How to start up a back garden nursery?
Anyone who grows plants from cuttings and seeds knows just how easy it is to get things to grow. So easy in fact that usually there is a massive surplus of tiny plants just waiting to be planted out which you really just don’t need. Then there are the seeds which your garden produces every season – hundreds and hundreds of the little blighters. It doesn’t take much brain power to work out that you could make money out of this – either as part of a paying hobby, or if you have the ambition, as a bigger project.
Skills and qualifications
You don’t need any qualifications to start selling plants from home. You do however need to be a certain amount of gardening skill, though this experience could have been gained working in just your own garden. You also need to be organised. Any gardener knows that planning ahead is key to raising plants, but you’ll need to bring these skills to the fore if you want to make money running a back garden nursery.
It goes without saying that you need land to grow plants, but if you have a big enough garden, this will be enough, at least to get you started. If you have a greenhouse to bring seedlings on, all the better – but it’s not essential to start, as long as you have a room in your house which can suffice. You’ll also need somewhere to pot plants up, which might be a shed, or you could work outdoors.
A poly tunnel may also come in useful as your business progresses. Other than that you will need to pay for flower pots, seed packets (if you are planning on selling seeds), compost and potentially labels for your plants – though you could always make both of the latter yourself. Other costs you need to potentially factor in are transport and packaging costs, as well as the cost of renting a stall.
Where to sell
Depending on where you live and how big you plan on your business being, you can just put plants outside your front door with a pot for people to put money into for payment. This will however rely on people around you being honest and there being a reasonable amount of footfall.
You can also sell at car boots, fetes and farmers’ markets, as well as online.
What to sell
To start, work with plants that are easy to grow. Vegetable plug plants and simple annuals and perennials should suffice. However, it will be best to offer something different to what’s on sale in the local supermarket, otherwise it will be difficult to compete. Shrubs and bushes are also worth investing in – the advantage being that they only become worth more the bigger they get. Depending on the kind of business you want to develop, you could also specialise in ontrend plants, for instance, violas – and use this to develop a niche brand. You may find that your particular choice in plants means that people start to trust your taste, and will come back to you to buy more every year.