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Thread: winter sowing

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

    winter sowing

    In the 40's yesterday so I worked in greenhouse. I sowed some seeds from Eastern Redbud and Monk's Hood. I find this a good way to go for seeds that need stratification. Mother nature does the work.
    Planning for seed starting of herbs soon. Plan to use a heated mattress pad with poly cover to hold in heat. Might have to use a little extra heat in greenhouse if it gets really cold. We haven't had much really cold weather and virtually no snow although it has been all around us.
    We have been devouring catalogues trying to find seed for most of what we want to grow, but will buy some mother plants and plugs for things that are slow or unavailable from seed, like bay trees which are hard from seed and slow from cuttings, but always sell well for me.
    Does anyone grow a lot of bedding plants. We are considering it this year, although I prefer perennials. I know bedding plants sell well here just don't know if we have the space for them unless we heat greenhouse. Any thoughts?
    tennessee sue

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Surrey, BC, Canada
    Posts
    221

    bedding plants

    Sue--friends in the neighbourhood have a big bedding plant "operation", supports their family quite well with 6mos of work each year.

    Some key things, they are well along with sowing the plug trays, this starts in Dec. With 10 structures, these guys will heat one to get things started, then heat others as needed thru spring...less heating needed of course as the weeks go by. Several houses are unheated cold frames, mostly used to harden off and keep the rain off for top quality.

    You might consider buying in plugs, since a small grower will not get the best price on seed and won't be as efficient (with multiple houses/heating options, etc.).

    These folks sell primarily to all the retail garden centres, then take all their seconds to the flea market. Very strict about grading out anything questionable, that way they stay profitable in an increasingly competitive business here...new greenhouses showing up all the time with new guys trying to do the same thing!

    Quality becomes increasingly vital when selling to the retail garden places...they have people hitting them up all the time with new sources of product, so you have to have the best reputation and guard it fiercely! No way to raise prices, but at least you don't have to cut them to compete, hopefully...

    Glen

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    northeast Tennessee
    Posts
    1,703
    Thanks Glen for the input. I don't think we are set up for bedding plant production. Between the two of us and me working 40-55 hrs. a week I don't think we could even try it this year. I can buy them wholesale but would not really make much from them. Would be okay though if fast turnover. I might try that for our big show in April.
    tennessee sue

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