willing to share secrets?

grower54December 23, 2007

I found as a retired nursery retailer and grower that everyone wants to keep their bestsellers close to their vest. I can also kind of see that on these forums but realize that none of you are in my area and will be happy to share my #1 bestseller if you are. Mine requires a greenhouse, needs 55 or above temp starting in march (that's when you plant the plugs) can all go into and sell in 4 inch pots and are easy to grow. Lots of people think they are really hard to grow and get lots of fungus and disease but they do not. I've grown them in a retail setting for 20 years and started growing them again 4 years ago in a 75' backyard greenhouse.( you could get by with 25 feet) First year I did 420, 840 the second year and 1200 last year. I sell every one for 3.00 each and have none left at the end of the year. They also make great light sun to full shade baskets. This year I'll do 1600 and may reach my saturation point as I only do 3 market days a week 2 in one town and 1 in another. This plant always gets lots of ooohs and ahhs from the ladies and men alike. These plants are best bought as plugs through any broker or plug grower for about 45 cents each and usually retail for 3.99 to 4.99 each. Why don't I sell them for that? Been there done that as a retailer now I'm retired and just like to sell nice plants for a reasonable price. None of the small growers in my are sell them so I'm only hurting the big box GARDEN centers (term used loosely) and that makes my day.

So if you want to share some of your best sellers, mostly in the flowering plant end of the market drop me an email via this forum. Lets all share our best and brightest. All we can do is benefit each other and our customers. If you made it all the way through this post you have some interest so lets get the ball rolling. I'm not trying to sell anything and am willing to provide detailed cultural and growing instrusctions to anyone who participates for free. Thanks Steve ps I also have a couple of basket ideas that sell hundreds each spring.

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This is an open forum, isn't it? This is where we share, so if you want only private emails then it is still a secret and you are not sharing. The fun of this forum is in the sharing, openly, for all to see and to gain knowledge from successes or failures.

My best seller was green beans. I could sell 20 times what I had last year. My secret is to sell at 25 cents a pound more than the other sellers, but spend your time in front of the TV before then snapping off the ends, then rinsing well and putting them neatly in clear bags of 1/2 pound, 1 and 2 pound, and nibble size, marked with the price on a big dot sticker. A salt shaker sat on my table, and next year a garlic salt shaker will join it. Many people bought the nibbles to eat while they walked around the market, then came back before they left to buy the 1 or 2 pound bags to take home. When the season was over, people came for weeks after asking for them. Since it was my first time at market I didn't make enough succession plantings, but next year...

    Bookmark   December 24, 2007 at 8:14AM
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I'll share my secret plants! Any of the Tibouchina's. Easy to root from cuttings during the summer of one year. Keep them growing all winter long in a barely heated hoophouse. Pot them up in the spring and set them to the side. By late summer when they start blooming haul them to market and sell as many as you can.

I get almost the same results from Rosemary. Cuttings taken in the fall will be rooted and full by spring/early summer. I don't bother growing them up - I just take large cuttings.

Around here, with our mild winters, I can usually grow gorgeous Mint, Parsley, Chives and Cilantro outside throughout the winter (direct sow or stick cuttings into gallon pots in the fall). By late March, early April when our market opens I have very full pots to sell that I basically spent no time on.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2007 at 2:32PM
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dirtdigging101(7 - NC)

well grower54 looks like lots of sharing going on how about you?

    Bookmark   December 25, 2007 at 8:53AM
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Great to hear from you all my first post didn't go through the first day so I reposted. I thought I said in my original to drop an email using this forum.
Nonstop begonias.. Can be done from seed or plug. Seed is tough as there are 2 million per ounce. Plugs can be easily purchased through any good grower or broker.
I grow them in 4 inch pots from march 1 until they start to bloom in mid may. As long as they are spaced about 4 inches apart and grown on the dry side you can avoid most fungus. I also have a 16 inch box fan on the floor to keep the air moving a bit. (no overhead haf in this house). I fertelize once a month with 300ppm of a peters like soluable fert. 20 10 20 or anything close. These plants get a bad rap for being tough to grow, trust me they are not. Thats what makes them a big seller at the markets. Hardly anyone grows them anymore.
Again sorry about the email comment, I hate spam as much as the next person and wasn't trying to communicate directly with anyone. Thanks again Steve p.s. another big seller for me is 2 impaiten plugs(accent pastel mix) and 2 lobelia plugs (regatte mix, trailing) into a 10 inch hanging basket. I have yet to plant enough to keep me through the spring. 220 sold last year at 12.00 ea.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2007 at 10:22PM
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