[Market-farming] selling plants

Kate Halstead rockyprairie at earthlink.net
Wed Feb 14 11:13:12 EST 2007


I've been selling heirloom tomatoes and peppers to a couple of local
nurseries for several years now. We've discussed my doing other veggies in
6-packs for them, but the price they are willing to pay is too low to
justify my time. When you are competing against wholesale greenhouses that
have automated planting and care systems, the price per unit they can sell
at is just too low for those doing all the labor themselves.

Also, unless your feed store is very dedicated to taking care of your tiny
seedlings in 6-packs, it may not work out all that well. I've seen things
dry out so fast in those less than ideal environment--and tomato/pepper
plants are very sensitive to stress.

My experience has been that the only time it is worth my time to sell
homegrown tomato and pepper plants is when they are in gallon pots (I use
square ones, 8 to a flat). I can get enough of a price at wholesale that I
make money as well as the garden center being able to add a decent profit. I
tried doing 4-inch pots and found I spent just as much time and effort to
get them ready for sale, only to have the amount received cut more than in
half--definitely not worth it.

I start them on bottom heat in six-packs (12 6-packs/flat) and at about two
weeks out of the ground transplant to the gallon size. I add a stake after
another couple weeks and they are ready to sell in about 8-10 weeks from
seeding.

I've used jiffy pellets to start and found they were not any better and a
lot more expensive than just using regular starting mix in the six packs.

Using soil blocks would be the cheapest way to go for starting things if you
have access to a good mix and the infrastructure to support it.

Kate

-----Original Message-----
From: market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Sheri
Cummings
Sent: Wednesday, February 14, 2007 7:49 AM
To: Market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [Market-farming] selling plants

I have a local feed store interested in buying veggie plants from me to
resell, he wants tomatoes and peppers mostly. Where is the best and cheapest
place to get the 6 pack containers and trays? Has anyone tried grwing in
small paper cups? How about those little things that swell when you add
water, are they economical in numbers? We have an unheated greenhouse to
start them in.

Any wisdom is welcome!

Thanks
Sheri
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