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Your garden, no matter how small or large, requires a lot of time and effort to help it thrive. Although most people start a garden as a hobby, there’s no reason not to try to make some money from all the time spent watering, weeding, and caring for plants.
Beyond just selling the plants you grow, there are plenty of money-making possibilities awaiting you in your garden. Like most opportunities to make money, earning cash from gardening is all about your creativity and focusing on one or two ways for you to grow your garden into a sustainable, money-producing machine.
1. Grow the Most Profitable Plants
If you don’t have a set plan for what to grow in your garden but you know you want to make money with it, then you can always focus on growing some of the most profitable plants that will work with your soil and area conditions. No matter what route you choose for your garden, these plants can make you money:
- Ginseng. Ginseng is one of the most prized plants in Asian culture, as it’s thought to be a herb with virtually endless healing properties. It was and continues to be used in various natural medicines and teas. The plant thrives in cold conditions, so warm climates won’t have much success with it.
- Mushrooms. Exotic mushrooms, especially, can be profitable for gardeners because they’re not easy to come by. Shitake and oyster mushrooms are two kinds that seem to be most coveted, and you can typically harvest a lot of them with only a small growing area.
- Garlic. Garlic is one of the easiest plants to grow because it can thrive in numerous environments and soils, making it a perfect plant for beginners. It’s also one of the most-used spices in the world, so it makes sense to cash in on the trend.
2. Sell Your Plants
Selling plants is probably the first thing you thought of when I mentioned making money with your garden, but there are a few ways to do this beyond just begging your family and friends to buy your beloved harvest.
Full plants can be more difficult to sell than you think unless you have a lot of people in your neighborhood who know about your garden and want to buy from you.
Interestingly, eBay allows the sale of full-size plants, so long as they’re not restricted in the areas you’ll ship them to. You can read more about this policy here.
You might also be able to partner with a local nursery that sells full-size plants. This is best for a reliable income because you can set a contract with the nursery for a specific number of plants per week or month and get paid regardless of whether the nursery sells them.
Seeds and Seedlings
Seeds and seedlings are a bit easier to sell, usually, because you can also market them to gardeners who want to start the plant themselves and grow them using their own techniques. You can sell seeds and seedlings to nurseries or on eBay, but you can also get a little creative to help sell them to people in your town.
Try putting seed starter kits together with various seeds from plants that thrive off each other, or sell seedlings in starter trays with soil, just like you’d find in a nursery. You can sell them at a yard sale or even set up a flea market table weekly.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to selling fresh herbs for money because there are several ways to market them:
- Many people use dried herbs in potpourri, so you could consider drying extra herbs and selling them in homemade potpourri baggies instead of letting them go to waste.
- Make dried herb mixes with various herbs that complement meat and other foods, place them in decorative jars, and sell them as homemade rubs or spices.
- Sell fresh herbs to local supermarkets or use your social media channels or the newspaper to let others know you’re selling them.
3. Become a Gardening Expert
Have you been successful in making money with your garden or growing the most beautiful crops or flowers in your neighborhood? Then think outside the garden plot and make money sharing your expertise to other gardeners-to-be.
Garden blogs are incredibly profitable because of their use of advertising, sponsored posts, and affiliate marketing. Beginner and expert gardeners alike use these blogs to learn how to grow and care for specific plants or new techniques for saving time and money in the garden.
Offer your expertise, show off your plants, and connect with gardening brands that are willing to pay you to mention them on your blog and social media channels.
If you do decide to take the blogging route, we suggest going with Bluehost. You can get hosting for as little as $3.95/month (under $50 per year), and your domain for the first year is entirely free.
If blogging sounds like fun to you, then you should also consider guest posting, which is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your site and make sure others interested in gardening learn your name.
Search for other respected gardening blogs and offer some topic ideas you’d like to cover to the editorial team. If you’re selected to write a post, be sure to include a small bio that links back to your blog and helps you get traffic.
Along with blogging often comes online courses. Bloggers create courses to help position themselves as experts on the topics they cover and then sell those courses to their audience.
Once you build a solid following to your gardening blog, you could create digital courses with videos and content that teach others important information about creating a thriving garden. Udemy is a great place to get started because, for a slightly higher cost, the company will market your courses for you.
eBooks can be a source of passive income. Once you write one and publish it on an online platform like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing or Barnes & Noble, people can keep buying it, giving you a continuous commission.
Create and Sell Recipes
Thinking a little further outside the box, you could create cookbooks or standalone recipes to offer for digital downloads on your site or eBooks. Use your homegrown produce to create the recipes!
Small recipe booklets can also be something you can give away for free on your website in exchange for gathering email addresses to send newsletters about your blog and gardening endeavors.
Consulting might be able to yield the most profit, but it also could be tough to find people who need your help. As a gardening consultant, you can find local clients, visit their gardens, and offer them your expertise on how to have success with their vision.
You could ask local nurseries if they’d allow you to place some brochures or a poster advertising your services to attract others who might need your help.
4. Turn Your Garden into a Community Garden
If you don’t have the desire to separate your garden and rent sections to others, there’s another option: Turning your space into a community garden.
Community gardens are usually designed to bring people together, sharing the garden’s work by planting, caring for, and harvesting its plants. Vegetables and fruits are then donated to people in need or shared with those who help with the garden.
These gardens often thrive thanks to donations, but some also charge monthly memberships. You could do the same, holding onto some of the profits to help you care for, and host, the space.
5. Take and Sell Gorgeous Garden Photos
You know all those stock photos that people pay hundreds of dollars per month to get in a subscription package? Now’s your chance to earn the money from those subscriptions. All you need is your beautiful garden and a decent camera (or your smartphone).
Stock photos can be much easier to take than you think, and many people use just their cell phones for drool-worthy photos. Step into your garden and practice taking pictures every day as your plants grow. It doesn’t matter whether you grow flowers, herbs, or produce. If the photos are gorgeous, you’ll probably find a buyer for them.
The easiest way to sell them is to set up an account as a seller on stock photo sites like Shutterstock or Getty Images. They’ll pay you commission for each of your photos as they sell. Or, learn how to make money on Instagram!
6. Rent Your Garden as a Backdrop
Maybe you don’t have the photography skills needed to create your own photos to sell, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put a camera to good use in your garden. Instead of doing it yourself, hire professionals to do it!
Professional photographers are always on the lookout for new, natural scenery to use in their photos, and your garden could serve as the perfect backdrop for Instagram-worthy pictures. Rent the garden by the hour for photo shoots.
7 . Offer Your Garden to Fitness Enthusiasts
Depending on what you grow in your garden, its atmosphere could either be calming or energetic. Either way, it’s probably a perfect spot for fitness enthusiasts to enjoy by themselves or in a fitness class.
Garden yoga is becoming increasingly popular because relaxing atmospheres are prime spots for the zen-like vibe necessary for a successful yoga session. Bright flowers and energizing scents in your garden could lend well to a more upbeat aerobics class. Call local gyms to see if they’d have an interest in moving some of their classes to your garden occasionally.
8. Let Art Students Find Inspiration in Your Garden
Art students in technical schools and colleges can use your garden for still life classes. Growing crops and flowers and freshly-harvested produce provide excellent scenery for art students to replicate in their paintings or sketches.
You might also be able to sell some of your harvested items to local colleges for this purpose.
9. Set Up Garden Classes for Kids
Farming and gardening crucial for the environment and our well-being, and with tech-focused careers popping up each day, it’s more important than ever to educate children on their importance. You can be a part of that picture by offering gardening classes to local children, or hosting “Mommy & Me”-type classes for parents and kids to get involved in gardening together.
Set a fee per child, per class, and host as many children as you reasonably can weekly or bi-weekly. Teach them how to grow easy fruits and vegetables, how to care for their plants, and even what they can do or make with their harvestables.
10. Grow Seasonal Plants for Decorating
Just because it’s not a typical growing season doesn’t mean you can’t make money with your garden. Get creative and grow things that work with each season and can be profitable for upcoming seasons. It’s all about thinking ahead for the best profits.
Pumpkins, for example, aren’t what most people normally think to grow in a garden through the spring and summer but doing so can yield you a fresh harvest of beautiful pumpkins ready to pick for fall! Gourds, also, are popular for fall decorating and crafts, but they’ll need plenty of time to grow beforehand.
You can also plant holly bushes in the spring to give them enough time to be harvestable near the winter. Protect your bushes in harsh winters by wrapping them in burlap.
11. Use Your Plants to Make Stuff
From canned goods to pies to pickled produce, your garden has a lot of money-making potential beyond its soil. Create edibles from your fresh harvestables and sell them at bake sales or flea markets or start a small shop from home.
12. Grow Flowers for Fresh Bouquets
If growing beautiful flowers is the route you’re taking with your garden, then you could earn money by making fresh bouquets to sell for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and other special occasions. Some flower shops partner with local growers for their cuts, so it might be worth it to bring some samples of your flowers around to flower shops to gauge interest.
13. Make Fresh Herbal Teas
Do you grow herbs, like chamomile, peppermint, cinnamon, or clover? Several herbs work well in tea blends and it’s not overly complicated to create your own to sell. You can even grow many herbs indoors if you don’t have a lot of room to spare in your garden. For some blends, you can even use other components in your garden, like flowers and fruits.
Dry your ingredients and portion them into disposable tea bags (you can find them on Amazon and most craft or kitchen stores) to sell individually or as packages.
14. Partner with Local Restaurants and Grocery Stores
One of the simplest routes for earning money from your garden is by connecting with local restaurants and grocery stores that could use your fresh ingredients. Places that don’t already have a go-to supplier might be willing to make you that supplier and you could win others over if you offer better prices than their current suppliers.
15. Make a Pick-Your-Own Garden
It’s usually apple orchards, blueberry fields, and the like that offer a pick-your-own experience where visitors can enter and pick the fruits they want. If you offer a lot of product in your garden, there’s no reason you can’t do the same, although you’d need to first check the regulations for this type of business in your locality.
You can either charge by weight or container size, depending on the type of produce you offer, or you can charge a simple entrance fee.
16. Rent Garden Allotments
Do you have a large garden with more space than you have the time or energy to use?
Those without garden spaces might be more than willing to rent that space from you to create their own garden to work on.
Measure your extra garden space and divide it into parts you want to rent. You might have six equal-sized allotments or spaces that are larger than others that you can charge more rent for.
You should consider separating each section from the others with a locking gate to ensure that only the person renting a space has access to it.
Then, advertise your allotments and their prices on Craigslist, the newspaper, or Facebook. Take clear photos of each space and add a description to let those interested know what type of soil conditions your garden allotments have and what plants might work well there.
Every month, you’ll make money off your garden without needing to put in any work!
17. Test and Review New Seeds
Some seed companies may be open to paying you to be a tester for new seeds they want to sell. Although seeds usually undergo rigorous lab testing before they’re put on the market, it can help to get feedback from real gardeners who try the seeds in ideal climates and soil.
Check your favorite seed company websites in the Careers section for these opportunities, or you can always email a company directly to see if they’ll allow you to take part in their testing programs.
18. Offer Garden Tours
Large, beautiful, well-cared-for gardens deserve praise and enjoyment from others. What better way to do that than to offer tours for people in your community? Charging as little as $2 a person could still bring in a good chunk of money each day you offer tours.
You’ll need to check with your town to make sure this is okay to do, as some places might place restrictions on a residential area being used for commercial purposes.
Gardening can be so much more than a hobby; it can be a full-fledged business opportunity. If you love doing it and have top-notch skills, then it might be wise to have it double as both a fun and profitable venture.
Do you garden and, if so, have you made any money from it? Feel free to share your creative ideas to add to the list in a comment.