• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

starting a salvage nursery, need some advice

 
Gilbert Fritz
Posts: 1205
Location: Denver, CO
16
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello Everyone,

I'm trying to start a "salvage nursery." All around us, thousands of perfectly good plants are heading to the landfill; divisions that are not wanted, aggressive spreaders, cuttings from trees and shrubs, volunteer seedlings, seeds and fruits, casualties of landscape remodels, development, or demolition. Also heading to the landfill are the containers to put the plants in, the materials to make the potting soil out of, labels for the plants, and landscaping materials to surround the plants in their final home.

So, a few questions.

I want to pay people something for these materials, at least when it is an individual home owner dividing a plant. This is good for everyone and will keep the resources coming. But how much is fair? And how much should I sell the eventual plants for?

A question Dale might be able to answer; how do I price landscape materials? Say I go to a house that will be demolished, and see that there are interesting plants, a brick walkway, some flagstones, landscape rock, and a fire pit. I go to the owner and say, "for so much, can I demolish and salvage the landscape?" And how much would that so much be? How to set a value to this sort of thing?

What are some ideas to find materials? I've thought of contacting landscapers and tree trimming crews (the amount of tree prunings that could become cuttings is staggering) town hall to see who has pulled demolition or building permits, and advertising landscape tear-out services. The problem with the third option is that I've tried it on Craigslist; no luck.

Also, the bulk of this material is thrown away by individual homeowners, bit by bit. How to reach these people? I've tried and failed on Craigslist.

I've also thought of rummaging nursery dumpsters as they toss overstock; some sad plants could be salvaged with a bit of care, and there are lots of containers.
 
Dale Hodgins
gardener
Posts: 6139
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
187
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I heard this one calling my name. I'll compose a more complete reply later.

The number one priority is to secure supply. This means contacting every demolition, excavating and land development company in your area. If you can do the salvage work without being a pain in the ass, the entire business can be yours. These people talk. Timing is paramount. Nobody is going to cancel the excavator or send the blasters home because the tulips are still in the ground. They don't want people or their vehicles in the way.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9459
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
163
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't have anything useful to say except that I love this idea of a salvage nursery with salvaged landscape materials!
 
Gilbert Fritz
Posts: 1205
Location: Denver, CO
16
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Good points Dale, I'll wait to see what you say further.
 
Eric Thompson
Posts: 370
Location: Bothell, WA - USA
11
duck food preservation solar trees
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If you're raising and propagating plants, make that your currency! Why not trade a homeowner some lemon balm and currants for those hostas you dug and divided?
 
Gilbert Fritz
Posts: 1205
Location: Denver, CO
16
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Eric,

Good point; I've already traded some nettles for some comfrey.

Of course, I'm less sure that I could trade plants for eggs, tools, or cloths, but who knows?
 
William Bronson
Posts: 1222
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
9
forest garden trees urban
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
How about an old school used book store modle, two for one, three for one, in store credit.
Subject to approval on a case by case basis of course, lest you get a forest of box elders in return for some of your best fruit trees.
 
Gilbert Fritz
Posts: 1205
Location: Denver, CO
16
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Good point William.

Another thing I'm thinking about is contacting realtors. We will remove those overgrown beds, goofy rocks, tacky driftwood, and rotting sheds for your clients. . . for a fair price. . . and then sell the stuff (though less is said about that!)
 
William Bronson
Posts: 1222
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
9
forest garden trees urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A lot of my fences and boardwalks came from paying demo jobs, but that's nothing compared to the way Dale works things!
 
Gilbert Fritz
Posts: 1205
Location: Denver, CO
16
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yes, Dale is a salvage inspiration, for sure!
 
Thomas warren
Posts: 67
Location: Yakima County, E WA
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You could offer to do the landscape work for free in exchange for the divisions.
 
Dale Hodgins
gardener
Posts: 6139
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
187
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank you gentleman. I'm back after a break due to a new telephone which wouldn't let me use permies.

Whenever I get a large landscape that is up for grabs, the first thing I do is call a number of potential buyers. The products are worth much less than they would be if they were sitting at a garden center. Most things are not worth digging up. Many things are overgrown and many are undesirable for other reasons. It's important to only put time into plants that will pay you a decent wage once they are sold. My Method has always been to sell plants directly from the site. I have dug up a few plants, but mostly I sell them as is and the customer dig them up. If you plan to dig up many and store them somewhere, you will get a lot more money out of any given site. Then it's just a matter of advertising. There is a never-ending supply of certain plants that are prolific. These tend to be available very cheaply or for free. I've found that it's better to concentrate on really high-quality specimens and on things that are a rarity.

One of my customers, Phyllis, ran a successful salvage nursery for many years. She would buy the rights to a site or in many cases get it for free and then high-end the place, grabbing only the most valuable items. This was sometimes only a few and sometimes dozens of different plants.
.....
Aggressive ground covers were mentioned earlier. I would never try to sell any of those without knowing exactly how they behave. Ground covers that get away and become invasive can cost your customers thousands of dollars and years of headaches. If this where ever to happen to me as a customer, I would never forget and one way or another, I would exact a horrible toll on the person who supplied me with the plant. This is the biggest mistake that those selling and giving plants away make. Be really sure of what you are selling. No one wants to purchase something that will cost them many times more, trying to control it.
.....

When a pristine, wild site is being developed, there may be plants which are valuable to those setting up a naturalized landscape. Go for the ones that are very tolerant of disturbance. Around here, and that means Oregon grape ,salal and other drought tolerant natives. Extremely fragile native plants may be more trouble than they are worth. Some have specific requirements that are tough to simulate in a home garden.

Be sure to check to see if any of the native plants in your area are on an endangered species list. If so there will be strict rules surrounding them. But in many jurisdictions you can be permitted to remove and relocate these plants if the site is bound to be destroyed. Contact the appropriate government office. This may lead to you becoming the go-to guy when these folks need to figure out what to do with plants that everyone would like to save.
.....
 
Gilbert Fritz
Posts: 1205
Location: Denver, CO
16
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Dale,

Good points. About the low value plants; yes, nobody in their right mind would pay for mint (of any type) Siberian elm saplings, or Russian olive cuttings.

However, the spreading plants thing is difficult. It seems there are two kinds of plants in Denver; the plants that spread, and the plants that don't live. Especially on demolition sites, which may not have been cared for in a while, most of the non-spreading plants will be dead. Thus, most of the plants I have available will be tough types. I remember that somebody I knew had a nice garden, and about half the plants lived, throve, and spread. The other half died. However, they didn't like the spreading ones, and kept whacking them back, or removing them altogether. So eventually there were very few plants left.

I guess I could just warn people that some of these are potentially spreading?

Another issue is plants infested with grass or bindweed; absolutely no go. Bindweed must be the worst thing on Earth. Of course, both from an identity prospective and due to hidden weed problems, keeping the plants at my place for a while may be a good thing.

How do you build a buyer’s list?

I have access to a lot of area to store plants.

You have a good point about Native plants, though there is little undisturbed area near Denver now. In the foothills there is ongoing development, and potentially small trees to rescue as/ when my business gets bigger.

A few more questions:

How to price things relative to store bought in the area? Half price?

What about jobs where I'm hired to demolish a garden structure, so it has to all be gone, as opposed to grabbing the good stuff; what should the basic costs be? Any hidden costs that might get in the way?

What is worth it/ is not worth it as far as landscape materials? I'm assuming there is no value in garden gnomes, etc. I'm wondering about bricks, pavers, flagstone, timbers, ornamental driftwood, and the like. Are these economically viable, on a "smash and grab" high-grading job? On a paid removal job?

I'm especially interested in gravel and landscaping cobbles. Yards in Denver often contain tons of gravel as "zero-scaping." Now that gravel is often full of dirt and weeds. On the other hand, new gravel tends to mess up riverbeds, etc., so recycled gravel might have a market if I could do it. Is there any easy way to clean up and remove gravel? Do you think with the right advertising people would buy it?

How large of a tree or shrub is to large to dig up and move, as far as the economics of the thing? I'd be working by hand, with at very most a rented light earth-moving machine of the Home Depot variety. Let's say I had to rent a baby backhoe for a job anyway; in that case would it be worth while digging up and burlaping shrubs and small trees?

Can structures (greenhouses, gazeboes, fences, sheds, arbors) be most economically removed as sold as such entities ( assuming they are intact and in good shape) or as components? I.e. is the increased price received worth the extra time to preserve the informational and organizational component of the structure?

What is the best way to remove a rusted in place screw?

Any hidden problems you’ve run into that are relevant for this?

Any easy way to get rid of tree/ shrub prunnings short of buying a chipper? I can't burn in Denver.
 
Dale Hodgins
gardener
Posts: 6139
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
187
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Whenever a landscape is obtained, there are usually hardscapes that are available for free as well. I have harvested many patio blocks, paving bricks, specimen rocks and pieces of garden statuary. Bird baths, bird feeders and lawn furniture are sometimes part of the mix.

 It's often not apparent just how much of this stuff is in a landscape until you get poking around. I had a place last summer that had about 60 concrete statues and about the same number of small paving stones. This was far too much for the modest-sized landscape that it covered. The ladies who bought all of this are professional landscapers. They will supply sensible  amounts to their customers as opportunities  arise.

 There were many different themes in this overcrowded  landscape. Several cartoon characters were represented. There were garden gnomes of different sizes, very tacky. And there were several religious statues including Buddha and some Catholic saints. The two landscapers have put together many tasteful displays that tend to go with one theme or another, not a Disney /religious / cartoon and fairy mishmash.
.....
Big piles of compost, soil, bark mulch, gravel, sand and other unused supplies are often lying there in a pile for the taking. Hanging baskets that have seen better days are often lying around. The basket itself may be  in perfect reusable condition.
 
Deb Rebel
pollinator
Posts: 659
Location: Zone 6b
62
books cat fish food preservation greening the desert solar trees urban woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
When I lived big urban, large malls and public places, would put plants into the planters and greenplaces in their pots, and at the end of a season pull the plants and just toss them. You could get all sorts of things for free if you were there as they pulled (I got many houseplants, azaleas, mums, etc that way).
 
Josephine Howland
Posts: 32
Location: White Mountains of New Hampshire zone 5
books dog hugelkultur
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You said you didn't have luck with craigslist, but don't give up on it, keep trying. Try hosting some plant swaps as a way to meet some area gardeners. Contact/join as many area garden clubs as you can, lots of knowledge, instant customers and they tend to have divisions. Check freecycle. Can you go to your dump? Check out the brush and compost pile. Check with local restaurants, they ALWAYS have buckets that food comes in (especially pizza sauce) and you can make holes and use as planters. Have fun.
 
Gilbert Fritz
Posts: 1205
Location: Denver, CO
16
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Deb and Josephine,

Good ideas! It will be really exciting to see things start moving.

 
Deb Rebel
pollinator
Posts: 659
Location: Zone 6b
62
books cat fish food preservation greening the desert solar trees urban woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Gilbert, I see you are in Denver. Lots of those sorts of places (malls and shopping centers) to get that sort of stuff from. You might even find out who does the servicing of the spaces and offer to them to come cart off for them. (aka that would be payment, as otherwise they have to pay to get rid of the plants)...
 
Thekla McDaniels
gardener
Posts: 1607
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
81
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Something to keep in mind when you consider starting cuttings: many plants are patented, eg many varieties of fruit trees and ornamentals, so they have laws about not propagating them. If you don't know what variety they are, then you won't know which ones might not be ok to propagate. so, when you sell them you have to say something descriptive: deep red exhibiton quality scented tea rose as opposed to "Mr Lincoln".

Lots of fruit trees and roses are grafted, but could be grown on their own rootstock. You could also propagate rootstock to graft onto, or grow them on their own roots.

Craig's list has been mentioned, that's where I would go to find out what people are paying for landscape materials. If I lived in your area, I'dtry to trade you all kinds of starts in exchange for things I was getting from you.

I think it sounds like a great idea. I hope you can make it work! I think there are enough people in your area to support your business idea.

As you get some experience, I think you'll develop a sense of what to charge, how to value your labor, how to estimate how long it will take, a sense of what is worth your time, whether you want to mess with things, etc.

I knew a guy who did gardening work in addition to his day job. Someone called him because a skunk had died in the crawlspace under the house. I guess a lot of handyman and gardening type people had refused, said they didn't do "that kind of work". Rafael said he'd do it for $1000.00 and they hired him. If it's an onerous task, that you don't really want to do, just name the price at which it would be worth your while, and if it's worth it to the people they will pay you.


 
Deb Rebel
pollinator
Posts: 659
Location: Zone 6b
62
books cat fish food preservation greening the desert solar trees urban woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I totally forgot about the PPAF and PP .... Plant Patent Applied For and Plant Patent. And sometimes stuff is NOT marked, or you can't get a positive ID on it. It can take 15 years for something to be developed and have the Plant Patent come in, then have the patent run for the number of years.

That can be a real problem. If you are reselling you MUST know what it is and have it correctly identified (and I have gotten plants that were not properly ID'ed or after I got them home and looked up, find they are under a PP or PPAF and that was NOT on the nursery tag). You can't even propagate more for yourself if you own a PP or PPAF.

Be absolutely sure of what you are recycling. A plant patent runs for 20 years from the date of the application. If you look something up and it is about 30 years from when it was developed it may still be under patent because they didn't apply for the patent right away.
 
Gilbert Fritz
Posts: 1205
Location: Denver, CO
16
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
About PPAF;

Since virtually nothing in a landscape slated for demolition will be marked, and there is not much likelihood that people will be around to ask, or that they will remember if they were, how do you think I would go about this?

If unmarked plants have been salvaged from a landscape somewhere, and then sold or traded by someone, isn't it unlikely A. that anybody will ever be able to figure out if anything PPAF or PP has been sold or not, B. anybody will report it if it is somehow figured out and C. that anybody would get into trouble in any case?

Or am I underestimating the power of the "big guys"?

I mean, wouldn't genetic testing have to be done to establish the point, unless the PP variety is something really unusual?

Also, can a PP thing be resold? I.E. if I'm digging it up and reselling it, no "propagation" as such has been done. Or can't they even be resold?

I guess a PP plant could be swapped for another plant.

I'd appreciate anyone's thoughts on this.
 
Gilbert Fritz
Posts: 1205
Location: Denver, CO
16
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
About labeling plants;

I figure that PP or not, I will be stuck with just descriptive labels, as Thekla pointed out. I think it would be rare for these plants to have a variety name. So far, I've got sedums of various sorts, strawberries, grape hyacinth, and daylily from salvage. No names on any of it.
 
Dan Boone
gardener
Posts: 1752
Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
190
forest garden trees woodworking
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thekla McDaniels wrote:Something to keep in mind when you consider starting cuttings: many plants are patented, eg many varieties of fruit trees and ornamentals, so they have laws about not propagating them.


Deb Rebel wrote:If you are reselling you MUST know what it is and have it correctly identified (and I have gotten plants that were not properly ID'ed or after I got them home and looked up, find they are under a PP or PPAF and that was NOT on the nursery tag). You can't even propagate more for yourself if you own a PP or PPAF.


Because I think plant patents are both silly and pernicious, I want to jump in here and make sure folks understand what they mean for the average gardener or even a small-scale local nursery business.

In the US at least, there is no such thing as a criminal law that prohibits propagation of patented plants. You can't go to jail. There are no laws that say you can't propagate them. You can propagate them. The only consequence of patent infringement (if you get caught and taken to court by the patent owner, the cops will never get involved) is having to pay civil damages. (These can be really high.)

So propagating a patented plant is a tort, not a crime. It's not a moral failing, it's not an ethical lapse, it's a perfectly legal thing to do that might cost you a lot of money if you do it in the sort of large-scale public way that your propagation could come to the attention of the patent holder.

Those "propagation prohibited" tags? They are lies. What they should say is something like "Propagation without a license from the patent holder could result in civil liability" but that wouldn't scare so many people, would it?

This is where the difficulty of recognizing when you've got a patented plant cuts both ways. If you find it without a tag and sell it on with a general description ("Gorgeous tall lilac bush") the patent owner has no way to find out about that transaction and no way (short of expensive genetic testing) to prove that you violated the patent.

So when I buy a plant (not often) that has one of those lying "propagation prohibited" tags, I laugh and throw it away. If I wanted to propagate that plant on my own property, I would. Who could know? The patent owner doesn't even have a legal way to get onto my land to get a genetic sample of my plants from which to prove the tort! (Plus of course it's vanishingly unlikely that I'll come to the patent owner's attention.) The only way to get burned for this is if you're stupid and go onto the internet saying "Hah hah hah I just made 10,000 cuttings from the following patented plant: {cultivar name} neener neener" which later turned up in the patent owner's IP-protection Google searches.

Now in the nursery business, you would certainly get sued (and maybe put out of business) selling the patented plant under its commercial cultivar name via Criag's List or a website or any other searchable place. Your advertisement is your admission to the commission of the tort, making the lawsuit fairly likely and easy.

But on a smaller scale, if you're salvaging plants that you don't even know are patented, how are you going to be able to market them (or even ID them) in a way that the patent owner could hope to learn about? The risk is not zero, but if you stay off the internet it's got to be very low.

Hope this helps put some folks' minds at ease about patented plants!


 
Dan Boone
gardener
Posts: 1752
Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
190
forest garden trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Gilbert I cross-posted with you!

Gilbert Fritz wrote:
If unmarked plants have been salvaged from a landscape somewhere, and then sold or traded by someone, isn't it unlikely A. that anybody will ever be able to figure out if anything PPAF or PP has been sold or not, B. anybody will report it if it is somehow figured out and C. that anybody would get into trouble in any case?

Or am I underestimating the power of the "big guys"?

I mean, wouldn't genetic testing have to be done to establish the point, unless the PP variety is something really unusual?


I think you're exactly right about all of this.

Gilbert Fritz wrote:
Also, can a PP thing be resold? I.E. if I'm digging it up and reselling it, no "propagation" as such has been done. Or can't they even be resold?

Of course they can. Where it gets fuzzy is where you dig up a plant and divide the ball into six parts, repot them, and sell them on separately. If you did this with a patented plant you grew yourself, that would clearly be patent infringement. But if the plant flourished in the former owner's yard, and then you come into possession of it and divide it, who is the infringer? Did the owner (who allowed the plant to propagate but did not commit an act of propagation) infringe the patent? Can patent law impose an obligation to keep a perennial plant from asexually reproducing itself? Is there even an infringer? Only a patent lawyer knows for sure, but first you have to get caught.
 
Thekla McDaniels
gardener
Posts: 1607
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
81
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm no lawyer, I'm just speculating here but I don't think it would be illegal or violate the PP or PPAF thing to resell, after all, that's what most commercial nurseries do. I think if it is distinctive, and many are, and therefore recognizable, you could just tell the truth, call it by what you think the name is, and describing it, but explaining how come you are not sure.

Many of the PP and PPAF plants are kind of wimpy, not your bulletproof survivor types, but propagated because of some spectacular feature.

And then into the grey zone, where you don't really know what the plant is, rose, but which rose, apple but which apple, and it seems worth propagating, then my opinion is why not go ahead?

I have some David Austin roses, one among them, "Jude the Obscure" has very distinctive blossoms. I would not propagate and sell as "Jude the Obscure". I would not propagate as "looks like" Jude the Obscure, because it's so clear that is the only thing it could be. So it would be easy for them to "prove it", and they are big enough, with a big enough market share it would be worth it to them to stop any pirating they discovered.

Then there are things that no one has any way of knowing what it is, except "it's a calibrachoa". Many are patented but some are not, they had to start with something! A seed from a patented calibrachoa is not the patented one and so it's fair game. But if you bought a patented labeled one from Home Depot or other venue, you could not rightfully take cuttings and root them.

I only mentioned the whole issue because I thought it was something worth knowing about for a person considering what you're considering. It is just part of the industry you would be joining.

I knew of a nursery that sold grafted roses for $1.00 each. The man they bought them from had lots of experience in grafting, and he was propagating rootstock and grafting patented and or well known rose varieties and selling them to this nursery. There was never any problem for the nursery or the man doing the pirating of plant material, but there certainly could have been, if patent owners found out and wanted to make an issue of it.

As you go into the business, you'll gain perspective and know how to proceed. With any luck the issue/ situation will never even come up.

Again, best luck, I think there's a niche there for you!
 
Deb Rebel
pollinator
Posts: 659
Location: Zone 6b
62
books cat fish food preservation greening the desert solar trees urban woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm doing backyard propagation to sell to the public in a few years (I need some sort of income stream). If I try I have been able to locate similar but unpatented plants to a lot of PP or PPAF plants. Thus I don't have to worry.

There are a lot of similar looking plants out there. And do not go into selling the plants under a trademarked or copyrighted name. There may be a juniper that is sold under the latin name, and someone hand picked a more yellow version, propagated that and calls it 'yellow flame' do not sell anything under 'yellow flame' stick to the latin.

I pussyfooted that one last year, on what involved copyright infringement and trademark violations.

I agree on salvage you may not be able to identify the stuff, but I give it the best chance possible to do so. There's a sort of loose network of small scale propagators like myself, and someone got a batch of misidentified Emerald Green Arbor Vitae, and noticed that the small plants were not following the growth pattern and shape of the true Emerald Green, and had to backtrack to find out what they might be and tell the person they got them from that they had a mis-identified. Even if the person that gets the plant in the end throws the tag away, it still needs a best effort on finding out what it is exactly and leaving PPAF and PP stuff alone. I have a few things that are just a few years from expiring, and you bet I'm propagating them. I will hold them until the stuff expires though.
 
Thekla McDaniels
gardener
Posts: 1607
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
81
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Dan, I appreciate your clarification about plant propagation, & patent infringement & crime and tort. Thanks. Now I will go look up the definition of tort, my understanding of that is not solid.
Thekla
 
Scott Turner
Posts: 12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I didn't read through all the posts to hopefully not repeating someone here. We work at a large commercial green house and come early-mid June they throw out all the rootbound sad left overs in what they have termed a dump party. Some years there are thousands of plants (lots of petunias) I know these particular people would love to see someone come and make use of them and would give a screaming deal but the one concern would be that plants are super root bound and may be permanently disadvantaged as far as production goes. Anyhoo if you were to reach out to local GH's in your area I bet you could work out some late season deals. Also this outfit quits watering and a lot of them just die in place so you may want to make that contact now to assure that does not happen.
 
Gilbert Fritz
Posts: 1205
Location: Denver, CO
16
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm going to contact some local nurseries, and we will see! I wouldn't be interested in annuals, but with perennials I think I could get around the stunting and root bind problem by dividing them into small pieces and growing them on for another year before resale.

I am a little worried about neonicitinoids and other systemics, but cutting back the top growth and dividing them into small pieces, which will be grown in new potting mix, should avoid most of that problem.

On a related note, can fungi break down neononics?
 
Deb Rebel
pollinator
Posts: 659
Location: Zone 6b
62
books cat fish food preservation greening the desert solar trees urban woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
One I started doing here since we are past bloom and into leaf out and new growth; I have a lot of older friends. I am going to their place to do yardwork, and trim up their bushes, trees, etc, dig out the old rootbound clumps and such, and getting to take the cutoffs and divisions home to start into new stock. Win-win though it is back breaking at times for me. A lot of lovely older stuff. Or if a tree is coming down I'll show up to do the same thing, get cutting stock. I also have graft-stock going so some things that need to be grafted I can deal with it. I've got several tagged up already with 'temporary ID' as I try to zero in on what it is exactly. ... just another source.
 
Gilbert Fritz
Posts: 1205
Location: Denver, CO
16
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Looking at salvaging some lilacs, wondering if it would be worth it. The details are in this thread: http://www.permies.com/t/55676/plants/Worth-salvaging-lilacs

Any thoughts on lilacs or shrubs in general?
 
Deb Rebel
pollinator
Posts: 659
Location: Zone 6b
62
books cat fish food preservation greening the desert solar trees urban woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Well I love lilacs so YES save the lilacs!
 
Thekla McDaniels
gardener
Posts: 1607
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
81
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I posted on your lilac thread. Yes, I think they are worth growing. As for shrubs, I think they're a good bet. I think if you can grow them to 5 gallon size, and well shaped, you can sell them for premium prices. Sell them when they're blooming, if it doesn't sell, get a photo of the blooms for the color, and note when it blooms as well.

Small scale landscape contractors will likely keep an eye on your inventory of shrubs, when they're bidding their jobs.

I used to work in others' gardens, "fine gardening" not lawn mowing. I would have loved to have something like your salvage nursery as a resource, and it would have benefitted my clients as well.
 
Gilbert Fritz
Posts: 1205
Location: Denver, CO
16
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yes, three to five gallon pots can be had free (buckets!)

Thanks for the advice Deb and Thekla! I like the idea of taking pictures of the flowers.

And I have a few clients that I can sell to, but not enough. Ideally, I will get lots of other people involved; landscape designers basing their designs on our inventory, salvage crews, compost makers, biochar burners, carpenters, grafters, planters, laborers, etc. etc. etc.
 
Jeremy VanGelder
Posts: 11
Location: Proebstel, Washington, USDA Zone 6B
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey Gilbert, there may be some value you could add to garden gnomes, particularly broken ones. Over at ThinkGeek they are selling Zombie Apocalypse Gnomes. As well as Kaiju (Japanese Monster) gnomes, ninja gnomes and Star Trek gnomes. Maybe with some paint and creativity someone could recycle old gnomes into zombies, taking advantage of gnomes with cracked heads and missing appendages.
 
alex Keenan
Posts: 487
12
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Don't want to rain on your parade, however, I tried something alone those lines decades ago.
It only takes one bad batch of plants to introduce disease or insect to kill your sales.
That is why I now grow from seed or buy liners from reliable growers.
I also isolate all new plants for a few weeks. I have to trash some new stuff from time to time.
I now tend to avoid plant swaps for the same reason. I do trade seeds sometimes.
 
Deb Rebel
pollinator
Posts: 659
Location: Zone 6b
62
books cat fish food preservation greening the desert solar trees urban woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
alex Keenan wrote:Don't want to rain on your parade, however, I tried something alone those lines decades ago.
It only takes one bad batch of plants to introduce disease or insect to kill your sales.
That is why I now grow from seed or buy liners from reliable growers.
I also isolate all new plants for a few weeks. I have to trash some new stuff from time to time.
I now tend to avoid plant swaps for the same reason. I do trade seeds sometimes.


2012 a local nursery got mealybugs. I can take you right to where they winter there. If you bring anything back from there you will have them and they are a PITA to eradicate. Everyone in the region is now fighting them. Including me.

(edited for content)

I have had disease come in with seeds, I have had disease come in from a smoker (tobacco mosaic virus) and both were hard to deal with. I have just finished the three years of scorched earth for Tobacco Mosaic. That really put a dent in my peppers project.

I totally agree on the isolation bit, like that regional nursery, you can get something in and it won't leave.
 
Gilbert Fritz
Posts: 1205
Location: Denver, CO
16
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm thinking I would have to educate customers; warn them that since these are salvaged, second hand plants I have no control over disease issues, though I would of course throw away anything obviously diseased. This would probably scare some people away, but better that then a lawsuit. And after all, the plants are going to be sold at half price.
 
There is no beard big enough to make me comfortable enough with my masculinity to wear pink. Tiny ad:
2017 Homesteaders PDC (permaculture design course) & ATC (appropriate technology course) in Montana
https://permies.com/wiki/61764/Homesteaders-PDC-permaculture-design-ATC
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!