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Re: Mail Order Nurseries

From the little I know, you're right on, Donna.  When you talk about
wholesale growers, they are actually farmers; the green industry
often refers to the plants as "crops".  They grow in quantity to make
up for the really small individual plant price when sold wholesale -
the only way they could survive.  When you grow in vast quantity, you
grow the tried and true and don't experiment with off the wall,
difficult or rare plants.  Volume makes a huge difference - which is
why Walmart, Lowes and Home Despot sell plants cheaper than regular
garden centers or specialist nurseries - they get deals for immense
volume - numbers that boggle my mind, like tens of thousands of any
one plant.  Of course, they don't know squat about the plants; don't
take care of them and sell a lot of mislabeled stuff, but, it's

Now, when a smaller nursery buys wholesale plants, they are often
plugs that are grown on for, as Gene said, 6 months to a couple
years.  To the cost of the plugs, the nursery has to add something
for the labor involved in growing them; the cost of potting soil,
pots, water, etc. and the cost of pulling, inspecting, sorting,
boxing, and paper work, not to mention other overhead items like
catalogs, which cost a bundle to produce and mail.  When you examine
an individual plant's price, you gotta wonder sometimes how smaller
nurseries make it.  Part of how they make it is that all the work is
done by one or two people working really long hours and not making
squat for their labor.

With the big wholesalers, all the costs of production are actually
covered by their plant price - which is substantially lower than
retail - and volume makes it possible.....just like corn, soybeans or

Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
Editor:  Gardening in Shade
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> From: Donna  <justme@prairieinet.net>
> Ya know after reading many comments.....
> Wondering if the actual growers are like farmers.... they get min
> amounts, then this one adds a cost, then that one.... 
> Hum... no wonder so little new and exciting stuff comes out, they
> afford to take a risk.
> IMHO, but could be really wrong here....
> Donna

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