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Thread: plug production on a small scale

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    443

    plug production on a small scale

    i moved this post and edited ...

    we did cuttings yesterday of waves. 800+ put them in plug trays.
    lavender
    white
    red
    blue
    strawberry
    misty lilac
    rose
    deep trailing plum
    purple
    i didnt do any doubles or peroittes we only sold 1 hanging basket last year of them.i didnt want to waste the space. i have no idea why they dont sell.
    i will do a few later on for my own use.
    now as far as getting the cuttings to root i put the garden hose sprayer on mist and mist them several times a day. once a week i sprinkle with Miracle grow.after they root i will pinch them and start more plugs flats.
    later on i transplant the plugs to 1203 or 1204 cell packs . grow them on for a few weeks and then transplant them
    on to the hanging baskets.
    years ago i was told by a huge operation in a large metropolitin city near me they use one wave per HB.i dont have the space or the money for heat to do that. so i use 3 per basket.
    good luck .


    Last edited by shepp on 01-16-2005 at 09:36 AM

  2. #2
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    here is what 3400 cuttings +- a few looks like.
    and NO patented plants were used in the making of these plugs.
    Attached Images  

  3. #3
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    27 plug flats total.
    5 are 105's and 22 are 128's.
    Attached Images  

  4. #4
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    here is the last pic just for the heck of it.
    btw its 20 outside and 60 inside .not bad for nitetime temps .soil temps are 65
    Attached Images  

  5. #5
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    May 2004
    Location
    SE PA, zone 6b
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    Shepp--thanks again for sharing your operation with us. Where did you get the plants from which you took so MANY cuttings? Do you overwinter them in the heated gh? Do you cut them back in early fall in order to get that many cuttings?

    I have an opportunity to get a frame for a 20 x 40' cold frame for $900. I was thinking I would heat the smaller one (10 x 45') with hot water under the benches. Then the other could be in beds for the winter veggies. Does the price above seem fair to you?

    Think Spring!!
    Sandi
    SE PA, zone 6b

  6. #6
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    Feb 2002
    Location
    Surrey, BC, Canada
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    plug trays

    Hey shepp--I like the look of your plug trays, with the hexagonal shape...are they Nova by any chance?

    The holes in between plugs help with air movement around the plants, and roots don't circle near as bad as the more old fashioned round/square shaped ones.

    Whaddya do with all your spare time, by the way...that's a nice crop of waves you've got going there!

    Glen

  7. #7
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    i over winter the plants . i start putting fert to them in december.
    tip cuttings come first then the side stem grow and i take them.
    when i feel i have enuf i kick the HB out of the GH. the promix is spent and the watering of them gets intense about this time.
    they want to wilt fast once the days get longer.
    as far as the GH i really would have to see it first.
    you didnt say if its a quonset or gothic. how many purlins. do the ground stakes come with it. do you get the base board and the ends.how about doors.? how high is it?
    and above all else do you have to take it down?
    that ought to keep you busy thinking for a minute.
    glen
    i think they are Nova
    all i use are recyled. there is at least 4 kinds under that foilage.
    as far a circling they all do it. it depends on how long they are in the trays.
    when transplanting i always tease the plugs roots.always.
    as far as spare time , i have none, i came in to warm up , heading back out to cut the rest of the firewood i have dragged in then it gets stacked.
    in between loads i mist the plugs.
    later today i am going to do more plugs by pinching what i have already started.i will do that untill it gets 65 in the GH ,then its beer thirty and lubricate my sore back.

  8. #8
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    Jun 2003
    Location
    Bolton, Ont
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    Shepp- looks familiar, wait til potting time. George.

  9. #9
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    i hope to sell at least 50% of those plugs. i need to find more pricing .. i checked out the thread here on LP with the PDF file. i believe it was campania for pricing .i had some one try to buy these plugs for 3 cents each saturday.
    they fell and bumped there heads i do believe.cheez loueez.
    i had to explain they were pricing pelleted sead at that price. go check their catalog again.
    this will be my last year for HBskt's i cant deal with the undercutting of prices like i endured last year.
    i will make my money from now on doing plugs and be done with it, when the rest are fighting weather, cheap prices,and customers wanting something for nothing .i can be sticking softwood cuttings of deciduous shrubs.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Surrey, BC, Canada
    Posts
    221

    plug pricing

    Shepp--for the heck of it, plug prices here in the Van, BC, Canada area...

    various petunias in 105's are around 50 cents. Some like waves are available also in 512 trays...that must be a real small plug, wow...these are priced at 32 cents.

    Min. order is 8 trays at this price.

    As for sticking with growing plugs, I think you're onto something Shepp. I had a good experience selling my hellebore plugs last summer, 32 count for $1.80 to $2.00 each. That was seedlings germinated late winter and pricked immediately into the 2.5in. pot, and grown in the same pot till filled out well mid summer. Figuring prices for seed, pots and soil, the return per sq. foot is about $30 for much less than a year's work. Compare that to looking after most 1 gal. shrubs, 4 per sq. ft. but 2 growing seasons from prop. to sale. Fill in your profit for those. Hanging baskets can be even worse, since you've got heat to consider (none needed for the hellebores in my e.g.)

    My bedding plant grower friend figured out he made $5 profit per basket, after considering all inputs including labour which he does have employees to consider in his case. How many baskets would you have to produce to support your family for a year?

    I believe baskets are done largely to use the space in the rafters, not so much coz they are a big money maker...as you've discovered!

    Now to go out and see how the hellebore germination is going

    Glen

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    443
    hi glenn
    i knew the buyer hadnt done their homework.they were growers at another GH , not a purchaser.i am glad you confirmed the pricing and i wasnt reading it wrong.
    this will be my last year of doing hanging baskets. time and fuel costs along with cutthroats ,these factors combined say its time to end it. any one factor can be worked out.but not the 3 of them.
    it didnt start out this way for me and i was doing fine the first 3 years ,the 4th year is when trouble started.this is the 5th year.its time to revert back to what worked for me in the beginning.
    what i have learned along the way has been priceless.
    now to learn more about hellebore's
    the prices you were getting for them are they retail?
    tell me more about them.
    plugs trays fit in with what i can do with my space,time,heating.
    its a lot more enjoyable and much less worry!

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