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Re: box store plants

Some time back I read an article about a 70 yr old pig farmer in ?Virginia
or MD? or thereabouts who was having trouble making ends meet.  He'd
considered changing over to Chickens, but it takes 15 yrs to make back the
investment he'd have to come up with.  So he joined a group that grows
plants for Home Depot.  The main grower was in PA.  He grew the plugs,
shipped them out to the 18 farmers, many of whom had changed over from
livestock or tobacco to greenhouse plants.  He was told what to grow,
precisely how to grow it, the schedule and amount of fertilizer, etc.  When
ready, the main grower picked them up and delivered to Home Depot.

Though it may seem controlling, it took a lot of the research and potential
for loss off the shoulders of the pig farmer.  And he made back his
investment in 3 yrs.  And his sons say they are happy to work in such a
nice-smelling environment with a future.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: <TeichFlora@aol.com>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Saturday, December 06, 2003 8:24 AM
Subject: Re: [CHAT] box store plants

> In a message dated 12/3/2003 11:04:23 AM Central Standard Time,
> gardenchat-owner@hort.net writes:
> Given what Patricia said about growing for WalMart; think if I were a
> wholesale grower for them I'd want to get out of the business....talk
> about micro-management.  Argh!
>   I think that was an isolated incidence, perhaps with small local
> Again, I can only speak for South Texas. Most of the growers that I know
> our local Walmarts, Home Depots and Lowes get their plants from are all
> same.  These are larger growers that grow plants for nurseries as well as
> large box stores.  All the plants are the same (same size pot, etc.) at
> store.  Like Jim mentioned Monrovia and Hines are the leader of the larger
> (one gallon and up)...these are top quality plants and carried by
> as well as box stores.  Even landscapers purchase  directly from these
>  As for the smaller plants, annuals, etc.  these come from a larger grower
> well, and are purchased equally by many retailers.
> Our local Home Depots and Walmarts also purchase tropicals, orchids,
> bromeliads, etc. from growers in Florida, cacti from Texas, which are
> purchased/ordered off of an availability list from the grower.....the
growers give the sizes,
> types of plants, etc.  There is a major competition with growers for these
> stores to chose from....they do not have to order from these, and can
> if they have gotten nicer plants, better prices, etc. from others.
> These growers are also open to nurseries, or anyone else with a license
> tax number.
> By the way, most box stores here in the Houston area require thier garden
> managers to go through and pass the Master Gardener course. The Lowes
> require their garden managers to study for and pass the Texas Nurserymen's
> and get a Nurserymens license.  Many if not most of the Sales Reps. for
> large growers are also Master Gardener certified.
> Noreen
> zone 9
> Texas Gulf Coast
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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