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Re: Mail Order Nurseries/ plants

Marge & Others on this line of thought...
    One of the things I bump into as a seller of a product.. called garden
plants... is the lack of understanding from the buyer. That is ok in some
ways, they have no reason to know my business in detail. That is my job.
However, plants are not widgets that are manufactured, stored on shelves and
comes down a conveyer belt to be dropped in a box an shipped. They are
living dynamic entities that have to be cared for at all times.
    Example... say my catalog inventory is 300 plants for sale. If .. just a
number... I carry 50 each that is 15,000 pots that have to be cared for and
literally watched over each day. That is the current inventory.. there also
has to be plants coming on to take their place, so essentially their is
another nursery in the background being grown on. Also the seedlings that
were sown, some that do not germinate for two years. Bit like an iceberg...
only the tip is seen as it appears to glide by.
    The average time just to pull and prep and ship and order is about 20 to
25 minutes. The paper work is done later in the evening when we come in from
the packing and shipping. Multiply that toward the number of orders to be
shipped on Monday and Tuesday only........
    Not whining or complaining... just "talking trade"
    Gene E. Bush
Munchkin Nursery & Gardens, llc
Zone 6/5  Southern Indiana

----- Original Message -----
> 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
> cheap.
> 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
> wheat.
> Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland

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