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Re: another MG sale . ROI

Andrea, Donna, and Auralie + DH,

Thanks for the input.We don't pot on to gallons unless the plant is ready
for it and we never do it just b4 a sale; latest is 3 weeks b4 a sale so
that roots are moving well into the new soil.  Depending on the plant we
might charge anywhere from 1 to 3 dollars more for the gallon than the
quart.  We have all kinds of customers - those that want the biggest,
fullest pot they can find and those who realize that a quart will be gallon
size in no time at all.  In fact, on a particular Campanula we charged $8
for those in bloom and $6 that weren't yet, and people snatched up the $8
ones first.

I tend to agree with the assessment that all of you made - bird in the hand.
You never know what the future holds.  That Aug 27 sale could get rained
out.  Someone could forget that the week of August 13 was their week to
water and we could hit 100 degrees.  Last year we were unable to offer any
of our 6 Phlox paniculata because of powdery mildew.  You never know.  On
the other hand, our fall sale (usually early Sep) has been building in
popularity in recent years and we do pretty well.

You are right, we don't technically count the cost of materials other than
the plants themselves, but when looking at the whole picture we have
assigned a value of 50 cents per pot for soil, pot, and fertilizer.
However, each of our display gardens is given a base budget which doesn't
include soil, fertilizer, etc, so we count those things as a "given" for our
"garden".  And then there are the losses like half of our borderline hardy
St. John's Wort and the whole flat of Weigela Wine & Roses.  Those should be
counted against our net, but instead we consider them learning experiences.
Besides, these losses are offset by the cuttings and divisions of special
plants that our group cultivates that cost us nothing.

We will still have about 450 pots available for the fall sale, probably all
gallons by then.  And a few will be new introductions, not leftovers from
the other sales, so we should be fine.

If I had it to do over, the only thing I might do would be to hold back a
half dozen of a few that we never got to see in gallon size, like Agastache
rupestris.  We got $4 for them in quarts, but if they'd have been in gallons
in flower in August, I bet we could have gotten $7 or $8 - plus I'd just
like to have seen it.

neIN, Z5
----- Original Message ----- 
From: <Aplfgcnys@aol.com>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Sunday, June 26, 2005 9:06 AM
Subject: Re: [CHAT] another MG sale . ROI

> Kitty, I read your message to my DH who is involved in big plant sales at
> two of the organizations he sits on the board of.  His advice is keep the
> bird in hand.  His groups find fall plant sales are never as successful as
> those in the spring.  Non-gardeners just don't think in terms of fall
> plantings
> of anything more than bulbs.  Add to that, you, like most volunteer
> are not counting the cost of potting those quarts on into gallons.  That's
> a lot more work and materials, in addition to the care needed over the
> summer.You made more actual dollars, and the ROI is still quite good.
> Give yourself a break.  You work too hard.
> Auralie
> In a message dated 06/26/2005 9:16:50 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
> kmrsy@comcast.net writes:
> So.  What do you think?  We are happy with the money we've brought in, but
> are we making our dollar go far enough?  If we'd waited the qts would have
> been ready now to pot up to gallons and we could get more for them that
> at the August sale.  And yet, that's a gamble too.  So what do you think?
> bird in the hand... or Don't be too hasty?
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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