Commercial production of hostas
I am interested in starting a small hosta nursery for local, direct sales.
I have some questions:
WHICH hostas to choose?
It has been suggested that I pick plants that were high on the list in the
latest popularity poll to propagate and grow on for local sales. This may
be a good choice if I were selling to people who were avid hosta fans, but
my customers will be, for the most part, only familiar with 2 or three
varieties of hostas - "the green one, the white one and that big blue one"
I want to grow and sell "good" hostas as determined by the AHS membership,
but I also want to grow "good doers" - plants that finish fast and look
good in as short a time as possible. I feel that I need to give selection
and production equal effort in the beginning. If I am successful, then I
will start concentrating on "collector hostas", which have a very limited
market in this area.
GROWING MEDIA - soil or soilless?
Thus far I have been growing hostas in raised bed that started out as pure
double ground pine bark. Through the years as the pine bark as become
depleted I have added peat, rotted wood chips, rotted hardwood bark, manure
and anything else I can get my hands on that is cheap or free. Plants are
grown in full sun and hand watered.
I have recently started transplanting into beds of various sizes that are a
native loamy silt and lightly ammended with any of the above material that
I have available. These beds are in partial shade. The plants grow well in
both types of media but are easier to dig and divide if grown in the bark
I cannot grow in containers because water is in short supply. We use two
low yield wells and occasionally the expensive water from the county public
Any suggestion on growing in the above conditions? Any "dos" or "don'ts".
I need suggestions for how to best fert for maximum growth in both types of
This is the part I have the most trouble with. I would much rather just
grow plants and give then away than I would sell them. And indeed, this is
what i have been doing for the most part over the past several years.
However being laid of from a job that I held for over 20 years has given me
a different perspective on growing hostas.
How do I find and draw in my customers? How do I convince them that they
should buy my named CVs instead of Walmart's generic junk?
Should I sel
l wholesale, retail or both?
Many questions, with many answers. I am looking forward to reading them.
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