Seedling Favors

 
Plug tray, size of seedlings, and what we pack them in

Plug tray, size of seedlings, and what we pack them in

We grow plug seedlings and transplants is to offer our customers a nice “green” product at a fair price. We think that if you research other sources for evergreen plug seedlings you will find that ours are the most reasonably priced. We will certainly not become wealthy doing this, but hope to be able to sustain our farm and land.


5 types of seedlings

5 types of seedlings

Our plug seedlings make outstanding wedding and event favors, and would be a great fundraiser for any enterprising group. Thus far, they have been to hundreds of weddings, some funerals, birthdays and anniversary parties, 5K runs, or just given out by companies. Do you have a unique idea to green up the world??


BRIEF BACKGROUND OF OUR GREENHOUSE NURSERY

Greenhouse picture

Greenhouse picture

In the summer of 2006 Steph and I bought two greenhouses and related equipment from the former Yankee Gardener Greenhouses. In the spring of 2007 we dug about 400 balsam firs from one of our only fairly flat areas below the pond that was near the existing electrical and water connections. It was leveled off by our neighbor who runs an excavator and bulldozer. Several truckloads of gravel were brought in and leveled. By late March I was sledging posts into the ground for the large greenhouse. (and often stopping to dig up rocks, fill the hole, and start over!) We had part of the frame up by June and the ends framed in with the help of my Dad. Then we were able to get the rest of the pieces as Yankee Gardener was taken down. In mid July our son Kabray and daughter in law Erin helped lift the large heaters in place and I was able to get everything wired up. We had our first crop growing by early August. There was much more to the job than that short explanation, including the erection of a nearby storage garage, but it gives you an idea of the start of our nursery operation. We also went way over our estimated budget!


The first couple seasons we fought with the water, fertilizer, and lighting systems who apparently didn’t like being moved after 20 or more years, but still managed to grow our seedlings. Most of the initial difficulties and learning curve have been overcome by our persistence and we’ll start our fourth crop in early July with much less stress.


Canaan fir plugs

Canaan fir plugs

We start firs, spruces, pines, and cedars – only evergreens – from seed in some 1500 trays that have 67 holes each, that’s around 100,000 started holes! By early November they have had one growing season and are slowly put into dormancy by lowering the nighttime temperature in the greenhouse. By the end of November the low is 24 degrees F, where it remains until the spring sun warms the seedlings, starting them growing about mid March. Then we get another growing season until June when we bring them out of the greenhouse for sales and start another crop. We do put some of the previous crop back in the greenhouse in the fall for sales over the winter.


WHAT KINDS OF PLUG SEEDLINGS DO WE GROW?
We grow balsam, Fraser, Canaan, Nordmann, and Concolor firs.  We grow Douglas fir (which is not a true fir).
We grow blue, white, Norway, Meyer, and Black Hills spruce.
We grow white, red, Southwestern white, Ponderosa, and Austrian  pine.
We grow white (arborvitae) and red cedar.
All of our seed comes from commercial, proven, seed sources.


Seedling forest

Seedling forest

GROWING THEM Evergreens – and thus our seedlings – must go dormant as part of their life cycle. Therefore, they will only grow where it gets cold enough in winter. Other considerations are sun and soil drainage – they all prefer full sun and well drained soil. Another consideration for some areas is soil ph, which needs to be slightly acid-around 6.


Blue Spruce Seedlings packaged different ways

Blue spruce seedling favors packaged different ways

HOW DO WE PACKAGE PLUG SEEDLINGS FOR SHIPMENT TO YOU?
We put each seedling, after moistening, in a clear 1 mil plastic bag that covers the soil plug. If requested, we then put them in burlap bags or any other package that the customer may want.  Since the seedlings are moist when they are put in bags, they will last a couple weeks as long as they are not exposed to extreme heat.
We put a planting instructions sheet and planting instruction cards in each order.

CAN WE ORDER ODD NUMBERS OR COMBINE THE DIFFERENT KINDS?
CAN WE PACKAGE THEM DIFFERENTLY?
We will work with you for any number or kind of order you wish to have. Just call or email us! 866-685-4343 or rich@christmastrees.net

HOW MUCH DO THEY COST?
Exact pricing can be found in our secure online store, but we can ship 100 plug seedlings packaged in clear 1 mil bags anywhere in the country for under $125. If the seedlings are “dressed up” a little the cost goes up, but our prices are the most reasonable you will find for seedling favors.

WHEN ARE THEY AVAILABLE?
They are available year around, but there are times when they can’t be shipped because of temperatures below 20 degrees F.  We don’t want the soil plugs to freeze below 24 degrees F.
White cedars turn copper color when they go dormant (December through March) and wouldn’t make a nice “green” gift in the middle of winter.

HARDINESS ZONE CHART
All evergreens are Northern species, but some are more adaptable to shorter winters, drought, and different soil conditions.
Blue Spruce Zones 3 – 8  White Spruce Zones 2 – 6  Norway Spruce Zones 3 – 7   Meyer Spruce Zones 3 – 8  Black Hills Spruce Zones 2 – 6
Balsam Fir Zones 3 – 6   Fraser Fir Zones 4 – 7  Canaan Fir Zones 3 – 8  Concolor Fir Zones 4 – 7  Nordmann Fir Zones 4 – 7
White Cedar Zones 2 – 9   Red Cedar Zones 2 – 9
White Pine Zones 3 – 8   Red Pine Zones 2 – 6  Southwestern White Pine Zones 5 – 8   Ponderosa Pine Zones 3 – 7  Austrian Pine Zones 3 – 8+
Douglas Fir Zones 4 – 6

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