As a year-round facility dedicated to growing plants even in the cold of winter, we can grow very high quality plants where others can't. Often there are large projects pre-planned that need specific plants on a specific date that wouldn't normally be available. Our contract growing fills this gap by starting early and allowing us sufficient time to pre-plan and plant exactly what's needed to be ready at the exact right time.
Contract growing requires sufficient volume of plants, knowledge of what plants you require (we can assist with selection options), a target date of delivery, and a lead-time sufficient enough for us to be able to produce the plants. Typically contract growing requires six to eight months of pre-planning.
When it comes to contract growing, we're here to help. There are four main criteria we need to custom grow a crop:
- Variety Selection - we need to narrow down the plants we're growing. Each plant has a different crop-time from start to finish. Also, different plants have different space and pot-size requirements to be healthy. We often help determine the ideal plants for the project to ensure success.
- Target Week - everything in our greenhouse is carefully timed week by week. If a plant is required by mid-May, that is often around week 21. Since each crop has a different maturing time, we use our plant experience to work backwards from that target week to determine the exact week to start the required plant. Although most crops take 12-16 weeks to produce, some can be much longer, and some can be shorter. On top of the growing time, we need sufficient time to source the seeds/cuttings and ensure we have the proper containers available.
- Plant Maturity - knowing the use of the plant determines the maturity level at the target week. Tomato starts for field planting can be grown in smaller cells and be less mature than super-hot peppers that require a longer growing season and need a bigger head-start in the greenhouse. Annual plants can be requested in smaller more economical sizing for mass-planting or as large pre-finished plants for high-impact instant colour.
- Quantities - contract growing requires larger volumes of plants since everything is custom produced and grown. The seeding/sticking, transplanting, toning, and every step is customized so larger volumes are necessary to be economically viable.
Once all the factors are know, we create a custom quote and price each project independently depending on all the factors.
Some examples of contract growing we have done include:
- Custom hanging baskets and planters for street/commercial projects
- Flowers, herbs, and vegetables for cooperative housing projects
- Annual flowers for large commercial garden plantings
- Hot peppers for boutique hot-sauce companies
- Germinated plug-trays of flower or vegetable seeds for hobby-farms
- Perennial starts for nursery or garden centre growing on