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Thread: How's it Goin'?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Western Michigan near Muskegon
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    1,462

    How's it Goin'?

    Hi All,
    Was wondering how everyone is doing this year? Hope it is turning out to be a good growing year for everyone. What are you propagating? Would love to hear from you all.
    Happy Growing,
    Vicki in West. Mich.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    northeast Tennessee
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    1,703
    Has been a pretty good year here. I have missed a lot in the nursery this summer since my Mom broke her hip and I am staying with her.
    Last year we talked about growing (to sell) perennials in 4 inch or gallon pots. I transplanted many to gallons and did have better bloom. To my surprise no complaint about higher price, not one single complaint. We started a lot pf new perennials this spring that will go into gallons for next year. Will always have some younger ones in smaller pots.
    Herbs went well as usual.
    The trees ands shrubs are really coming into their own now and sold many at a good price.
    How were sales for everyone else. What sold best?
    tennessee sue

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Surrey, BC, Canada
    Posts
    221

    Learnin' all the time

    Good to hear your year has gone well, Sue.

    Every year we learn more, and it maybe gets a little easier, both growing and in my case selling...which is the harder part for me! I sell everything wholesale either to garden centres or other wholesalers here.

    I was pleasantly surprised to sell clematis this summer that were only 12 months from being stuck as cuttings...sold for $9 wholesale. Also hellebore plugs, 2.5 in. sold for $1.80 after only half a year from seed.

    The best thing is selling stuff quickly for a good price, rather than having to look after it for years and getting little more than what the plants above fetched.

    One example of a bad plant for me has been black mondo grass...bought tissue culture plugs for $2 last winter...many have died and most haven't grown appreciably. Maybe some are worth $4 now, but I will suffer quite a loss on that bunch of plants.

    Moral of the story, obviously...grow more of the quick and easy money, and learn my lesson about the experiments that wound up sucking up more cash than they produced!

    Still, having fun!!! as Ann says.

    And very much thinking about you Ann, and anyone else in hurricane country.

    And wondering about all the commercial growers in Florida...I believe it is one of the biggest nursery states. More than just an inconvenience for them.

    How awful it would be to have ferocious winds and a foot or 2 of rain come thru my yard...and the plants aren't even my main source of income.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
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    9,934
    Glen,

    All is fine here. Winds are currently gusting around 21 mph. They have clocked some winds at Dauphin Island at 30 knots this morning. There are some feeder bands to the east of us, and although we do expect to feel some impact, it will not be nearly as bad as many have and are experiencing.

    Right now, the hurricane watch extends westward to Destin, FL which is about 100 miles east of me.

    I just hope this thing moves back on shore before building strength.

    Thanks for thinking of me. These things aren't fun, and there is another that we have to keep our eye on now. It's too soon to know where Ivan might go.
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    598
    Vicki,
    You failed to tell us anything about how things are going with you.

    As you may know already, I'm not a seller of things, so my sales have been really off this year. But that may all change next spring because I have quite a few woody shrubs going great guns. They are the things you don't often see in the big box store because they are so much slower to start and grow for the high turnover market. We'll see how that goes. I got them started for a friend who runs a retail nursery. I have been growing things for many years, and just responded to an expressed need that they have.

    Between fighting with the varmints, late frost, and unexpected blight, this year has been pretty much a loss in the produce area.
    A late frost killed off all the plumbs, and a good portion of the pears. The ones that did make it through the freeze, the squirrels ate most of the flowers, and then beat me to the fruit. We didn't get one good soft pear this year. Then came the figs, and the cardinals and crows, not much left for us there either.
    We have 5 beautiful peach trees, and they were just starting to get ripe when we had to go away for a week. When we came home, the entire crop was infested with brown spot. The apples and persimmons both have fire blight, and the armadillos are digging up my grass and flowers. Unless I spray at least once a week, the deer will eat a lot of my flowers and shrubs. Itís not over, now to watch the squirrels demolish the few little pecans that I would have. Ah, country living!! Hmmmm, guess I didn't need a storm, huh?

    Much of that is going to change next year! I have plans! (not to be disclosed until it's over, and only if it works).
    Tom W
    Aching Back Farm

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
    Posts
    9,934
    Oh, my GOSH!

    The pecans!!!!!

    My baby tree (which is no longer a baby) was loaded. We had to prune the limbs, though. I sure wish I had the tag from this particular pecan tree because it is a beautiful tree and has grown much faster than the others that I bought at the same time. It branches wonderfully, but the branches are so full that I have to prune it every year or you can't mow under it.

    The only other problem is that it is a REAL 'paper' shell which tends to make the nuts absorb all the moisture and get moldy before they ripen.

    I keep hoping that will change as the tree matures.

    Right now, it is the best SHADE tree in my yard, and I suppose I should try grafting to produce another since I don't remember the name. I LOVE this one pecan tree more than any of the others because it is downright PRETTY!

    P.S. Birds got my figs, but there are still lots more golden scuppernongs.
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    443

    i wish i could say

    Really well.
    and i honestly believe why it isnt is due to the incredible amounts of rain we have experienced this year . and it seems to have fell almost every weekend when it come time for me to do my selling.
    one thing is for sure i am still sticking cuttings and moving forward.
    i am also finding different shrubs to propagate. i am always looking for the flowering shrubs that have appeal to a broad market. i dont have them all pinned down yet .but this nursery is a long term goal so i guess i am not in a hurry.
    good luck folks.
    shepp zone 5/6

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Western Michigan near Muskegon
    Posts
    1,462
    Thanks all for your replies.
    Shepp, sounds like too much rain, can be worse than not enough. At least I could water (not as often as I wanted , I do have a well, but the DH is afraid I'm going to drain it!
    I too am trying to acquire different varieties. I've grown some nice butterfly bushes from seed this yr. Bought a pee gee hydrangea, too. My friend bought me a beautiful diablo ninebark, she's thoughtful like that. She's the one who introduced me to the wonderful world of gardening 4 yrs. ago.
    Busy potting up the 2 yr. old forsythia, weigela,& privet.
    that's still taking up space in my cutting bed and potting up the perennials I grew. Added about 10 new hosta and 15 new daylilies, this yr. too, so eventually will have these to sell too.
    Ann, bummer the birds got your figs, and what is a golden scuppernongs? I'm sorry for the loss of your pecan tree. Was glad to hear you all came through o.k.
    Tom, you are hilarious!
    I always get a kick out of your humor and optimism. My DH cracked up when I read him your reply. You sure have a way with words. Not even a hint of your big plans?
    My big plan is to get a mist bed and a hoophouse, like Shepp said long term goal, my own frontyard nursery. The 3 yr. plan is stretching out a bit!
    Glen, clematis goes for 12 to 15 here at the flea market, so I guess 9 would be a good price wholesale. So you only sell wholesale? I appreciated your advice on my other post concerning them. I'd like to offer stuff for sale that is not so easy to get. Wonder how long the black mondo grass takes from seed? Sure do love that stuff. I have 2 hunks but as yet they look like they did when I planted it. At least they're not dead. Live and learn is my motto. Maybe I'll have something to sell next yr. Like I said earlier, 3 yr. plan stretching out a bit.
    Sue, sure hope your Mom is getting better. Sounds like you are having a good yr. even with the added responsibility. Keep your chin up! Next season is around the corner. I'm thinking of growing a bunch of lavender for next season. Does it sell good for you? I'm with you on having 1st and 2nd yr. perennials. I think it would go over well. Do you grow butterfly bushes buddelia? They are a good seller up here. Not that i'm selling anything yet! Did you have some mountain fire peris (sp?). not sure if that is the right name. How did they sell? I've only seen them offered once at the place I buy shrubs. I didn't buy it, went back a few days later and they we all gone! That was last season. Have been short of cash, so haven't been there yet. I will make 1 trip though before it gets to cold.
    Take care everyone and wishing you all many blooms (or roots as the case may be!)
    Last edited by vicki; 09-18-2004 at 01:19 AM.
    Happy Growing,
    Vicki in West. Mich.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    SE PA, zone 6b
    Posts
    217
    Hi all,

    I have had a season of building infrastructure. Because of messy personal reasons, we have only been able to start landscaping this year. In June, I bought into the backyard nursery idea and have been building all that. Still have a way to go, fur sure. We had a very nice garden this summer after we fenced out our deer/rabbit population. We are slowly but surely getting the place organized. We are about to start on an addition for an apt for me. It will be a part of the household, but on the first floor. Looking forward to that!!

    We had our hard drive crash--I guess it died of old age. Lost everything. I had pictures of all the progress we have made, before and afters, many flowers, etc. We are going to explore one of the data recovery outfits to see if we can at least get it all put on CD's or something. Some of the recovery folks are very very good.

    I purchased a bunch of plants from Musser and Spring Meadows. I lost some from too heavy potting soil, so I lightened that up. I lost some to various fungi, so I sprayed with baking soda, etc. I also was able to purchase a display at the PANTS show, so am building the "Mother Plant" collection. Have most of the small greenhouse built, a potting area, nursery beds, piles of potting soil ingredients, SO-O-O should get off to a good start in Spring. Will be getting water and electricity to the gh and back to the rear half of the property.

    On & On it goes. I can't believe how fast this summer went.
    Sandi
    SE PA, zone 6b

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Western Michigan near Muskegon
    Posts
    1,462
    Sandi,
    Sounds like things are going good for you. Hard work sure pays off doesn't it? Time flies when we are having fun!
    Before you know it, it'll be springtime.

    I know what you mean about hard drive crashes and losing all your info. Been there done that!
    Happy Growing,
    Vicki in West. Mich.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    598

    what is a golden scuppernongs

    Vicki,
    I see you never did get an answer to your question, so I'll give it a shot, because Ann is up to her whatever in alligators right now.

    Grapes are very hard to grow down south. Because of the high temps and humidity they are subject to many different diseases, and usually have very little usable fruit. However many years ago, the Muscadine was discovered, and improved upon. There are now about 20 different variety's, one of which is named "Scuppernong". It has a sparce bronze fruit and is often used in making wines and jelly. Another, much more productive variety is the Golden Isles variety.

    Over the years, as we southerners do sometimes, most of the domestic varieties have been called just scuppernong. And the wild black variety is simply referred to as Muscadine. (go figure) Nine of the varieties have bronze (gold) colored fruit, which ranges from small to quite large.

    So, I can't really tell from her comment if she has Muscadine Golden Isles, or Muscadine Scuppernong, or perhaps one of the other 8 bronze varieties. But, to answer your question in a word.

    It's a grape
    Last edited by Tom; 09-20-2004 at 05:57 PM.
    Tom W
    Aching Back Farm

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Western Michigan near Muskegon
    Posts
    1,462
    Thanks Tom,
    Wonderful explanation! Now I understand totally, a grape.
    Yummy grapes are one of my favorite fruits, my Mom grows concords. She makes some very good jelly.
    Hope Ann doesn't lose anything to them gators! Sounds like she's having a ruff enough time.
    Happy Growing,
    Vicki in West. Mich.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    northeast Tennessee
    Posts
    1,703
    flowering shrubs
    I love the flowering shrubs. The nine bark Diabolo is spectacular when mature. One of my favorites is Heptacodium. Aka Seven Son Flower. Look it up and see how pretty it is. Ours had white blooms and the red sepals at the same time. Very unusual.
    Another one I like is the Japanese lilac tree. Ivory Silk I think is the name. Sell a lot of lilacs around here. Sensation is the one on my list of must haves.
    Just thought I'd throw in a couple of fav orites.
    Good to here from you Ann. Hope you have utilities soon. It is a pain I know.
    tennessee sue

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