Contract growing

gardeningfireman(5-NEOhio)February 14, 2008

I started a small backyard nursery/resale business last year. It got off to a pretty good start. Now I am thinking that contract growing for area landscaping companies (perennials or shrubs)might be a good way to "grow". Does anyone have experience with this? Any and all information would be a great help. Thank you!

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georgez5il(z5 IL)

I have "contracts" with 2 orginazations. a club for 10,000 seed geraniums & with a Prarie plant association. In both cases they approached me in part because of my reputation. I have to work with them in advance & deliver my product. Its understood they may reject my offerings. This only suplements my normal crop & represents only a small part of my crop. I did not wish to become the slave of some other orginazation(s)

    Bookmark   February 21, 2008 at 3:24PM
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jspece(Josh - z4 IA)

Looking at this from the buyer's point of view...what is it about your business that would make me put my business into your hands, as apposed to someone more established and who has a proven track record?

Just something to think about...

    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 4:26PM
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I guess it depends on the sources your local landscapers have for wholesale material, but to "grow" woody stock takes time and that translates to a place they can grow on and holding the stock for a sufficient amount of time for it to size up. I can't see you contract growing as much as re-wholesaling unless you are sitting on a lot of acreage and don't mind investing a major chunk in inventory and willing to wait for it to get to a landscape size, pruning, irrigating and keeping it pest free.

Perennials might be an option, but then you face some pretty stiff competition from boxes, who sometimes retail hardy stock cheaper than I can grow it.

I do a lot of contract growing, and it's a good niche for me and I like it because I know how much I need to grow before I grow it. That translates to less shrinkage. But, you had better be prepared to accept the responsibility that goes along with guaranteeing a product supply as a future. If you have a crop failure, to maintain customer good will, you may have to go out and buy it to sell it, profit or not.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 12:17AM
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Thanks for the info. and words of thought! I also spoke with several landscapers, wholesalers, and retailers in my area. They weren't interested in contract growing, but said they would be willing to purchase plants from me based on my supply and customer demand. Of course that is also contingent on quality and proper labeling, etc. They all had a very positive attitude regarding supporting small,local businesses like mine. All in all, it is very encouraging.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 10:15AM
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