present yourself as clean and neat and friendly as you can. The nice thing about these pots is you can sell what the nurseries don't because of the transplanting. Morning glories and other vines like squash, anything taprooted. I don't use them for anything that's going to be potted for a long time. I use my recycled plastic pots for slower growing and slower selling things. I make em while I watch TV, otherwise yes, it would be too time consuming to be profitable. I'm glad to not have to store them, storing the plastic stuff was getting to be a problem.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2006 at 10:28PM
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hedwig(QLD Brisbane)

Hi seneca, now I make it more or less like you but I do not make the pots out of newspaper I prefer magazine paper, it lasts longer. I make them like this: I fold one sheet of "Brisbane News" (and this is really the only thing you can do with this magazine) lengthwise in half. At the top side I fold extra a bit in, 1-3 cm (to achieve different hights of pots and makeing them more sturdy. Then I roll them over a spray tin (I am that environement-unfrienddly that I found one in my house, but I assure that it is the only one I have), the spray tin has the advantage that te bottom is curved and that there is a sharp edge to fold the bottom in.
Bevore folding the bottom in I fix the roll with wood glue.
I think they're much better for things they transplant bad, vegetables, but I use recycled pots for slow growing things like trees etc.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2006 at 10:20PM
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Freecycle is a yahoo group there are groups all over the county. It is free to join if you are a Yahoo member and everything is done through email. All I did was post and people were more than happy to have me come and get them.This is great for everyone give away stuff you don't want take stuff others don't want. First come first serve. You can post and ask if anyone had anything. i had a hundred pots in a day.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 10:18PM
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seneca_s(6-7 Idaho)

Good idea on the spray can. I never worry about glueing the bottom in. I just crease it good and later when I fill it I hold the bottom shut until I get it set down in the tray. then when it gets wet it stays pretty good and I can pick them up and move them. Might save you a step.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 11:01PM
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vegomatic(z5 BHSD)

I used blank sketching paper, it's a lot like newsprint, only without the news!

My inkjet printer has waterproof ink, so I made up a template that puts my plant info just a little down from the top.


    Bookmark   May 7, 2006 at 12:59AM
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I have bought lots of recycled pots from the local tip, they had a shop there called "Junkastic Park". It was great for pots and heaps of other junk that people take to the tip. My son got several commodore computers from there, that worked and he had fun with them for a while.

But alas..."Junkastic Park" had to close down because of public liability insurance, and it was too expensive for them to continue. A shame, lots of people used to go there. It was a bit smelly though !

Maybe there is a similar shop near your local tip, up in Brissy, Hedwig.

I like veogmatics, printing on the side of the pot, very clever, Ed.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2006 at 11:55PM
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Sorry this post is late season, but you should try plant bands. They do cost, but they break down and the cost is minimal, even though you might have to buy a bunch. I tried the starter pack my first year, this year I went all out. The cost is little, and you can buy just the bands, or also the crates to house the bands, here is the link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Monarch Plant Bands

    Bookmark   June 8, 2006 at 1:29PM
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those plant bands are great. I have always looked for something that was deep. these seem ideal for work with grape vines and trees etc.

but I dont think this is what the gentleman in Australia needs.

I think he should ask at the greenhouses. they usually throw away the used containers because it is not economical for them to sterilize the old ones. and so they throw them away.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2006 at 2:37PM
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