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Thread: farmers market in 10 weeks,,,help!

  1. #1

    farmers market in 10 weeks,,,help!

    just found out about a local outdoor market coming up and I wanted to get my feet wet selling a few plants, probably perrenials...any possibililty of starting something now and having it in bloom by the middle of june? I would assume so but what seems to be the most popular? thanx

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
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    Randy,

    10 weeks is going to be pretty tough, even in warmer areas of the country like mine, epecially with perennials.

    However, some, like Hosta will sprout pretty quickly from bare root if given warmth and low light.

    I think that daylilies might take too long to bloom, though.

    You might consider annuals, if you don't mind purchasing plugs.

    And there are many wholesalers that you can purchase from that will give you a head start.

    Still 10 weeks seems pretty quick to go from receiving starts to a saleable size.

    HOWEVER, lots of growers in this area buy plants wholesale, just to put them up one size larger, then sell them retail. Some don't even bother to pot them up to another size. They just resell them at a higher price. They seem to buy them from several wholesale nurseries, thereby obtaining a variety of plants, and simply resell them at a profit. She says she makes less profit on each plant, but more in the long run with less manpower.

    I do think that is something to take into consideration, don't you?

    Recently, I visited a very, very tiny corner produce/plant stand one mile from my home. I chatted with the owner. The plants being sold looked high quality, and not home grown. I asked her if she propagated her own plants. She said that she used to do that, but discovered that she couldn't keep enough plants growing to sale and that she makes more money buying wholesale, then reselling slightly higher.

    Keep in mind that this is a small place, and they are selling watermelon, etc., as well as nice hanging baskets and shrubs.

    I surely hope someone else can give you more tips...

    Check out the wholesaler market in your area, and ask around... I find that most of these people are mighty nice!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  3. #3
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    Santee-Cooper Lakes, South Carolina
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    Try Herbs. Also purchase and resale.
    Jim Lang

  4. #4
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    northeast Tennessee
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    Hi telecaster.
    I sell plants at our local farmers market. It starts in April.
    We grow trees shrubs,herbs and perennials. Herbs are my best seller by far. Some I start from seed but some I get from a local guy that wholesales to me a few other greenhouses. I put them in 4 inch pots and sell them for 2.50 to 3 dollars. Some of the more tender and harder to find herbs go for $5, such as lemon verbena,pineapple sage and bay trees. I price them according to size.
    Some of the best selling herbs are catnip.basil,thyme,cilantro,
    rosemary,sage,and oregano. It helps to sell them if you are knowledgable about their uses and some people really enjoy hearing the histories and myths about the plants. It is very interesting. You would enjoy the research.
    I say buy wholesale this year and get the perennial herbs and flowers started so next year you will be ready to go when spring comes.
    Good luck.
    tennessee sue

  5. #5
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    BTW, I forgot a couple of the very best selling herbs, chives, curly and flat Italian parsley. Most of the herbs are easy to grow.
    If I can help you in any way let me know.
    tennessee sue

  6. #6

    wholesale?

    can individuals buy wholesale?

  7. #7
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    Randy,

    Some wholesalers will sell to individuals and some will not.

    My favorite wholesale nursery also sales retail. He has an enormous variety of perennials, shrubs, annuals, trees, hanging baskets, herbs, vegetables, you name it. He also must have around 35-50 large greenhouses and is located closer to zone 9.

    If the sign at the nursery says wholesale only, I wouldn't bother them. Most of their plants are probably sold before they are grown.

    Good Luck and Have FUN!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    443

    I disagree

    if i sell wholesale
    and you want to buy
    open up your wallet and checkbook
    as long as you have a vendors license , as far as i am concerned you are a wholesale customer.
    right now you take the wholesale growers that had Kmart as there customer along with some others that are struggling ,
    as a wholesaler you will be always looking for someone / big box /little box to market to.
    HECK YES KNOCK ON THEIR DOOR .
    i was just discussing this yesterday with my GFriend i wouldnt be doing what i have been doing that past 4 days if i just ordered my plants finished ready to sell. all i would need then is a barcode reader /some software ,
    CASH REGISTER
    a nice looking storefront and a drive up window and
    whala
    MAY I TAKE YOUR ORDER PLEASE.
    WOULD YOU LIKE A PERENNIAL WITH THAT SHRUB ORDER OR MAYBE SOME HERBS WITH THAT ORNAMENTAL TREE.
    you know raising these plants isnt all what its cracked up to be and keeping them all alive isnt either.
    it takes me now 4 hours to individually water each potted plant.
    and yes i do have a automated water sytem
    but sometimes you have to go a step further and look at each plant piece by piece to know what you have and the condition its in . so what better way to do that , water them look at them .
    sorry i digressed, but its still another good point.
    SHEPP ZONE 5/6
    Last edited by shepp; 03-30-2003 at 06:28 PM.

  9. #9
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    Shepp has a good point. We got into this because we love growing plants but it a lot of work taking care of them.
    For instance every thing in the greenhouse is budded out and guess what? We woke up to 2-3 inches of unforecast snow. And tonight it supposed to get down in the 20's. You can't just go on about your business. You have to do something to keep those little plants alive. You have to water-regularly-feed and weed , repot and market. But we love to grow so we grow most of our stock. Nobody can raise everything so we do buy wholesale some of the plants we can't raise or don't have room for.
    I recommend you buy this year and be starting plants for next year. You'll soon see what suits you best.
    Most people will sell wholesale if you have a tax number.
    tennessee sue

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    you are correct sue .
    try as we may to do it all ,there are times when its almost insurmountable.
    you just barely tapped the list of things to do .
    venting ?is it working
    waterpumps, did it freeze last nite.
    there i was jumping on the 4 wheeler last nite at dark and draining it and wrapping with bubble wrap and covering it up.
    picky customers.
    buying more kerosene to get me thru the nite.
    and again tonite.
    checking last years mist beds and weeding those tonite untill my fingers froze. ITS DONE TILL THE NEXT TIME
    hanging baskets to get done that are 2 weeks behind.
    perennial plugs i have started to pot up to the next size.
    the list goes on and on.
    but the day i can say i can make a good living from this ,will be the day i walk away from my day job OR 8 YEARS AND 5 DAYS TILL I RETIRE and SMILE THAT BIGGEST SMILE.
    I CAN HONESTLY SAY amidst the mistakes i make i enjoy what i am doing!
    i was so proud of my carlesii compactum viburnums better known as dwarf carlesii vib. to see the flower buds on them in my mist beds. cant pot up till next year... i think someday soon when they bloom i will pull out a blanket and lay next to the mist bed just to smell the fragrance of them .and GRINN
    oh my i got off on another tangent.
    yes buy wholesale its a good way to get your feet wet.
    stop buy here if you have a vendors number.
    heck stop by anyway with a fat wallet
    shepp zone 5/6

  11. #11
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    Dec 2002
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    Then there's those little seedlings to prick out and baby, spraying if you get a fungus or insects,pruning.
    And did I mention it got down to 23 last night. Everything seemed to survive okay in the greenhouse with a little heat and so did my shade plants outside. Another cold one tonight then back to normal for a while so the weatherman says (but who trusts him?)
    Hang in there Shepp- it will all be worth it soon.
    Go for it telecaster. We really do love what we do.
    tennessee sue

  12. #12
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    Colorful Annuals for a Quick Start

    Randy,

    As I was moving plants back outside after the latest threat of sudden freeze was GONE, an idea suddenly crossed my mind as to what could possibly get you a start on the upcoming sale.

    I did some research and found a site for you that will sale a variety them wholesale. They only have an online catalog and not a store front, so to speak. I just wrote them an email explaining what I am about to do....

    The first one you can get started on right away should you choose. We have talked about this topic before, and it is definitely one of my favorite annuals. I always make new plants from cuttings of my favorite ones. Many of these I will overwinter in hanging baskets.

    They tend to get a little leggy without enough light, and as I have mentioned before the inside lighting tends to change the colors if it is not bright enough. But, Randy, they are beautiful plants and look great in the landscape. If you can manage to get yourself known for these and have the facility to produce them during the late winter months, you might want to consider them.

    Here is a picture of some that I have that I have posted once before. I will try to post a couple more of the babies I have in hanging baskets as soon as my camera battery charges a bit...



    Randy, if I am ever able to grow plants for sale, I would definitely grow numerous named and perhaps a few unamed varieties of coleus.

    They grow easily from seed, and even more easily and quickly from cuttings. And since we have 3 growing seasons for annuals, this sometimes makes for repeat sales as the Landscapers and homeowners replenish the plants in the landscapes.

    But, keep in mind, they will not take the slightest frost, and they are short lived annuals so you have to keep taking cuttings. On the plus side, the more cuttings you take, the more they will branch out and the prettier they will be...

    Here is a link for you:

    http://www.variationsgreenhouse.com/coleus_catalog.htm

    You will need to contact them to find out what arrangements can be made to purchase a variety of these plants to get you started.

    Good Luck!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  13. #13
    Join Date
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    More Coleus Pictures

    This first Coleus is called 'Volcano Red'. The color is not as deep red as it will be when it is planted in more sun.




    I do not know the name of this one, but I like it.



    Have FUN!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  14. #14

    what it takes to buy wholesale?

    what do I need besides a tax # in Illinois?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    northeast Tennessee
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    Telecaster,
    Just wondering what you decided to do. Has your farmers market started yet? Ours has ben going pretty well here even though it is a little early for the more tender plants. The herbs and perennials have been doing well.
    Another option for you is to buy rooted cuttings. Look under propagators. We got some cuttings that have to be grown on for a year or more (think about the future) and some can be potted and sold this season.
    Shop around and you can find some really good prices. Some have large minimums though but some don't.
    Anyway just wondering how it is going with you.
    tennessee sue

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