Beginning a Nursery Business: Producing Your Plants

If you plan to sell plants you have to have plants to sell right?  So how does one go about getting a supply of plants for a nursery business?  As plant retailers we really have only two options: produce the plants on our own or buy them from someone else and resell the plants.  Both options have some very good advantages which is why many nurseries do a combination of producing their own and buying wholesale plants.  Today we'll just talk about propagating the plants for yourself.  Please keep in mind that these are my observations and that my garden business is only a year old - I'm still learning! Producing Plants for a Nursery If you're a gardener you have no doubt tried your hand at propagating plants by some method or another.  Seeds, division, cuttings, layering, and tissue culture are all very valid ways to produce plants for…

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Just Dreaming of Summer Tomatoes

By far my favorite plant from the vegetable garden is the tomato.  I don't buy them from the stores if I can help it as there is very little flavor to be found in store bought tomatoes.  Fresh from the garden is how a tomato should be.  Today on a gray overcast winter day I'm looking back at the tomatoes of the past from my garden.  Those fresh garden tomatoes can't come soon enough for me! Roma tomatoes are excellent for making tomato paste or sauce.  Of course we'll happily make sauce from just about any tomato from our garden. Roma 'Cherokee Purple' tomatoes are delicious for slicing and eating.  The 'Cherokee Purple' tomatoes even have a Tennessee connection. Cherokee Purple The 'Woodle Orange' tomato is one of the most delicious tomatoes we've ever grown. It's my number one for slicing! Woodle Orange 'Red Zebra' tomatoes have interesting striping but…

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6 Common Weeds and How To Deal With Them

It is inevitable. You will find a weed somewhere in your lawn or in your garden.  As things begin to grow this spring you'll notice weeds coming up where you don't want them.  In fact that is the general definition of a weedy plant - a plant that grows where you don't want it!  Any plant can become weedy but some have a certain knack for it. How to Deal with Weeds Henbit First lets look at how to deal with weeds.  I do not recommend using chemicals and I like to avoid them entirely.  Instead I mainly use mechanical means to remove my weeds.  I dig them, pull them, or use my scuffle hoe to cut them off at the top of the roots.  The other method it to smother them with something.  Right now my vegetable garden pathways are covered in cardboard to eliminate spring weeds.  If weeds can't see…

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A Plant Propagation Tip: Make a Mini Greenhouse

A couple weeks ago my wife stopped an bought us some croissants at the grocery store for dinner.  The croissants came in a clear plastic box container.  It was a little over a foot long and a little less than that wide, but the dimensions don't really matter.  The plastic box was tall enough to work in an idea I had.  I brought the box out to the garden with my pruners and some rooting hormone.  You can probably see where this is going. I went to the front garden where I have three 'Otto Luyken' laurels as foundation plantings and took 13-14 cuttings from them.  The cuttings ranged between 4 and 6 inches long. I stripped the cuttings of all leaves except for 1-2 at the top of each cutting.  Then I dipped the cuttings in the rooting hormone and stuck them right in the ground directly behind the…

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Quick Tip: Try Seed Planting With a Hula Hoop

Have you ever used a kids toy to plant seeds?  It might be worth a try!  While out in the garden planting rainbow chard and spinach I used a hula hoop as a planting aid.  Inside the hula hoop I planted the rainbow chard and in the outside ring I planted spinach.  When the plants sprout and begin to grow they should create a beautiful edible arrangement! I'll update you on the circular raised bed's progress when we have growth! (Please excuse the mess! I simultaneously plant seeds and clean up the garden from the winter as I go! the cardboard is there to kill off winter weeds until I can cover the area with mulch for the year.)

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5 Ways to Have a Child Friendly Garden

We have three children in our household who love to be outdoors.  It's extremely hard for this gardener to sneak outside without someone tagging along.  That's a good thing! I'm thrilled that they love to be outside in the open air experiencing what all kids should have the opportunity to experience.  It's important though that the garden be a safe place for kids to experience the outdoors.  Gardeners with children should take note of a few easy things that they can do to make their garden safe and enjoyable for their children! 5 Ways to Have a Child Friendly Garden Ditch the synthetic pesticides and herbicides!   Synthetic pesticides and herbicides aren't good for children to be around. The threat of an accidental poisoning is always present when you use these chemicals.  Look for organic options that are not as dangerous.  Vinegar as a herbicide may not be as effective…

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Beginning a Nursery Business: Where to Sell Your Plants?

Before you really get into producing plants for sale it is very important to come up with a way to get the plants to the customers.  I don't have a place where costumers could just come by and browse the plants since I do all my production from my own garden.  One day perhaps, but I needed to come up with some other options. So where can you market your plants? Here are a few options: Farmer's Markets Plant Sales Local Businesses Mailorder Wholesale Delivery Farmer's Markets I sell some of my plants at a local farmer's market.  Its a good way to get to know the customers face to face and find out what they enjoy growing.  You can get some great feedback and build a relationship with the customers this way.  When you have that personal connection customers will continue to visit you for repeat business.  The ideal…

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2013 Nashville Lawn and Garden Show

The Nashville Lawn and Garden Show is coming up very soon! Here are some of the details. Nashville Lawn & Garden Show February 28 - March 3, 2013  Tennessee State Fairgrounds  Come enjoy Jardins du Soleil - "Gardens of the Sun" The 24th annual show will feature  internationally-inspired garden designs! Amazing live gardens Thousands of spring flowers & plants Free lectures & workshops Spectacular floral designs Shopping in more than 250 exhibit booths filled with plants, outdoor decor, gardening tools and much more!   Welcome Spring at the 2013 Nashville Lawn & Garden Show Speakers include: Featured speaker Frédéric Nancel is Operations and Events Director for the Chateau de Chantilly near Paris, France.  The gardens - from the XVIIth, XVIII and XIX Centuries - have played a central part in the construction of various castles and buildings of the Domaine de Chantilly.  Nancel will discuss ‘It was a Garden Before a Castle’ and ‘Today’s…

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Harbor Freight Greenhouse – After High Winds

Wouldn't you know it?  The day after I post a review on the Harbor Freight Greenhouse I just installed in our backyard a storm system with strong winds comes though to give it a test. I spent most of the evening worried that I would be wandering around our neighborhood searching for plastic window panels.  Fortunately that fear did not become a reality but the greenhouse did not come through unscathed. One roof panel detached itself and ended up landing a few feet away.  This tells me that my initial concern over the clips not holding the panels on well was well founded.  The winds were very strong last night but not the strongest kind of winds like we usually get in March.  The panels definitely need to be secured better.  Screws with washers to be used as spacers are one option.  Caulk will also help to serve as a…

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Harbor Freight Greenhouse Evaluation

Back in the fall I took advantage of a sale at the discount retailer Harbor Freight and bought myself a greenhouse.  It was a small greenhouse at only 6'x8' in size which would be about 48 square feet of space.  I've always heard gardeners say that no matter what size greenhouse you have you will always need more space!  I figured before spending a bunch of money on greenhouses I should test small and inexpensive one to see how it goes then move up from there.  I primarily need to use the greenhouse in the early spring as a growing location for sprouted seeds that need to be moved from my seed starting shelves to clear space for more seedlings. The construction of this greenhouse took me a while.  I was assembling it by myself and only working on comfortable days outdoors - and in the winter comfortable days can…

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