seedlings- How do i make them look their best for a sale?

sillybugs(z10 FL)August 2, 2004

Im working on having a small plant sale from my yard,

Aside from the regular plants, i thought i would sell some 4 packs of hot peppers and tomato seedlings.

I have no problems growing them to a good size,

but mine never compare to the bushy ones i get from the nursery.

The same thing with flowering 4 packs of annuals i see in the nursery.

when i grow these things for myself, it just goes right in the ground as soon as its tall enough.

Is there something special i should do to keep them thriving in those tiny little cells?

AND #2- Would you charge more for "special" tomato seedlings? Like white, white cherry, different blacks & purples, multi colored, and yellows?

Im thinking i might have a hard time selling these, as there is nothing really dramtic looking about them, compaired to piles of bright fresh multicolored tomatos. *sigh*

Thanks so much for any help.. its greatly appreciated

sorry my post is a bit long.

-SillyB

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sillybugs(z10 FL)

Am i asking in the wrong section?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2004 at 5:50AM
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Trucker(z6 KY)

The board is a bit slow lately. Someone is sure to come along with some ideas for you........I hope :)

    Bookmark   August 9, 2004 at 6:58AM
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pkock(z6 OH)

I don't know how to get them bushy like retail seedlings, unless it's a light problem. Are you growing them under lights or in a greenhouse? You may have enough light to grow healthy plants, but not to make them "pretty".

Yes, I would charge more for specialty seedlings, because they're not readily available at most garden centers. How about printing up a nice picture of the variety and setting it up on the table? And under the photo, a brief review of the tomato's qualities - "Early, sweet pink beefy fruit, medium size, heavy producer, VFN"

I'd like to do the same thing, if DH follows through on his promise to buy/make me a greenhouse. Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2004 at 12:42AM
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NorCalMom(z8 north Calif.)

You might try pinching out the tiny growing tip of the seedlings when they are about 2"-3" tall. This will make them grow more slowly, it takes about ten to fourteen days for them to look good again, but then they grow all "bushy" and look really nice. Commercial growers frequently use chemicals which make a plant grow lower and bushier. I find alfalfa tea often does the same thing, though less dramatically.

good luck,

Erica

    Bookmark   September 8, 2004 at 1:50PM
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Dibbit(z7b SC)

Also, either brushing the seedlings, by hand or with a light rod, or having a fan blow over them, a few times a day will make them stockier, although maybe not bushier.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2004 at 3:32PM
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Bob_Piper(NE Oklahoma)

You are probably not following the same cultural methods as the commercial guys you want to emulate.
Commercial growers supply PLENTY of light which solves much of the "stretching" problem. They pinch their plants at the right time or use chemical growth regulators (on certain plants) in a drench or spray (like B-Nine or A-rest) to keep the plants from getting too large for the final sale size. AND they fertilize with almost every watering by means of a fertilizer injector putting liquid fert. of the correct proportion into the watering system. The one with which I am most familiar is a Scotts product and the proportion and frequency will frequently vary depending upon what plants you are growing.
You can get your own proportioner, although not as wonderful and expensive as the big boys use, but nevertheless very adequate and it's called a Hozon. This little baby screws right on to your hose bib and gives you a 16 to 1 mix. On the Scotts bag the correct mixing is written for the Hozon in the printed instructions so you can't go wrong. The Hozon will cost around $20 depending on where you purchase it and is only completely effective when the hose you are using is 50 feet in length or less. I see them advertised in various catalogs.
Assuming that you are using a top-quality growing medium with the information I have given you here you should have no big problems achieving your goal. It would help you a bunch to do whatever it takes to educate yourself in plant propagation and cultural techniques. That would be a lot quicker and less expensive than learning from experience.
Does this help you any?

Bob

    Bookmark   September 10, 2004 at 12:39PM
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