Roll up your sleeves and grab your gardening gloves!
Our next Big Little Biz feature is all about Frantz Garden Center! We got to take a tour of the Garden Center and interview the staff about plants, how long it takes to grow a tree, and learn some history about the business. Read on to learn more about this growing biz!
Can you tell us a little bit about your business’ history?
Frantz Wholesale Nursery was started in 1978 in the front yard of Tim and Mitzi Frantz’ acre and a half property. In the late 1990’s, they retired and handed over the operation to their boys Michael & Keith. The 2nd generation had a vision of a retail outlet center where consumers could buy direct from the grower, thus in 2008 the Garden Center opened its doors to the community.
What is the best part of working in a family business?
Growing up in the nursery, both Michael and Keith have a full understanding of the hard work we do everyday. Also, being family oriented, they understand that family comes first. They have a great deal of respect for their employees and understand all levels of working at the Garden Center.
How is running a Garden Center different from other types of agricultural work?
I would say because we are open to the public, we work directly with the customer and assist in any special orders or requests for landscaping needs.
What about planting and growing inspires you?
I love seeing the process of growing a plant from a seed or cutting to a quality plant we are proud to sell. It requires patience to grow a lot of these plants, but the reward of seeing the final product is worth it!
How do you pick which plant varieties to stock and/or grow here?
The wholesale nursery decides what products to grow and the quantity for each year. We have a wide range of plant product that can grow on the west coast, but at our store we focus on offering heat and frost hardy plants for this area. We also research to see what’s trending and make sure to have those options available.
How long does it take to grow all of these plants?
The average shrub takes about 2 years; start to finish, from a seed or cutting to a rooted-out #5 can. It takes 3 years for a shade tree to be ready for market in a starter size #15 can. Our larger box tree items can take anywhere from 5-8 years before they meet a customer’s specific specs.
Is there a plant everyone should have in their house or yard?
If I had to choose just one plant it would be a Chinese fringe flower because it grows in the sun or the shade, it blooms two times a year, and it has pretty purple leaves.
Do you have a favorite plant at the Garden Center?
I love the orange Rocket Barberry. It has 3 colors throughout. When the wind blows you can see all the colors.
What’s something about gardening you think everyone should know?
The health benefits, both physically and mentally. It can also be a great stress reliever.
Why do you think Frantz Garden Center is so successful in the greater Turlock community?
We are such a unique garden center! We have full access all year long to a wholesale nursery. Literally, our neighboring property at the garden center is our growing grounds. We can rotate product as we see needed, which allows us to have more quality control over our inventory at the store for our customers. Not to mention our big box tree division that provides access for any customer, landscaper, or hobby gardener to pick out a specific dimension of a tree that will be a center piece of their yard. Where else can you get that kind of service?
Why do you love being a part of HeyTurlock?
We LOVE HeyTurlock! It has really helped us bridge the gap between our customers and business. HeyTurlock keeps us in touch with our community and has opened new doors of growth for our Garden Center.
Frantz Garden Center is located 12879 Riverview Rd, Hickman, CA 95323. They are open Monday-Friday from 7am-5pm and Saturday from 8am-4pm.