Anyone with an ordinary-sized back yard can start a backyard nursery business for next to nothing. This is not a cash tomorrow business, but a cash next year one.
Start a Backyard Nursery Business in 100 Square Yards
You might think you need acres and acres to start a backyard nursery business – Not so. You will not be employing anyone, so you only need to grow and sell enough plants to pay your own wages. The secret is to focus on high profit plants and shrubs rather than bedding plants.
You will be growing most of your shrubs, plants and trees from seed or cuttings. This takes time. Two year old plants will be attractive to customers, one year old plants will sell, but for much less. This means that you have a two year wait from planting to selling. The moral? Start planting today.
Bedding plants are what most people think of when they are looking to start a backyard nursery business, but they don’t work. Yes, you can raise bedding plants, but you must have a poly-tunnel because you need to have them ready to sell early in the season. They are labor-intensive and the big garden centers and discount stores buy their stock in from China. You cannot compete.
What to Grow
Take cuttings from the shrubs in your yard and stick them in the ground. That is your stock; your cost is zero. Honeysuckle, berberis, cotoneaster, dog wood and potentilla are all very easy to grow from cuttings and all are popular with gardeners
Buy tree seeds from specialist nurseries; pussy willow is a big hit with buyers and is really easy to grow from seed.
Buy seeds for bamboo, pampas grass and other ornamental grasses. These grow very quickly and sell for good prices.
Grow perennials like hostas in the ground. Split your clumps, grow them on and sell the large plants in early summer when they are in their prime.
Grow fruit bushes like blackcurrants and raspberries. All you have to do is to stick your prunings into the ground, they will root and be ready to fruit in three years’ time. Strawberries are also very easy to propagate and sell for a dollar each in small pots in spring.
How to Grow Your Plants
Plants in pots need regular watering, so grow your plants in the ground until the season before you sell them. You can dig up your shrubs, grasses and trees in fall, put them into large plastic pots or even black polythene pots and sell them in the spring.
Grow your plants close together to keep weeds down. Raised beds make things easier in terms of plant management and are simple to construct.
You will need a working area with a potting bench, compost and top soil. You will also need compost bins to recycle all the plant waste that your business generates. Most of your plant pots can be stored outside, but your sowing compost needs to be protected from the rain or all its nutrients will be washed out of it.
For the first year, even two years you will be laying out cash for soil, compost and seed. Be sure to keep all receipts and proper accounts, so that you can put these into your tax return when profits start to come in. You do not need to pay an accountant because your outlays are so few and are simple to keep track of.
You will need to tell people about your new business. That means you need a website and business cards. You can get a website up and running for $75, all in. If setting up a site is stopping you then I can do all the techie things for you without any charge. All you have to do is to buy your site hosting through my referral link. Find out more about free website setup here.
Tree and Coin image courtesy of twobee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net