Suggested Yearly Calendar for New Growers – (Or, What We Wish Someone Would Have Told Us When We First Started)


December 27, 2023

Running a successful greenhouse business takes a lot of forethought and planning. Seasons tend to sneak up on you, and they’re gone before you can maximize them. This quick guide (yearly calendar) will help you think through your own production year and what you need to do each season to grow your business.

Summer

Planning

  • Look at previous spring sales and make necessary changes to planning. Go ahead and book your orders now for plants, pots, and soil in order to have the best chance at availability. You can always make changes to those orders later. 
  • Typically, it’s best to add two weeks to production time when ordering. (Don’t count your shipping week because you may not receive the plants until late in the week, and plants need a few days to recoup from the stress of shipping. Build in an extra week for weather delays, production delays, damaged shipments that need to be replaced, or other unforeseen delays. Remember, it’s easier to control overgrown plants through pinching and PGRs than to try to hurry along small plants that need more time to finish.) 
  • Clean houses and get ready for next season
  • Take a look at your yearly calendar to make sure no tasks are about to sneak up on you.
  • Take a vacation.

Advertising: 

  • Update your website.
  • Make an advertising plan for the fall and following spring. 
  • Maintain a small online presence through free advertising. Remember to update Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc., with anything that shows off your finished product. Your goal is not to sell plants but to be part of the gardening community.
  • Start light advertising for the fall. 

Sales

  • Mainly foliage, house plants, and succulents. Not a lot of blooming plants sell during the hot summer months. Expect much slower sales than in the spring.

Production for Fall Sales

  • Mums, Succulents, Pansies, Poinsettias, Vegetables, some perennials.

Fall

Planning

  • Fall is a busy time, but it tends to be more flexible than the hectic days of spring. Take advantage of the slower pace. Your plants look great this time of year, but it is actually slow enough to enjoy them with others.
  • This is the best time to replace plastic. It is typically too cold in the winter, too hot in the summer, and too busy in the spring. 
  • Take pictures of finished plants and displays for next year’s advertising and website. 
  • Get involved in the community. (schools, artisan fairs, markets, gardening clubs, etc.)
  • If you procrastinated on placing orders for the spring, do it now. This is your last chance to get your order in before availability starts to shrink.

Advertising: 

  • Advertise more heavily via the best methods for you. (email, Facebook, Google, snail mail)
  • Post specials on social media. Remind people of the best plants to buy now.

Sales

  • Foliage (early), Mums, Succulents, House Plants, Vegetables, perennials, Poinsettia

Production for Spring Sales

  • Transplant 4″ ferns
  • Late in the fall, start longer crops like slow Angel Wing varieties, Hibiscus, Bougainvillea, Ivy baskets, Fuchsia, Pothos and Philodendron baskets, Carnation, Geraniums, perennials, and larger container herbs like Rosemary and Lavender.

Winter 

Planning

  • Analyze fall sales and place your order for the next year.
  • Review spring orders and make any necessary changes.
  • Review your yearly calendar and make sure you are on track.
  • Order yesterday. If you still haven’t ordered yet, you’ll be picking through the remaining availability of most wholesalers. 
  • Kiss your kids — you won’t see them again for a few months.

Advertising: 

  • Continue free advertising on social media.
  • Meet with your graphic designer. Make sure all your printed materials are ready for spring.

Sales

  • Succulents, House Plants

Production for Spring Sales: 

  • Plant the majority of your spring crop, targeting finish times a week or two early. Some will take longer than others, so we should be planting all winter. Make sure to check recommended grow times for each variety.

Spring

Planning

  • Take Pictures of finished plants and displays for next year’s advertising and website. 
  • Keep good records. Your summer planning will depend on it. 

Advertising: 

  • Advertise heavily via the best methods for you.
  • Post specials on social media reminding people what to buy now.

Sales

  • Everything sells during the spring, so have all types of plants ready.

Production for Summer Sales

  • Make time to plant Succulents, Pothos, Wandering Jew, Peperomia, Pilea, Plectranthus, and other summer sellers.