Starting a Plant Nursery

When you are thinking about starting a plant nursery, one of the first questions that comes to mind is: Who will buy my plants?

Having those kind of concerns is certainly understandable, and I can tell you all day long that the market for nursery stock is great, but until you see for yourself how well our plants sell, you just can't believe it.

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Take a look at the backyard nursery photos below:

Set Up for Our Spring Plant Sale

This is how we set up for our spring plant sales for our backyard nursery. Now, keep in mind that you do not have to sell plants from your house.

You can grow plants for the wholesale market, and never have a customer at your house. If you were to grow just rooted cuttings you could sell them wholesale and have customers all over the country.

Hey Mike, What about my local zoning?

As you look at these three photos, ask yourself this question: Would McGroarty drag all of these plants into his driveway if he didn't think they'd sell?

Now here's the answer. Not only will most of these plants sell, but as our sale goes on, we bring more and more plants out front everyday just to keep the sales are full. Until we run out of plants.

Our plant inventory the day before our plant sale

I took the above photo on April 23, the day before our first advertisement of the year appeared in the paper.

Our plant inventory after 4 weeks of sales

I took the above photo on May 18th, just four weeks later. In that time we sold $25,879. worth of plants at $4.97 each. The last week I lowered the price to $3.97 because everything was so picked over.

But... we also hauled more plants from our Backyard Nursery out into the driveway just about everyday, so we actually sold even more plants than you see here! Every time we'd sell 50 or 60 plants we'd haul more out front until the nursery was almost empty!

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If we'd had more really nice plants we could have sold a lot more! The people kept coming, but we just didn't have a lot left to chose from.

Keep in mind, our plants were priced at $4.97 or less, and almost everybody would have loved to pay more for larger plants. But we made the decision a few years ago to grow one size plant, and sell them all for the same price. Just think if I'd had some $25.00 plants!

We used to sell larger plants at $40., $50, even $90., and they sold like crazy. The only reason we quit doing that is because the little plants are just so much easier to handle, and our customers love the price!

Since our cost to grow a plant in our backyard nursery is less than 25 cents, we're still making a very nice profit at $4.97. How many retail businesses do you know of that can earn a 1600% profit on the items they sell?

I don't know of any.

These photos are real and not staged in any way. Many of the people from this website have come to our spring plant sales and toured our little backyard nursery just to see it up close.

We've had visitors from New York, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, and we're located in northern Ohio. Most of them purchase a bunch of plants to take back home to use as stock plants so they can get started with their own backyard plant nursery.

The back area of our plant nursery

This is one area of our backyard plant nursery. Notice the ornamental grasses and Hosta planted in the foreground. We grow them in the ground for one season, then divide them.

The side area of our plant nursery where we root cuttings

This is the other section of our backyard nursery. The bed to the far right is where we root our cuttings.

Another angle of our side area of our plant nursery

This is the same area as the above photo, but from the other end. This photo was taken in late summer. The cuttings that are now on the left are all rooted and ready to be potted up.

This our backyard and the nursery is only 1/20 of an acre

This is our backyard. Our entire lot is only 1/2 acre. Our backyard nursery is only 1/20 acre in size. Notice all the beautiful plants in the landscape? Those are our stock plants. We take cuttings from them to root and sell. Here's the really cool part about that. Any plant that we buy to use as a stock plant is a tax deductible business expense. (Check with your tax advisor.)

How cool is that????

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Click here to learn more about the Backyard Nursery Business!

Mike McGroarty sticking cuttings in a bed of sand

Here I am sticking cuttings in a bed of sand. Most people don't believe me, but when we make cuttings we do about 5,000 a day. In just two days we stick 8,000 to 10,000 cuttings, and in four to six weeks they are rooted.

Mike McGroarty potting up rooted cuttings

Here I am potting up the cuttings we rooted. This is my world famous, legless potting bench. I'm serious, my legless potting bench is famous. Well, sort of. You can check it out here.

Mike McGroarty sitting in a Jackson wheelbarrow

Have you ever actually sat in a Jackson Wheelbarrow? They really are comfortable. Sometimes I just sit and stare at our backyard plant nursery. I really am in awe of what we do in our backyard nursery. I built this nursery,but to this day it just amazes that we can do this in our backyard, on 1/20th of an acre.

As a side note. Since these two photos were taken I've lost a little over 40lbs. If I can keep the weight off for at least year, you can give me an "attaboy" because I've struggled with my weight for years. I finally figured out that I needed to work as hard on my health as I do at my backyard plant nursery.

What are you waiting for?

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Questions? I do my best to answer all questions on my blog...