Starting my own nursery and need advice

emxry(Virginia)August 21, 2007

I am just starting my own little nursery in Virginia. I am only selling at Farmers markets right now as I can't afford to quit my full-time job. I am having difficulty finding wholesale nurseries to purchase from. A found a few locally but when I placed my first order with one, and I hope this isn't going to be typical, they give the better plants to the other nurseries that have been purchasing larger quantities and have been buying from them for a long time. I can understand this but am hoping some of you can offer some wholesale dealers that I can research to become a customer.

Any help would be appreciated.

Have a great day gardening!

Catherine

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gardengal48

How do you operate? Do you just resell what you've purchased wholesale or do you buy plugs/liners and grow them on? And what kinds of plants? Perennials, annuals, veggies? Unless you are a grower yourself, buying locally may be your only option, as shipping fully grown, "retail ready" plants to a distance is an expensive undertaking and is usually reserved for large quantities or for specialty plants. Growing on is a bit different, as liners or plugs are far more easily shipped at a distance and generally are available in smaller quantities.

If you are a reseller, it may make sense to develop a relationship with a single local supplier that offers a variety of the plants you sell. If you can commit to a specific quantity on a seasonal basis, most wholesale growers will oblige. It's when you come in on a very occasional basis and buy a flat or two of this and that that the good stuff will already be promised or committed to longstanding customers and you'll be left with the leftovers. Wholesale growers base their stock on previous sales history - they try not to grow much more than they know they can sell from week to week and month to month with perhaps just a small cushion. Obviously they will accommodate longstanding, volume customers before drop-ins. Don't take it personally :-)

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 4:49PM
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rachel_z6(7)

Where in VA are you? I pretty much buy from nurseries in MD, and grow the rest, so if you're in NoVa some places might not be so far from you. The places I've dealt with always have perfect plants even when I buy small quantities or infrequently. Do you pick up, or get things delivered? Unless you're buying in large quantities, the delivery fee from nurseries even on the other side of the state may be prohibitive. You can always refuse an order, or part of an order if the plants aren't up to snuff. That sends a message too.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2007 at 2:13AM
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    Bookmark   August 22, 2007 at 9:44AM
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