Easy ways to make money from your garden

If you're anything like me you probably over planted your garden and as the harvest starts coming in, now you're wondering what to do with everything! Most gardeners love giving away their home grown produce to family and friends. Sometimes that isn't enough and I'm still overrun with more vegetables than we can eat and preserve!

Homegrown produce for sale

Bartering is one of my favorite things to do with extra produce and eggs from my little homestead. I have traded my homegrown items for many different things over the years, but my favorite is when I bartered guinea keets for chimney sweeping services. That turned out great for both of us!

Of course sometimes the other person really doesn't have anything to trade in which case there's always good old money. Lol There are lots of ways to make money from your garden besides selling fresh produce including herbs, seeds, transplants and more. So let's talk about how you can make money on your backyard garden.

How to make money with your garden


There are many ways to make money from your garden that aren't just selling fresh fruits and vegetables. When considering what you can sell, consider everything from seed to harvest that people would want to buy. Well, what have you bought?

If you like to can, bake, blend spice mixes, create herbal tinctures, teach garden skills or in other ways create something from your produce, then that's even more opportunity to earn money from your garden. 

Today we're going to focus on the easiest ways to make money from your garden.


Seedlings/plant starts: 

It's a little late in the season for this now but if you have seeds that are hard to find you can grow extras and sell them. You're not going to do great selling things that everybody has like beefsteak tomatoes or pickling cucumbers. If you have something different though people will definitely come to you for your seedling's.

There is a woman near me who sells plants every spring and summer and she always has the most interesting flowers. So I stop every year to get those from her and while I'm at it I fill in my vegetables with anything that I either couldn't find didn't think to start. 

Seedlings for sale


Seeds: 


This is another great way to make money on your garden because not everybody can find the seeds they want. I wrote an article about cucamelons several years back and every year I get people asking me if I will sell them seeds because they can't find them online or the places that do sell them have run out. 

Saving cucumelon seeds isn't terribly difficult and since one plant makes so much fruit, they produce enough to sell lots of cucamelons and let some go to seed. Sell hard to find seeds on sites like Etsy or through specialty groups.

A friend of mine writes about and sells luffa seeds and she often sells out!

This past spring seed companies found themselves selling out of everything and many gardeners who save their own seed started selling excess because of high demand. Simply let a few plants or vegetables go to seed each fall to have plenty of seeds to harvest for sale.

Farm stand: 

If you want to sell your extra produce you're going to have to position yourself as a professional not just so-and-so who will sell you some tomatoes. To do this you'll want to either set up a farm stand in front of your house or set up at a farm market. 

The larger the harvest you have, the better a farm market will work. If you don't have a lot of excess vegetables and if you're in a good location, a farm stand at the end of your driveway could be a great solution. Check your local zoning to make sure it's legal.

Farm stand in yard

Herb plants: 

If you've read my post on 9 herbs that want to take over your garden then you know that some herbs can be quite invasive. If your herbs have the space, many of them will self-seed. It's simple enough to dig up those plants that started growing and to re pot them for sale. Keep in mind which plants are readily available in stores like basil, cilantro, parsley etc. 

I had great luck selling lemon balm and catnip since they're harder to find in stores. Both of them self seed in my garden like crazy though, so it takes me very little effort to have a lot of those plants for sale.


Dried herbs: 

Homegrown herbs are very popular among people without the space (or desire) to grow them. You can do especially well if you have herbs that are harder to find. Are you noticing a theme here? Everybody can buy parsley and basil at the grocery store, but not everybody can find yarrow. I find medicinal herbs do quite a bit better than culinary herbs, though you need to find the right audience to sell them to. 

Elderberry sold out everywhere this past spring! For once more than just the natural health crowd was interested in it. Home grown white sage is always a big seller since it doesn't grow well in all climates. Look for the harder to find herbs when choosing what to plant.

Flower plants: 

When starting seeds It's easy enough to grow an extra flat of any given item. So while you're starting the flowers, throw in some extra seeds and you can sell seedlings or full grown plants. You can also sell cut flowers if you happen to have the appropriate flowers growing in your garden already. 

The cut flowers you have for sale can also spur plant sales when people see what you have available. 

Many perennials if planted with enough space around them, will seed themselves making it really easy to just dig out and pot the baby plants for sale. 

If you grow anything that reproduces on it's own like hostas, dig some out in spring to sell them. Lilies are another one, as anyone who has planted them will tell you they tend to take over! Just dig some out and pot them up in spring.


Compost: 

All gardeners love to use compost but not everybody has the room or time for a compost pile. If you can produce high quality compost on a larger scale, then you can bag it up and sell it to other gardeners. Compost also sells well in winter for house plants.


Deciding what to sell from your garden 

If you've noticed common thread throughout this post of growing harder to find items it's not by coincidence. People by nature are habitual and they always look for the easy way. So if they always buy their produce at the grocery store they're going to continue to go to the grocery store. Not only does that fit into their daily habits but it's easier. Not many people are going to go to the grocery store and then detour somewhere else to get a couple of tomatoes that they could have picked up at the store. 

People will make the effort for harder to find items because they simply have no choice. If they have to come to your farm stand for heirloom purple tomatoes and they can pick up other things at the same time then they will. 

Also a super common item often sells at a lower price because the supply simply is higher than the demand. To make it worth you time and effort you want to be on the opposite end of the supply demand scale, whereas you're one of the few people with an item.
Advertising is a big part of making money from your garden. Joining local forums or groups like on Facebook, advertising on local sites like craigslist, and putting up flyers in local feed stores can help you to find customers along with your farm stand or farm market. 

Seeds and dried herbs can be sold online so that's a little different. You could start your own small website or open a store on sites like Etsy. 

If you're planting a garden with the intention of making money be very careful you do not over plant before you find the customers. That's kind of tricky because you won't start trying to find the customers till your plants are already producing, and at that point it's probably too late to plant more. 

Try not to overwhelm yourself with too much to care for, because then the plants won't produce as well. Plus it's very defeating..and you definitely don't want to give up till you get the ball rolling!

If you happen to have chickens you can make good money selling chicks. I talk about this on my other blog in the article how to make $1,000 a month on 15 chickens. I apply a lot of those principles to my garden sales also. 

Want to learn more about growing your own food? Click here for my other posts on growing your own food, herbs and flowers.

~L

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2 comments:

  1. not sure about your farmer markets where you live but you have to have a state regulated scale here in TN an lots of other stupid rules and regulations. you have to sign up and buy a space ect..... not as easy as you may think..... just saying been there done that

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    1. Oh wow that's quite a bit. Many of the smaller community ones just require you to pay a space fee, but I think the city run farmers markets have more regulations like you do. Not sure about the flea markets that allow produce sales.

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