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Giving it a shot.....

Posted by daisy_dukers Z3 MB (My Page) on
Fri, Jan 14, 05 at 16:55

Well I figured this year since I tend to spend my Saturdays and Sundays just messing around in my garden from sun-up to sun-down I figured I might as well set up a few signs and a display booth in my front yard. I live in a little developement jsut outside the city..about 5 minutes from the edge of the city in an older developement with a 1/2acre lot. During the summer there are tonnes of garage sales and people visiting the community center 2 houses down.

I am planning on growing 5 diff types of herbs and mebbe some wave petunia's..
I have narrowed my Herbs down to Genovese basil, thai basil, mint, oregano, and of course rosemary.

I have managed to take 60 cuttings from the 10 rosemarry plants I got from my mother plant I took 5 weeks ago. So hopefully around 50 will survive to become the next victims of my scissors so i end up with 250-300 which I am going to start in plug trays (72 per).

I have been debating on doing my oregano and mint from cuttings also. I did a test tray of each by seed at the same time I took my original 10 rosemarry cuttings. The mint preformed as expected..near 100% germ rate but the oregano was more like 60-70%. Should I simply skip the seed and try the cutting method which I have done before (though on a smaller scale) as I will have a fair amount of mom's to choose from now that I have transplanted my plugs into larger containers(multiple plugs per container).

My 2 types basil's I am going to start from seed, I do this every year with plug trays and always get good germ/growth rates.

Each plug will be transplanted in a 4 inch pot and hardened off in cold frames(debating on plastic or biodegradeable peat pots)....oh and everything is grown organically.

Basically I am just doing this for the fun of it to see what happens.

Planning on about 1500 plants and with a cold frame per variety so I can water/feed each diff herb at once.
Worst case I make my herb garden bigger or fill my flowerbeds with herb plants if things dont sell..or just give em away.

I have a couple of contacts who said they will give me a good deal on pots when the time comes.

Last summer I checked out the local prices for herb plants in 4 inch pots (i even bought a few myself) and they were averaging 3.50-4.00 each for things like rosemarry and thyme.
I figure I will try for 2.50 each or variety pack of 5 for 10 bucks..

whatcha think..

ps As you might have guessed I have an ok sized growroom in the basement and a wife who humors me (so I have space and support). I also work full time in the IT field so I am not trying to make a living out of it.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Giving it a shot.....

Your plan sounds good. If you have the room you should try growing some veggies as well.

RE: Giving it a shot.....

Thank goodness for spouces who humor us. I'm married to a very patient man.

I can think of two things off the top of my head. Check with zoning to be sure you can legally do this. And mint doesn't grow true from seed. If you want generic mint seed is fine. If you want particular varities go with cuttings.

This sounds like fun. Good luck!

RE: Giving it a shot.....

Mountain Mint, Pycnanthemum pilosum, is the only mint that comes true from seed.

RE: Giving it a shot.....

The problem with selling a limited number of kinds of plant is that:
1. if they do well, you won't get repeat customers
2. if they die, you won't get repeat customers

I know you're not in this for the money, but if you want to keep people coming back, could you plan for a succession of plants throughout the summer?


RE: Giving it a shot.....

I have plenty of space for more cold frames outsideand I can start up to 2520 plugs at once if I use 72plug trays in my basement. Basil is easy to start so I might start some more a week after the first planting. Starting 1 tray of cuttings (rosemarry) takes me about 20 minutes or so, wheras planting seed is considerably faster.

I am debating on the wave petunia idea...or perhaps something different like burning bush (kochia), perhaps chamomile (for those tea drinkers).

I do normally grow veggies I have an ok sized garden I suppose...about 1000ft2 in total (8 plots in total, martha stewart style, the wife is a big fan of everything martha), with a 400ft2 strawberry patch planned for this spring.

I was tempted to try converting my 2 largest plots into snap or snow peas and pole beans...Add chicken wire trelleses(wood frames), to maximize my yield. I just dont know what kind of yields I would get and whether it would be worth giving up my corn/onions patchs for...I could make it work I suppose....

I am planning on giving out recipe booklets for the herbs,whip those up on the ol laser printer..

Now here is the an idea that has been dancing around my head....since the community center is only 2 doors down would it be worth it to try and approach the municipality to use thier parking lot. If I could get a few more like minded some crafty type people and a few bakers I could probably get a bit more traffic...and then only have to sell on farmers market here so there could be interest especially with all the larger new houses being build on either side of my comunitity. It just sounds like it would be a helleva lot of work to get running...and could flop easily if people dont show up with thier wares...just rambling now....sick at home with the flu.....

RE: Giving it a shot.....

You should try offering veggie transplants as well. Even people with a limited amount of space would love to have a potted tomato on their porch but don't take the inititive of starting seeds.

I sell tomato, pepper, and eggplant seedlings at planting time. Last year I also did well with squash and cucumber seedlings and those are so easy to start. I charge about $2 for 4 inch tomato plants (mostly heirloom or wierd varieties you can't get at the Walmart) and 50 cents for 2.5 inch squash. You also always pot up the tomatoes to gallon size for late starters.

I sell perennial and herb plants at our farmer's market and twice a year from my house. People love to see a variety of things...good luck..deb

RE: Giving it a shot.....

Well today I am going to do a dry run to document how long it will take to grow each tray to the time it would have to go into the cold tray of each variety of herb...i have 72 rosemarry clones rooted(consider this the start of the growing cycle).....planting seed for Genovese basil, Thai Basil, Some italian Large leaf Basil..lemon basil...also going to try something called strawberry Spinach (Chenopodium capitatum)...grows berries and edible leaves...sounds a bit invasive..reseeds its self year after year..
I am also going to start a tray of asters(mix) I think I am going to turn one of my mini plots into an aster garden...for cut flowers for the house......Wifey is letting me build an insulated grow room in the garage so space will not be an issue soon...

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