Many people love to garden for fun. But what you probably didn’t know was that you can make good money growing plants for profit, especially in the large variety of niche markets available. One of those, growing ground covers, can bring you one of the highest profits per square foot of growing area for nursery crops.
Ground covers are just that, basically any plant that covers the ground. The start-up costs are reasonable, and you stand to make one of the highest per-square-foot incomes for a backyard nursery. So what do ground covers do? They help control the threat of erosion and weeds, and they reduce the amount of water needed to keep the land healthy.
There are currently hundreds of plants that can be used as ground covers. Don’t worry, you don’t have to grow all of them to succeed as a plant grower. Instead, focus on a few. The “Big Four” include: English Ivy, Pachysandra, Vinca and Winter Creeper. If you’re starting out and are unsure just what to grow, consider visiting your local retail nursery and see what they’re stocking. Ask around. What are people looking for? What grows well in your area? Are there any specialty ground covers that seem like the perfect fit for you? It might take some experimentation, but you’ll find what works best soon enough.
Here are some highly-recommended profitable plants that you might want to try:
- Astilbe – a perennial that provides delicate flowers in the spring.
- Erica (Heath) – a low-growing ground cover that requires hardly any maintenance.
- Hedera (Ivy) – a hardy Evergreen ground cover that spreads rapidly. “Thorndale” and “Baltic are two of the most popular English Ivy varieties.
- Iberis (Candytuft) – a very popular ground cover for rock gardeners.
- Chamaemelum Nobile (Chamomile) – an evergreen ground cover that is widely used in Europe. The flowers make for a soothing tea.
After your plants are ready to be sold, now what? Let’s get selling! After all, having a backyard nursery is all about growing for profit, isn’t it? The most profitable way is to sell directly to the public. Retail sales get you paid now, instead of waiting months, which can be the case with wholesaling. You can also have a “wholesale day,” where you sell your ground covers at a discounted price. Having a big sale could bring some big crowds. Make sure you have plant labels and that all your plants are labeled with the correct type and price. You need to be ready for those big crowds, so make things easier on yourself by having all your plants labeled and grouped.
Looking for another profitable way to sell your specialty crops? Try mail-order sales. Since ground covers are a niche market, many people are looking for a wider selection than what is available at their local garden center. That’s why they turn to mail-order to find what they want. Put together a web site, flyer or free catalog, and try to get it in as many potential customers’ hands as possible. Soon you could be sending your ground covers through the mail and getting big profits in return.
You can be making money with ground covers in no time. Grow what people want, and then be sure to let everyone know what you have for sale. So get growing! To learn more, read How to Start a Profitable Backyard Plant Nursery.