The Selling Plants Gig
edited 6 July at 7:44PM in Boost Your Income
5 replies 213 views
I moved into a property last year and started the garden. Plan was to be able to grow 10% of my own food and scale it. It was a long term project as I was working but then lockdown hit and I got furloughed. So I really went at it. It has been epic. 8, 10, 12, 14 hour days for over a month straight. Fealt like an urban mini-farmer or American pioneer or something. Started from long overgrown grass, weeds, stones, so much litter. It hasn't been done in years. Got it all tilled and growing now. Loving it. Been hard graft but it kept me sane, going, in a good mode of being during lockdown. Loved the experience. Just got to it, made the mistakes, lots of mistakes and kept learning, tweaking. Love making mistakes. Nights were spent watching videos 'how to grow' , how to take cuttings.
Got potatoes nearly ready to harvest. A load of other stuff: Beans, carrot, onion, leek, radish. Some berries, the raspberry is planted out. The blueberry, strawberry, blackberry, gooseberry in containers. Then I started growing some things in pots. Planted a few tomato, and as we do, we plant a few extra accounting for seeds that fail to germinate. Then something clicked, me being me, I sold the surpluss because I've already been doing reselling on and off for years. I'm used to posting adverts and such. Never set out to do it initially with plants though. Anyway I had twenty tomato plants to sell. Sold them £1 each, then £2 each when they got larger. Did the same with my Basil plants, Lemon Balm. Even dug young blackberries out of the ground, put them in a pot and sold them. You can literally dig a little pest weed out of the ground and sell it.
I realized some things as well. People ask what else you've got a lot. And I didn't have much variety to sell. I planted a variety of plants but mostly a couple of each so I kept them. All I've sold are the four types I mentioned: tomato, lemon balm, basil, blackberry plants. And also experienced growers still buy from you too. One chap had lost all his stuff in an allotment fire (his neighbour left an unattended garden incinerator). Fealt bad for the guy and if I was working I would have just said 'Here mate. Don't worry about it' and not charged but I wasn't working, and had no assistance so I took his money.
Thinking now, I'm 100% confident I could sell a few more seasonal plants like pepper/chili plants too. I also started late with my tomatoes - lost a good couple of months with them. I let people mix and match 6 for £5 at one point with the lemon balm, basil, young tomatoes. Definitely see potential in having a few popular herb plants on the go. The types that bush well, live a few years, people cook with like more mint, spearmint, parsley, thyme, sage, Rosemary. Trying to think of more. Do let me know if you can of some good ones.
We have 4 gardens right by each other. All in the same original state. I never hard sold anyone, never even offered. They all asked. One caught me doing mine, then another as I was doing theirs, then the other. Kind of funny. Got £100 quid for each one. Just cut them down, didn't de-turf and till like mine. Explained, look I'm no pro or proper landscaper. I can cut it down for you and it might be a bit patchy and all that. They were happy. Yes. It's definitely a rabbit hole of learning and opportunity where it's lead me.
Another avenue which I am looking into is house plants, the delicate / cactus types seem to be popular, like aoe vera. I did a little research too. Cuttings and plant nurseries. I checked on Gumtree and FB marketplace. Some people are selling trendy plants like swiss cheese plant cutting for £30. Or 4 - 6 foot bird cherry trees for £10, £15, £20 quid. There's a big bird cherry tree right outside my door. I could cut it right down and take 50 - 100 cuttings from it. Cuttings of small trees, shrubs, seems to be where the real money is at. If you were to say order 50 x 30 cm plant pots, buy the compost, feed, factor in time watering, top up fertilizer once or twice over a few months, you're looking at a very good mark up. Fruit trees like appe, crabapple, and even small indoor citrus trees like Kumquat seem to have a market too. I lost my greenhouse - snapped in the winds recently. It was a cheap plastic one, took it apart the and re-assembled just a shelving section and stood it up in the house, put my grow lights over it. Yes I have grow lights too. It was a 'to do' project. It forced me to do it. Opportunity from adversity. Only made a few quid from this but I have so many ideas and opportunity swilling around in my head. Gonna get some proper shelving, more lights, keep learning. Turn my other room into a proper grow room. This year I'll take what I can but not stress over it. Next year this is definitely my £2021 in 2021 project.