Starting a Gardening Business

Make Money Homesteading

Your parents or a favorite relative grew a beautiful garden.  Growing vegetables, or nurturing a cutting garden or a bed of perennials made their garden the talk of the neighborhood.

Starting a Gardening Business

Somehow, they knew instantly what each plant needed, and how to treat it when the bugs or a disease arrived suddenly.

They probably won prizes at the fall fair too, for their dahlias, or pumpkins. 

They made preserves to give as gifts, from their home grown produce, and fed the family with their vegetables and fruit. 

The pride was in everything they grew. 

And that's what you want too.

Do your thoughts always turn to gardening or landscaping for clients?  This is a skill that's in demand all the time, although mostly it's a seasonal thing.

Some of us are only interested in the plants; making more of them.  Propagators are valuable too. 

Whether it's cuttings of deciduous shrubs like Potentilla or roses, or grafting rare specimens of maples, there is a wide variety of specialities.

Selling small plants that people can buy and plant in their own gardens or for other growers to 'grow on' as liners, in the field or in larger pots can be very satisfying. 

You can grow a lot of plants in a small area, so a backyard nursery is doable.

Potting up plants into hanging baskets, special pots or other containers brought to you by customers every year is a super way to have repeat business.

To get started, try to use recycled materials for your seeds and transplants, save seeds wherever you can, and take cuttings to get almost free plants.  Always ask, of course!

For my seedlings and transplants, I use whipped topping containers, similar to yogurt and margarine containers. Drill a few holes in the bottom for drainage, and use the lids for a saucer to catch the excess water.

You may think, oh anyone can do that, why would they buy things off me? But often, purchasing already started plants can give a customer a jump on the season, and more selection than doing it themselves.

Research your area to see what kinds of services already exist, and how you can expand on that without competing. 

If you're building a brand new business, don't try to compete with any established companies - you won't make friends that way, and building a network can be the best way to get business. 

Many small home based micro nurseries want to specialize, but they'll be super happy if you take over a part that they're not thrilled about.

For example; I worked at a tiny little greenhouse nursery where they operated only in the early spring through summer, selling primarily mothers day baskets and bedding plants, vegetable starts and basket stuffers.

While I was there I started planting up small hanging baskets that had been discarded as too small, wired on a wiggly twig, and they sold like hotcakes. I planted them with mixed Sedum grown from seed, but you could use any kind of drought tolerant plant such as Sempervivum, the hens and chicks plant.

Other ideas for your own gardening business include raising red worms for sale to fishermen or for seeding compost piles, or even collecting your backyard chicken eggs for sale for others to hatch out to start a poultry flock.

Got a horse or other animals already on your homestead?  Collect the manure and soiled bedding and make compose to sell.

Think outside the box, always.

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