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Thread: business

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    mississippi
    Posts
    66
    I am sorry If I offended anyone. I think you miss understood, What I meant by down time. Was what did you do to generate money with the nursery during the off season? I am trying to come up with ideas for my off season.

    Thanks
    Kassy

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    northeast Tennessee
    Posts
    1,703

    down time

    Kassy, No offense taken. We all wish we had a little down time.
    Those little plants still need water and care. And we spend a lot of time planning for the coming season, looking for new sources,and reading and learning all we can about the plants and the business.
    In the season when we don't sell nursery plants you could sell houseplants and cactus at craft shows. We cut and sell Christmas greenery and mistletoe. If you grow flowers to dry this is a good time to make wreaths of dried flowers. Right now Christmas cactus sell well. They are easy to grow and propagate. Ivy topiaries are also a good item to offer at Christmas and Valentines, as are forced bulbs. Then before you know it, it is time to plants seeds to have for spring sales.
    Good luck to you and my advice is to read,read,and read.
    tennessee sue

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
    Posts
    9,934
    Thanks, Sally!

    Speaking of forced bulbs and the holidays, every year I give my mother a red amaryllis. But I don't give it to her in those pots that are sold with the bulbs. Instead, I spray paint a clay pot gold, wrap the rim in a wide, and pretty Christmas ribbon, make a large bow out of a different kind, but complimenting wide ribbon, insert a Christmas corsage (purchased at after Christmas sale the years before) and deliver it to her.

    Over the years, I have found that she has trouble with the flower stalk getting too long and leaning toward light, so I now also add a bamboo stake with a smaller bow that she can tie to the bloom stalk when it gets too long.

    Each year, she gives the amaryllis, pot and all back to me.

    She really gets a kick out of watching how fast and large the flower stalk grows. She measures it with a yard stick and reports how much it has grown.

    'Easy to care' for houseplants are a wonderful holiday gift and the florists have a booming business this time of the year.

    Also, one of the retail nurseries here begin stocking Christmas decorations in the fall and will do so until the end of the season. Another well-known retail nursery called Betty Jo's in Theodore has a year around gift shop and stocks popular gift ideas year around, has an attached greenhouse stocked with beautiful orchids and other houseplants, and only sells nursery plants outdoors during the spring, summer and fall.

    You might want to check around and visit gift shop/nurseries in lower Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama and see if you can come up with a nitch. I think the idea of selling 'Trash to Treasure' is a great one. Many people are not endowed with great imaginations like you are, but do love to buy them especially if they include a beautiful plant.

    Have FUN!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  4. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Santee-Cooper Lakes, South Carolina
    Posts
    94
    Kassy

    Hope you didn't think I was offended -- just trying to add a little humor and make the point that you can do what you want.

    I work a full time job and try to fish as much as I can so I am not concerned about making money from the nursery in the off season, but there are many possibilities.

    However, for the most part the big income for this whole industry comes from a fairly short season. That's both the "good news" and the "bad news" about the business.

    Jim Lang
    Jim Lang

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
    Posts
    9,934
    Jim, Kassy and All!

    Actually, I didn't find anything offensive or even close to it in any of these posts. Perhaps that is because I have an understanding of where each and every one of you are approaching the topic.

    For instance, in Jim's case, the season is very short, and the winters are extremely cold which makes it very costly to heat a greenhouse or provide lighting for a heated building to maintain plants for sale in Ohio's long winters.

    In Kassy's case, the climate is much more like mine where you only have to worry about heating a greenhouse occassionally. And in the case of zone 8, the ground never freezes so one can continue to plant bulbs and bare root plants throughout the winter months.

    The downside of our climate is that some plants require a 'cold' dormancy period, and that is sometimes difficult to do in zone 8 and above. Also, some plants, like fuchsia simply do not tolerate the extended warm season that we have.

    So, everyone needs to keep in mind that we can learn from the differences in each others climates and environmental conditions. And, wow, do I appreciate learning from the valuable experiences, both good and bad, of my fellow gardeners!

    I, for one, have learned a tremendous amount from my friends on Landspro (and other forums) that are from different areas of the country and the world, for that matter.

    Enjoy!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  6. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    443

    What do i do ? OR what should i be doing!

    i should be cleaning the bigger of the 2 greenhouses.pulling weeds ,yep sure enuf they grow in a greenhouse.
    i should be picking up pots and flats .taking inventory of what i have a what i need. putting out more moose bait.
    weeding potted shrubs and mulching them. think about making topiary frames for the ivy's. clean more seed for germinating and potting .making labels.install the inflation blower .
    Now what do i want to do.
    head for the florida keys and go deep sea fishing off of the isle of morada. lay on the beach and catch some sun and eat seafood and drink some beers.
    guess what i am going to do .
    wake up from my dream and get busy.
    shepp zone 5/6 with freezing rain forcast tonite.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Santee-Cooper Lakes, South Carolina
    Posts
    94
    Ann

    Got this neat idea. All you southern folks that have plants or want some that need this "cold dormant period". send them up here for a vacation. About March when I have had all the winter I can stand and the plants have been cold for a good while, I will load them in the truck and bring them to you. In exchange for your warm weather. Good growing Jim.
    Jim Lang

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
    Posts
    9,934

    Hey, Jim!

    How FUN!

    I will have to think about that one!

    How about an apple tree?

    That is one that is difficult here, lack of 'chill' hours...

    I will think of some others and let you know!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  9. #24
    Probably should have read all the post more carefully before jumping in, but I have a couple of suggestions for Kassy. The 60 ft. building, decorate it well in your spare time, get some pedestals and other garden ornaments and fill it full of florist type house plants. These get you a much better take out price than bedding plants. You could grow hanging baskets, dozens of kinds of ivys, look for the more unusual so you can get a good price, carry ornamental pots and cement or composition fountains, you can get several hundred dollars for each of these thing and garden statuary, all of which would add to the ambience of a houseplant room, and bring in good prices when sold.

    Then start garden plants from cuttings and plan a one or two-day plant sell several times a year. This would give you an opportunity to sell from your permanent shop, which if you have a full time job, it would not be that unusual for you to be open there just on the weekends. It seems strange at first, but we have a craft shop here in town out on the highway, open SAT-SUN that's it. They've been in business for years.

    You basically will need to find your own niche.

    I got all excited about house plants recently when I would never have them in my house, because I had a bunch of what I thought were caladiums, worth about $3 each and they turned out to be nephthytis for about $15 each.
    Marguerite, GrannyGarden
    www.kirbyville.net
    www.tex-la.net

  10. #25
    Downtime in the nursery business. I do know a little about crafts, and might suggest a few auxiliary products you can work on when times are slow with plants.

    PLANT TUTEURS and TRELLISES, you can get a really neat book from Storey Books that shows you how to make twig trellises and vine tuteurs. I make these for my own garden just as ornaments from long poles and wrap wisteria vines here and there for additional interest. You can also use honeysuckle or other gathered vines from the woods. The big thing that I find with these, especially if you are dealing with green wood, is that you probably should invest in a small battery driven screw driver and put the main pieces together with wood screws as they will hold better than finishing nails or staples. Your imagination there is your guide to how ornamental you wish to make them. They should sell at the very least in the $35 - $75 range depending on the amount of work. If you have seedling trees or a nearby woods where you can harvest understory plants, the materials will be practically free. There is a lady here that looks for heavier vines which she cuts and makes into very interesting walking canes, dried and polished to a high gloss with many coats of polyurethane.

    STEPPING STONES; there are a number of molds you can buy at the home improvement company and cast stepping stones for the garden with sakcrete. Walmart sells the plain round ones for $1.99 so an ornamental one should sell for several dollars. Ones that are popular here in Texas are stones cast with aggregate on the face and in the shape of Texas. You might check to see what is available for the outline of your state. You can make a casting mold for concrete out of 2x4 frame and wet sand and press the thing you want to copy into the wet sand and then pour the concrete which gives you a creative outlet.

    FLOWER PICKS. I collect greenery, pods and berries to add to wire picks for floral wreaths. You can sell the picks alone as well. These are especially good for during the Christmas season and dress up a plain wreath made of evergreens. We have tallow trees here and those seedling sprigs are popular, it is not a bad idea to touch them up with a hot glue gun. Other ornamentals to consider are dried okra pods and cotton bolls in their natural state. You can make large floral swags wired onto a heavier twig base to go over doors and arches. This is very creative work and you would price it according to what you put in it.

    HANGERS FOR FENCE: Those little plastic molds that are used to cast plaster can also be used for concrete castings to hang along the patio fence with sakcrete. Use oil to prepare molds, before castings set up stick a large opened up paper clip in the back for a hanger. Many garden themes, animal themes are available. The molds are fairly inexpensive.

    VINE BASKETS: You can make some very nice vine baskets by placing vines which have been peeled and soaked on a pot or large bowl from your kitchen as a mold (the outside of the pot) and wrapping the vine around strategic points to keep it together when dry. They are fairly stable when completely dry. It might be a good idea to wire a round base on as a footing so it will not be wobbly.

    Just a few off the top of my head.

    Dried wreaths.

    Herb wreaths.

    Living wreaths planted with live plants in those wire form things.

    Container gardening for patios, these should sell in the way up figures like $35-$65 or so, depending on the plant material you use, the cost of the ornamental container, you can find lots of garden guides for those on the internet. Crafts materials to retain ratio is usually 6 times the cost of the materials at the least, if that includes enough for your overhead and a small profit.

    If you want to invest in a kiln, there are many pots and garden ornaments you can produce in terra cotta, that will sell for artware prices. It would not pay to have it commercially fired, watch your Thrifty Nickles for a used porcelain kiln at a good price.
    Terra cotta isn't glazed either, so you can fire it without kiln furniture and a lot of care, because it all just becomes bisque. You can age it by painting it with yogurt or various stains from your local paint store used for antiqueing.
    Marguerite, GrannyGarden
    www.kirbyville.net
    www.tex-la.net

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    mississippi
    Posts
    66
    Thanks for your info. I will have to try some. The only thing is I don't have any woods near by. I guess I could go to the forest and get some. I will have to call and see what is legal. I have been collecting a lot of books on crafts also. Do you have any pictures. They help me to see what is being explained.


    Kassy

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