Methods for Growing Bedding Plants from Seed
For anyone raising plants to sell at market and your own plants to grow, I would be interested in hearing your ideas and methods. I am growing tomato and pepper plants in a greenhouse.
Do you buy a pro-mix for container plants or make your own?
What fertilizer do you use? Customers want green plants, but at the same time I don't want to over-fertilize.
Any idea for making plants more presentable would be great as well. I am always battling the algae that grows on the top layer of media. Last year some of my plants had deer ticks on them! They crawl up into the greenhouse after the heat. I don't use any preventative fungicide or insecticide.
My market is very competitive for six-packs of garden plants. I did much better last year by being the heirloom tomato guy and having plants that no one else had, selling them individually. Most people have small gardens anyway, and will pay more for one individual plant if they can mix the varieties. A lot of my plant customers hardly know there are multiple varieties of tomatoes, much less thousands. Talking tomatoes gives them a reason to stay at my table. And obviously the longer they stay, the more they buy.
The bedding plant business ends for me in June. I am going to try to get better with hanging baskets and container gardens that I can sell later into the summer, but with the intense summer heat and bugs arriving, raising plants becomes much more difficult.