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Want to Grow a Money Garden? Don't we all! Well today, I am going to talk about how you can make money growing plants at home, by growing plants and selling them right from your own home! That's almost as good as a money garden!
Make Money Growing Plants at Home
It's seed starting season, and you know what that means? It means it's time to make a little cash with a little gardening side hustle! Every year I grow some extra vegetable seedlings, especially tomatoes and peppers, and sell them to local folks.
But you can go as far as setting up an entire backyard nursery! Propagate your landscape plants, order wholesale and start other things from seed to sell!
How to Make Money Gardening, Selling Plants for Profit
Sowing seeds is an easy way to make money growing plants at home, since I am going to grow them anyway! And it it super easy to do if gardening is already a hobby. But there are so many other plants that you can focus on if seed starting is not your thing..
Every year I try and add a few additional things to sell when it comes times for folks to come pick up their orders. In this article, I will share how I make money growing plants at home, how I find customers, and I will share a little bit about what other plants I sell.
Selling Tomato and Pepper Seedlings from Home
The first thing I started selling, was extra tomato and pepper seedlings. They are some of the most profitable plants to grow and sell from home in my opinion. But you can grow herbs to sell, annual, perennials, what ever strikes you fancy!
I start the tomatoes and peppers from seed, and I always have planted a bit more than I need, just in case the germination rates were not good. That's how it started, I'd have a few extra plants, and ask on Facebook if any of my friends or neighbors wanted to buy them. And they did!
Then friends started asking me if they could buy all their starts from me next year. So then I started planting those along with my own, plus a few extras, just in case. Well, the "just in case extra's", always seem to be more than I had planned on.
So I started asking on my local gardening/homesteading Facebook groups if people wanted to buy these extras. And they did! In fact, they also wanted to buy from me again next year too! And this is how it began for me, and it can for you too.
This year I am trying something new as well. I am growing even more vegetable plants that I ever have, in hopes of also selling some of the extra produce I grow. This is may work out to be another profitable little side hustle from growing plants!
But if that doesn't work out, I will just have more to can, freeze and dehydrate. When I get tired of that, the food pantry always appreciates the extras.
Related Articles You May Be Interested In:
Seed Starting 101: Planting Tomato Seed
Seed Starting 101: Planting Pepper Seed
Seed Starting 101: Essential Seed Starting Equipment List
Seed Starting Schedule for Garden Zone 8b
Our Favorite Gardening and Homesteading Tools on Amazon
Our Garden Harvest Tally Spreadsheet is now available!
Taking Orders for Vegetable Starts to Sell
I only list them if I have at least half of a seed packet available to grow. If I have less seed than this, I still plant them, but they go into my "extras" that I have out when people pick up their orders. It never fails, folks always add a couple more to their order when they see these.
I then share my Facebook post to the local gardening groups and homesteading groups I belong to on Facebook. (If you don't belong to any, look them up! It is wonderful to have a local network of gardening and homesteading buddies to swap things with, ask advice, sell stuff too, etc.). I also make a Facebook Marketplace listing sharing all the varieties I am selling.
I prefer to take orders, because people can choose what they want before they venture out to my place and find that I don't have what they are looking for. But there are always a few who never show up to pick up their orders, so be prepared for that. I usually end up just adding them back into my extras for sale table so it all works out in the end.
Make Money Selling your Extra Vegetable Starts
However, the second school of thought, is to just plant what you like, and post what you have for sale, at the time that the seedlings are ready to go to their new homes. I have seen this method also work well for other gardening friends in the area.
It might be a better way to go if you are just starting out. And if other's are selling in the area, don't think you won't have buyers!
There are a bunch of us in the area that are successful selling veggie starts. Everyone has different stuff, so sometimes, customers will go from one seller to the next seller and to the next, and buy from us all!
Advertising your Vegetable Starts for Sale
Ideally, I try to have my posts up on Facebook listing what I will have for sale in early February. And then each weekend, I bump them up in the groups and on my Facebook page, and remind people if they want to place an order, they need to do it soon. I do this for 3 weeks or so before I begin planting.
Sometimes I get straggler orders in, and I will plant them up if it's not too late.
How to Keep Track of Your Plant Orders
I keep a simple Excel spreadsheet for my orders. Down the first column, I list all the varieties that I am growing. Across the top, I put the customers names.
When I get an order, I go down the column beneath the customers name, and type in the number of each variety that they want. I include my own plants in this as well, so I don't forget them! They are the reason for doing this in the first place! LOL!
Be sure to keep a label with every single plant, especially when you up pot! If you don't you will just have a whole lot of unidentifiable tomato and pepper plants, so this is crucial!
This year I started using a Square credit card reader to be able to take payments other than cash. You can also send an invoice very easily so you can get payment right away. It has been super simple to set up and I highly recommend it as not a lot of people carry cash, or come with little and want to buy more.
When to Start Planting Vegetable Starts to Sell
This all begins near the end of February. I start my tomatoes early March, and tomatoes I am selling closer to mid March.
I also do some Winter Sowing outside starting in January, beginning with perennials, and I always plant a few things this way that I know will grow well and are good sellers such as lavender.
Keep in mind how quickly tomatoes grow. Beware, if you start them too soon, you will end up with leggy starts that are tall and delicate. This makes it hard to work with when up potting them and for customers to travel home with, so I have learned starting them later is better for selling.
Please see my related articles on Planting Tomato Seed and Planting Pepper Seed for more information on how exactly I start my seed.
Up Potting Tomato and Pepper Seedlings to Sell
To keep my costs as minimal as possible, I only up pot into 4" pots or Solo cups with holes cut into the bottom. If I were to up pot into larger gallon size pots, that means I have to buy a LOT more potting soil and larger pots which are more expensive. Often times, the tomato seedlings can still be long and leggy at this point, and need to be staked to protect them.
I set up a couple of folding tables in my garage, and kind of up pot assembly line fashion. Sometimes my daughter will help me. When doing the tomatoes, my biggest tip is to remember to plant them as deeply as possible, removing all the lowest leaves. I do this both when I up pot, as well as when I do the final planting.
New roots grow off the stem making for a stronger plant in the end. I like the Solo cups for this reason, as they are a bit deeper than your standard 4" planting pot. See my article on How to Transplant Tomato Seedlings for more information on this.
Where to get Supplies for Growing Seedlings to Sell
I source most of my growing supplies from Amazon, you can see my Seed Starting 101: Essential Seed Starting Equipment List post for more information on what I use exactly. The only thing I don't get from there, is potting soil, which I buy at Costco. They just changed brands this year, from a Miracle Grow potting soil to a new organic potting soil from Kellogg and it worked just as well.
Other Plants to Sell from Home Growing from Seed
You really can go crazy with this, if you have the time and the space. This year, I started onion seed, celery, artichoke and asparagus for myself in January. So of course I also started extras that will go out when customers come by to pick up their orders.
I also start Winter Sowing a bunch of things in January, mostly perennials, and some of those things will also be available. Flats of annuals are easy to start, or other veggie starts, and both will sell well. You really can start whatever you like by seed, and just have it available on the customer pick up days!
In the fall, think about what you can collect seed from. Look at perennials and annuals. Selling plants you started from free seed just means you earn more bang for each buck. Also consider friends and families gardens. Perhaps you can visit and collect some seed from them in the fall.
A little seed goes a long way, especially if its free! Or join seed swaps. There are a lot of online seed swaps, and I know we have several locally, so be sure to look around!
Plants to Sell from Home by Propagating
Propagating many plants is really easy. Things like grapes, elderberries and other woody plants are super easy to propagate. Simply take a pruned piece, stick in rooting hormone, and pot it up!
Or raspberries, send runners under the ground to a point that is almost a nuisance. Dig up the extras and sell bundles of them! Same for strawberries!
As you are doing winter clean up and getting all the pruning done around your homestead, keep this in mind. By late April, you could have loads of new things to sell by doing this!
Another easy to propagate plant are succulents, and they are all the rage right now. All three of my daughters have become obsessed, and we are having fun learning to propagate them. See this article for more information on How to Propagate Succulents from Leaves, Stems and Cuttings.
Some succulents are as easy to propagate as laying a leaf piece on some soil and they will easily take root. Others work better if you take a small cutting and use rooting hormone. If you like succulents (and who doesn't!) give it a try this year, and maybe this time next year you could add loads of succulents to your plant sales!
Plants to Sell from Home by Dividing
Another cheap and easy way to source plants to sell, are in your own yard. Have a look around at your perennials. Perennials need to be divided every 3- 5 years to keep them happy and healthy, so why not sell those divisions? Those are free plants you can sell!
Any of them that have really taken off, are probably in need of being divided. Dividing them every three years or so stimulates new growth and blooms, so it is a good thing to do as part of garden maintenance. You can either grow your garden by replanting your own divisions, or sell them!
Some easy perennials that come to mind for me are: phlox, rudbeckia, shasta daisies, carnations, crocismia, hostas, ground covers, lemon balm, mint, strawberries, and many more! This is such an easy way to make money from selling your plants!
Selling House Plants & Succulents from Home
House Plants and succulents are super popular right now! They are selling like hot cakes! Do some research and find some rare ones, and try to propagate those, as they will sell for the most money.
Most house plants are super easy to root cuttings in water, and then pot them up. Succulents are even easier, just lay a couple of leaves on dirt, occasionally mist with water, and they will take root.
Buy cheap terra cotta or plastic pots, but paint them up with pretty and unique designs to make them stand out. If you are crafty, maybe just selling unique pots is the thing for you to do!
Make Money Pricing Your Plant Starts to Sell
This will probably vary a little bit depending on what you are selling and where you live. I find that for me, I need to make a minimum of $4 per 4" pot to break even and make just a little bit of money. Of course if folks buy a lot of stuff, I will give them a bit of a discount.
Just make sure that you are covering your own costs when you price things and make a little bit extra on each. Remember that your goal is to make money growing plants at home, so don't price them too low !.
Set Up for Customer Pick Up Days
I usually email or message customers earlier that week to let them know that everything will be available that weekend. I also let customers know that all my "extras" will be available on a first come first serve basis. Hopefully, this encourages them to hurry on over here and pick up there stuff quickly!
Selling from your garage is great if you have a smaller amount of extra plants to sell and plan to only sell them for a weekend or two. This year, I went way overboard, and had more plants available, then I could sell that quickly.
So after the first two weekends, I had to move them out onto the deck, so they could get some sun. They stayed out there until mid-June or so, when I finally got tired of caring for them and donated them.
Now that I have been doing this for a few years, I have actually purchased a greenhouse where I have the seedlings set up so that they get adequate light and don't get so leggy.
A greenhouse by your driveway, would also be a great place to sell them from. We have one by the driveway for plant sales and this greenhouse out in the garden, quite a ways from my driveway. Be sure to securely anchor both of these types of greenhouses as the wind will pick them up and blow them across your yard....ask me how I know!
If I have extras left that I just need to get rid of, I have donated them to people in need, to school & classroom projects as well as to community gardens. Plenty of people will love them, so offer them up! No sense in throwing them out or composting them.
Selling Your Plants At Market or Pop Ups
This year, a friend of mine did a vendor pop up sale on her farm. Several of us locals who grow veggie and plant starts, were invited to attend. It was an awesome experience, so I thought I would share a bit about it here.
She charged us no booth/tent/table fees, which was awesome. If you sell at farmer markets or craft fairs or the like, you can be charge anywhere from $20 to a couple of hundred bucks just for a spot!
We all were able to hang out and socialize, and she had a BBQ for us. A potluck would be awesome too! It was fun to look at what the other vendors had for sale, and it was a great afternoon chatting with friends and talking all about gardening with the other growers.
I lucked out big time too. At the end of the sale, a fellow came in and asked me how much I wanted for everything I had left. SCORE!
So maybe you have some acreage you can offer this type of set up to your friends in the area. Hopefully it will work as well as our did!
If you are going to go this route, be sure to get one of these easy pop up tents for some shade cover not only for your you, but also for your plants! Be sure to weight it down with a couple cinder blocks or sand bags at each corner so that the wind doesn't knock it over and destroy your plants, or worse yet, take it away and blow it down the block!
You can also scope out all the local farmers markets and craft fairs and vendor markets, and maybe you will find one that will work well for you. The farmer's market I live closest too, didn't work out for me. You needed a business license, insurance and it's not cheap.
But I found the farmers market in the next town over, offers hobby farmer's a chance to sell their produce/plants/products for $20 a table. THAT might be worth doing for me! So be sure to look into all your options!
Good Luck with Selling Your Plants for Profit!
I hope this guide on how to make money growing plants at home, has helped you understand how easy this side hustle is, with just a little bit of gardening effort. Please let me know if you have any questions by commenting! I would also love to hear how your plant sales go!
Other Articles You May Be Interested In:
How to Use Eggshells in the Garden
7 Reasons Why You Should Grow Blue Jarrahdale Pumpkins
Why are My Cucumber Leaves Turning Yellow?
20+ Purple Vegetables for Your Garden
10 Benefits of Gardening for a Healthier Lifestyle
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These are such great tips, thank you!
Thanks Audra! 🙂
This is really informative, I've been searching online to learn on how to sell our garden seeds and cuttings. I read you mentioned about business license needed selling at craft fairs, vendor's market, but what about just selling from home like you did and having people come pick it up? Thank you.
Business licenses and even nursery licenses vary by state and your locale. You will have to check with your city, county and state to see what licenses you will need for your location, so I can't advise on that. You should be able to find that information pretty easily online. Hope that helps!
I have people calling me to get plants. They know they are heirloom always
Hi Candy! Good for you! A little more spending money for the garden! 🙂
Great information! I somehow managed to grow 68 tomato plants, so I am going to try selling a few!
Hi Michelle! Don't they just seem to grow in numbers that way?!? Hope you can make a little pocket money for yourself!
Wow! such great ideas, Tamara! I'm feeling inspired! 🙂
Thanks Michelle! Word of warning, don't go overboard....I kinda did, and have sooooooooo many plants to transplant, feeling very overwhelmed!!!! LOL!
Thank you SO much for sharing! I’d LOVE to do this, but will need to get more lights, shelves, etc .
Maybe next year!
Hi Jen! Good luck with your plant sales! Yes, I seem to grow a little bit more each year! LOL!
What great ideas for making an income from your homestead! It makes so much sense to sell those extra seeds and plants! We do it all the time on our homestead! It doesn't exactly pay the bills, but combined with other sales it sure adds up! Thanks for sharing!
It sure does! I sold a good amount in early May from my garage. But after 2 weeks in the garage with no sun, the plants were looking sad. I moved them all out to my greenhouse or on my deck for 2 weeks to spruce up. It made all the difference! Next year I will be selling from my deck all spring (unless I can by a 2nd greenhouse and place it closer to my driveway!). I am now selling round 2. Next weekend a local friend is having a pop up tent sale on her farm and I will be selling starts there as well!
Lisa L Lombardo
Wow! Your seedlings look amazing! Great ideas!
Hello! I am a high school who is looking for ideas to grow and sell my own plants. After reading this, I feel motivated to sell at home rather to sell at a farmers market, which because of my age is already difficult, plus fees, and rental space costs. This article was very informative and helpful for gathering ideas of how the sell the plants I grow. My only concern is that I live in a busy rd, but the fact that the driveway has a U turn may be less concerning. My main concern is overloading the driveway with more cars than what it can take without disturbing traffic.
I have the same driveway problem. Mine isn’t a U, but it’s long and narrow and on a busy road. I’d love to know how this worked out for you and if you have any tips on logistics.
Hi Hayley, I think scheduling times for people to come out is the best way to handle the driveway problem. I find using Facebook market place for ads, and messenger to chat with customers, works the best for me!
Your post is JUST what I am looking for and timing is perfect, perfect, perfect!. I always have an abundance of seedlings after I plant what I want in my garden and looking for a way to make some extra money by selling rather than wasting them. I live on a well traveled road and visibility will be great. Like you say, I need to start small and use the KISS method.
Oh and by the way, we share our last name!
I am happy to hear such inspiring info and looking forward to start selling plants soon
This article is great but I was wondering if you've run into legalities behind selling plants at markets and other locations? I looked into selling plants at a local farmers market but ran into the problem of not having proper certification to sell plants (especially those for consumption). So we have a "yard sale" at home, I toss a few paintings and other things out there too to get away with it.
Hi Selena, I have not, but I imagine different jurisdictions have different rules! So yes, a great idea to look into your local rules and regulations! Thanks for stopping by!
We started doing this a couple years ago. It has brought in enough to cover the equipment. Unfortunately this year a neighbor sprayed dandelions on a windy day which killed about $4000 of plants that had been pre-sold. Ugh! We’ll cover our costs of goods, but the emotional trauma of dealing with it all was pretty scaring.
Oh no Steven! That is terrible! Something to think about for sure! So sorry that happened to you!
So glad I stumbled across your blog! I live in Canada, so our growing season is pretty short. I started a lot of seedlings indoors in my grow tent early this year and was able to sell a few seedlings once it was safe to plant outdoors! I'm wanting to expand my growing area and start growing more seedlings this year 🙂
Question- I have a small back yard, so no room for a nice greenhouse outdoors. What is a good way I can still harden off my seedlings? Can I set them by my backdoor (east facing) to get some sunlight and start hardening off? Or would I need to put them outside for a few hours and then bring them back in? Thanks for your advice!
Hi Kate! You definitely do NOT need a greenhouse to harden off your seedlings! Check out my article here to learn how to do it properly: How to Harden Off Your Seedlings Hope that helps!
Been wanting to try this endeavor! Did you just sell for cash? Or, did you also take cards and such with vendors and create a business?
Hi Kelly! Yes, I do cash only for the most part, unless it is someone I know. I have taken Paypal before as well, and have been asked to take Venmo or credit card, but haven't used those methods yet myself. I'm just a bit more cautious when dealing with the public, so cash is safer as you know they are not going to cancel or contest the online payment method.
Hi Tamara, thanks for the informative blog post! I'm curious, if you have your sales for days in a row or weeks, do you always make sure you are home and available to customers? Do you ever use the honor system? I've done perennial sales like this but only for a day or so and it would be hard for me to always be there if it's anything longer.
Hi Marlene, since I do most of my sales via Facebook, I let people know when I will be around, and ask them to message me before coming over, and try to coordinate that way. But since I am not here on days I work, I try to be available on the days that I don't. I have not done the honor system here, as everything is usually locked up when I'm not home. Maybe you could just pick one or two days a week that you could do it, say Saturdays in May, or something like that. Good luck!
Hi - Thank you for this article! I'm interested in this idea but don't know if it's realistic for bringing in the amount I need. Is it necessary to provide something the nearest local nursery or Lowe's doesn't offer? Thanks!
Yes, it does help to carry more unique varieties, something that is not available from the local big box stores. This will help draw people to your sales. It is not as convenient for folks to go out of their way to shop with you, so it helps to offer more varieties or unique varieties that they can pick up easily elsewhere. Hope this helps!
Thank you so much for answering! One last question if you don't mind is whether it makes sense to take requests and buy seeds based on requests?
Hi Sarah! You can totally take requests and buy seeds based on the feedback, that is how I have done it for years! But I also add onto that what I know sells well, new varieties that I am interested in, and others that I know do well in my area. Hope that helps!
Wow you are so amazing. You are truly a great inspiration and positive mind. Today only I told one of our co worker, she has amazing avacados from Chille. I was telling her to sell the plants, spread the goodness and make little money back to her garden. Thank you for sharing. I am trying first time to grow plants and vegetables from seeds this year. I mixed my own soils and planted bit early I would say. Let see and learned.
I started an ad on a local classifieds site. My issue was, I left my perennials in the ground. People walked around my garden and chose what they wanted. I walked with my shovel and dug up as we toured. I gave away profit by giving too large of portions. This year i will pot my perennial plants. Last year I potted up a few perennials and one gentleman purchased close to $100. I made another $120 for basically no effort. This year i will start peppers and tomatoes in my basement. I grew them last year but didn't want to put commercial fertilizer on them. Can you please suggest any kid of natural fertilizer i can brew up to grow strong healthy plants?
And thanks for the wonderful article!!
Hi Christina, sorry that didn't work out for you, but yes, much more profit to be made if you pot them up yourself. More work, but price them right and more profit for sure! I like to use a Fish Fertilizer on my seedlings. I use it at half strength for seedlings, so 1 Tbsn per gallon. Hope that helps!
Awesome info! Been thinking about doing a veggie start stand at Saturday Market, but honestly networking (Facebook and in person) is probably a much more profitable way of starting out! Not to mention less waste of time, etc.
I was wondering your location, or the hardiness zone of where you are? I know I'm getting started late this year, but I feel like February is too early for Southern Oregon for tomatoes? -shurg!-
I am 30 miles NE of Seattle in garden zone 8b. I usually start my tomatoes in mid March. I don't start selling them until I have all my starts potted up, which is usually the last week in April or the first week in May. Hope that helps!
hi there, do you have an article that breaks down your costs vs profits? Ie how much you make in a year doing this?
Hi Bri, No I don't. You can have this type of side hustle be as small or as big as you want! I think it would be easy to make a couple hundred dollars, but with some work and dedication and more than one body helping, you can scale it up pretty well to earn at least a couple thousand or more. It all depends on your area, customer base, and your competition. 🙂
I'm just starting up selling succulents! But a question for you...Because I'm new to designing arrangements, wondering if I should transplant my little darlings early, then continue to grow them for a while longer in their pretty pots/planters to give a more "established" and full look. Is this how to achieve that? The few I've tried to arrange before, don't look like what I have envisioned. Or would that lead to using more soil...and thus make them more spendy? So much to consider!!
But I do have a Green Thumb, so I've got that goin' for me!!
Hi Kelley, yes, I think that would be a good idea, letting them grow a little while longer, or just learning how to plant them closer together might be the trick. Yes, keeping costs in check is super important! Time = money too, so don't forget that also! Good luck with your sales!
Thank you for all the good advice! Kinda wish I had read this at the beginning of the year... But, better late than never! I do have a question though... What to do about my bit leggy tomato (Roma and big boys) plants? I honestly just this year went to home depot and read some of their tomato labels and realized you are actually supposed to plant them 2/3 in the dirt after the seedlings are separated. So, , Ive now started to do that with all my 🍅 and read mulching us a good idea. I just started actually selling my seedlings. I post to FB marketplace as well. Glad to know that I had some of the right ideas before the spring! I'm glad to know I have been headed in the right direction with that I'm selling my plants from home. I did take note of what you said about the local gardening groups that I could join Facebook, too! Thanks for the great advice and tips😊
Hi Lindsay, glad you have found some of my advice helpful! As far as your leggy tomato seedlings go, I cannot recommend using grow lights to help prevent them. I just use simple shop lights, you can read about them in my article Essential Seed Starting Equipment. And keep them only an inch or two above the seedlings, this means you need to be able to move them up frequently. Once you have leggy seedlings, the best thing to do is to repot them, yes, burying them deep and hiding all that legginess below the dirt. You can read more about that in How to Transplant Tomato Seedlings.
Hello. Just came across your article, and enjoyed the information. Forgive me if I am repeating someone else's question, but do you try to harden off your tomato plants before selling them to your customers? Or do you just caution them that they need to be eased out into the environment before going into the garden? With a garage/backyard operation, I would think it might be difficult to move a lot of plants in and out for a week or two before a sale. Thanks.
It depends, I typically will be selling them from mid April until late May. So I do warn people about hardening them off, and hand them a business card with my blog info on it, and tell them I have an article here on how to harden them off if they need tips. Feel free to share my link as well if you like! https://thereidhomestead.com/how-to-harden-off-your-seedlings/
What about the legalities of this, I see all the USDA regulations/violations for home sellers. How much were the licenses to do what you are doing?
Hi Bee, legalities and licenses are going to be different in every jurisdiction, so I can't possible know what they will be for everyone. As I stated in my article, you will each have to do your own research for your location.