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Although your garden may sometimes seem like a full-time job, chances are that it doesn’t pay the bills. However, this could easily change – while you shouldn’t go giving up your day job just yet, here are 13 ways in which your garden could help you to make a sizable side income.
Let’s start with something simple that just about anyone could do throughout the year, even if you only have a tiny garden
Microgreens, which are basically plant seedlings, sell for shocking amounts of money in shops. Just a small bag can set you back a fair bit, and this is all down to the fact that microgreens are absolutely packed with nutrients.
Fortunately, they’re easy to grow. You can either set up a dedicated microgreen growing area in your garden shed or greenhouse or start off with a few trays on a sunny windowsill at home or in your summer house. Either way, sow your seeds now, and, depending on varieties, you could have a crop that’s ready to be sold in less than a week!
Edible & Medicinal Weeds
Weeding wouldn’t seem like such a chore if you were selling the weeds that you would have otherwise been discarding. This may seem too good to be true, but chances are that many of the weeds you pull up each season are edible, and possibly medicinal too.
Everything from nettles and dandelions to chickweed, cleavers, and clover are highly sought-after – you just need to find those customers. Depending on the “weed”, you can either sell them fresh or turn them into dried herbs.
Dried Herb Blends
Whether you dry your edible weeds or focus on the other herbs that you’re growing in your garden, dried herb blends are incredibly useful.
You’ll need to do some research beforehand to learn about the best dried plants to combine together. For example, a lavender and chamomile mix would be a great dried tea blend, while nettles and other leafy vegetables would make a nutrient-packed green powder.
More and more gardeners are turning to heirloom seeds over hybrids, simply because these seeds can be saved each season, meaning that you’ll never have to buy more again.
In order to be able to put a premium price on each packet of seeds you sell, go for some of the rarer heirloom varieties that aren’t so widely available.
While selling seeds is a great way to make some extra money from your garden, you could also plant some of those seeds and then sell them as seedlings. So long as you have the time to look after them, this method is far more profitable than simply selling them as seeds.
A great way to get a head start on growing certain plants is by propagating cuttings, rather than by starting them from seed. From oregano, sage, and horseradish to geraniums, fuchsias, and honeysuckle, there are so many plants that grow well from cuttings.
Even better, cuttings are easy to take and propagate and don’t need much room. Depending on the plant, cuttings are best taken at certain times of the year. Once you have your cuttings, you can then sell them as they are for people to root themselves (eBay is ideal for this), or you can root them up and then sell them as potted plants.
Specialty Perennial Crops
You’re not going to strike it rich by selling homegrown versions of supermarket vegetables. However, get a little creative with what you grow and people will soon start flocking to you for specialty crops.
To get started, take note of what grows well in your area that your local shops don’t sell. Perennials are much lower-maintenance than annuals – whether it may be wild garlic, white asparagus, or Chinese artichokes, offer something unique and you’ll quickly build up a loyal customer base.
If you love to cook, then turning your garden harvests into jams, chutneys, and other preserves that you can then sell is a great way to add to your income. The only issue with this is the legalities of selling cooked foods.
If you decide to explore this route further, be prepared to have to deal with paperwork and inspections. You may find it easier to turn your garden shed or part of your summer house into a seasonal kitchen, rather than using the kitchen in your home. Once you make it through these technicalities, each jar of produce that you sell could bring in a significant profit!
Even if cooking isn’t your forte, it’s usually pretty easy to turn seasonal harvests into booze. Apple cider in the autumn is the obvious choice, but everything from infused gins to homemade wine to seasonal bottled cocktails works well too. Again, double check the rules and regulations surrounding this before getting started.
If you have a large garden and usually make more compost than what you can use, consider selling the extra to local gardeners. Many are willing to pay a high price for true organic compost. You can either bag it up yourself or leave it in a heap for buyers to bag up and take away.
Start a Gardening Blog
Thanks to the pandemic, more people are now wanting to learn about gardening than ever before. In order to do this, they turn to blogs. If you have gardening knowledge to share, a blog is great for communicating this.
Granted, you won’t make much, if any, money to begin with, but once you have regular visitors and you’re able to properly monetize your blog, the cash should start rolling in!
Is your garden particularly scenic? There are quite a few companies out there that are willing to hire a garden for the day in order to carry out photo shoots for various products. Simply list your garden, along with some photos, on their websites, and they’ll soon start to get in touch.
Use Your Garden Shed as an Office
So many people are now working from home, and this is set to continue even once the pandemic is no longer such a problem. Set your garden office shed up now and you’ll be able to use it for years to come.
Ready to Get Growing?
If you really get creative, then your garden could be more profitable than you would have ever imagined. However, don’t spread yourself too thin – pick a couple of ideas that really appeal to you, and then spend some time focusing on them. Using your garden to specialize in something will bring in more money than trying to do a little bit of everything.
And for more tips and ideas on gardening and garden buildings, head over to our blog.