Weird Business #4: “Turn Your Backyard into a Nursery”
Welcome to this week’s “Weird Business Friday.” Now – I know quite a few of you are currently buried under a mountain of snow, but I was hoping to bring you some pleasant thoughts about spring by focusing this week on how to turn your backyard into a profitable nursery.
Gardening is a great way to make extra money and you don’t need acres of land or a professional greenhouse to get started.
Growing the Plants
You’ll need to first decide what types of plants you are going to sell. Herbs & vegetables are always popular, but potted flowers like irises and roses also sell well. Starting supplies are fairly cheap. Seeds are usually around $1.00 and you can get a package of starter pots for only a few dollars. Add a little soil and fertilizer and you will have everything you need to get started.
If you are already a gardener than another way to keep costs down is to split seedlings off from your existing plants.
Most people think that you need to grow thousands of plants to be considered a successful backyard nursery. That might be true if you are trying to make a living just by gardening, but there is no reason that a hobby gardener can have a small business as well. In fact, with the selling methods I have listed below – it is possible to be successful and profitable just by growing a couple of dozen plants.
Tip: If you’re like me and lack a green thumb, consider using an alarm on your smart phone to help you remember to water and tend to your plants every couple of days.
Selling Your Plants
There are a number of ways to sell your plants/herbs and most of them can be done without much cost. If you are a serious gardener and have a crop in the hundreds or thousands than you should consider setting up you own stand at a farmer’s market or contacting a local nursery that might be willing to sell your homegrown merchandise.
But what if you are a small time grower? Believe it or not, many gardeners have had success selling their plants on Craigslist. Listing an ad is free and it can be a great way to drum up business for your backyard nursery.
One of the secrets to small-time success is to utilize yard sales. That’s right – yard sales. When you have your annual spring time garage sale this year, consider including some plants to sell. They are usually quite popular and it’s a great way to not only sell your plants, but get rid of your household junk.
The type of plant will determine its sales price. Easy to grow herbs like basil and oregano might only fetch a couple of dollars per pot, but larger items like rose bushes and fruit trees can fetch $20 or more.
One of our favorite things to grow is Avocado trees, because you can grow them directly from the pit of the fruit. Although homegrown avocado trees rarely produce avocados, they are a pretty tree and the seedlings usually go for $5 each. Considering the original avocado only cost $1.00, I consider it a wise investment!