Growing in a greenhouse

A greenhouse is what started it all for us around our homestead. I saw it on a television show one day and thought, “Why don’t I have one of those? Then I can grow what I want when I want.”

Well, my husband got on board and in a few short weeks, we had a greenhouse. It wasn’t super fancy or even that big.

But it was enough to get us started on a self-sufficient lifestyle.

So if you have a greenhouse, then you probably wonder what grows best inside your greenhouse. That is what I’m going to be sharing with you. I have quite a few different plants that grow quite well inside a greenhouse.

Hopefully, it will help you to get your greenhouse producing and thriving for you and your loved ones.


Best Greenhouse Plants:

Here are the plants that I recommend grow best inside a greenhouse:

1. Ginseng

via Fifty Shades of Snail

Ginseng is a great crop to grow around your homestead. Not only for its medicinal properties, but also because you could use it as a cash crop to help earn an income from your homestead and/or greenhouse.

2. Mushrooms

via Mother Earth Living

Mushrooms should be grown very carefully as some of them are quite hazardous if you don’t know what you’re doing.

But if you can get them going in your greenhouse, they are another crop that many people will purchase from you.

3. Bamboo

via Bamboo Teri House

Bamboo is a great crop to grow. It doesn’t take very long to begin flourishing and it can be used for many things.

Also, it isn’t very difficult to grow. My mother-in-law actually planted some in the woods behind her home and in only a few years (with no attention) it is growing really well.

4. Herbs

via Greenblender

Herbs are pretty simple to grow anywhere, in my experience. So why not grow them in your greenhouse?

Then you could make your own spices or enjoy fresh herbs with your daily meals.

5. Leafy Greens

via Shape

Leafy greens should be a constant in our diets. They have many vitamins and nutrients that our bodies need in order to function properly.

So if you have a greenhouse, you should really consider trying to grow these as long as you possibly can. That way you will be certain to be eating enough of them.

6. Microgreens

via Johnny’s Selected Seeds

Microgreens are another really simple green to raise. They don’t require a lot of space or time. Plus, they are also an added health boost that can be quickly tossed on or into a meal.

7. Spinach

via Kinetics

We grow spinach in our greenhouse pretty much year-round. I live in a warmer southern climate so I’m able to get away with growing heartier greens in my unheated greenhouse during the colder months.

Not only do we grow spinach for ourselves, but also for our animals. It is a nice green treat during the colder months when our animals have a hard time finding anything green.

8. Cucumbers

I love growing cucumbers. They are a really simple vegetable to raise, and you don’t have to grow a ton of them to get quite the harvest.

So if you decide to grow cucumbers inside your greenhouse, be sure to keep in mind that they do bush out and take over if you aren’t careful.

9. Peppers

I’ve always had excellent luck growing peppers inside our greenhouse. The reason is that peppers absolutely love heat.

So inside a greenhouse, they are certain to get more heat than they would outside. Which in turn gives me a much larger harvest.

10. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are another vegetable I’ve always had great luck with growing in a greenhouse. It is another plant that absolutely loves the heat.

So just be sure to water them more because of the excess heat they’ll find in a greenhouse. Also be sure not to plant them close to the peppers as you don’t want them to be cross pollinated.

11. Swiss Chard

via Plant Fueled

I’m a huge fan of swiss chard. We grow it every year. I love the rainbow swiss chard especially because it is gorgeous to look at.

Plus, I love to eat a variety of colorful foods because of nutrients. I know when I eat rainbow swiss chard that I’m getting a lot of good stuff for my body and that makes me feel good.

12. Squash

Squash is another great plant to grow in your greenhouse. It is pretty easy to grow and also puts off quite the harvest from only a few plants. Just be careful as they like to take over where they grow too.

13. Lemons

Believe it or not, citrus fruit was one of the first reasons I wanted a greenhouse. We went to Florida one year, and I purchased fruit trees from a gift shop. When I brought them home I raised them indoors.

But my cats began thinking it was a play place for them. So I needed a greenhouse to move their pots to. They actually did quite well considering I only paid $5 for each tree.

14. Oranges

Oranges are another fruit tree that grows great inside a greenhouse. That way you don’t have to move them around when the weather dips to lower temperatures. With any luck, you could have fresh orange juice most of the year.

15. Grapes

Grapes are one you may not have considered raising inside your greenhouse. You’ll need to raise them with an arbor so they can be trained where to grow.

But with a little love and a big enough greenhouse, you could have a few grape vines that produce quite well for you if given the right environment to thrive in.

16. Strawberries

via Authority Nutrition

Strawberries are quite possibly one of my favorite fruits. I love how easy they are to grow and how much they produce if raised right. You can even plant them in containers so they can be moved around your greenhouse.

17. Peaches

Many people raise their fruit trees inside greenhouses. Peach trees are no exceptions. The reason is because the trees will produce longer in the year since the temperatures can be controlled in many greenhouses.

So then you can enjoy fresh fruit for the majority of the year. That sounds great to me!

18. Cilantro

This one could potentially fall under herbs, but around my house, it deserves a category all of its own. My husband absolutely loves cilantro.

So if you love cilantro too, then you should consider raising it in your greenhouse.

19. Raspberries

A lot of people have berry patches, but most don’t consider raising berries in their greenhouse. But raspberries are a berry that can grow quite well in a greenhouse under the right conditions.

20. Chilies

Chilies are great for growing in greenhouses because they love the warmer temperatures. When it comes to almost any kind of pepper, the hotter the temperatures are the better they are going to grow (in most cases.)

21. Okra

You may not know it, but okra is another heat-loving plant. I would’ve never thought of okra when I thought of plants that like heat. Naturally, because of this, they would grow well in a greenhouse too.

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A mini greenhouse is a great addition to any garden, with the extra protection of growing under glass allowing a much wider variety of plants to be raised, and the growing season to be greatly extended. A mini greenhouse also gives so much more control over your garden, allowing you to over-winter your favourite plants, grow from seed and take cuttings; so in this guide to Mini greenhouse growing, we will consider a number of important aspects such as what you can grow, what to look for in a mini greenhouse and siting.

Mini greenhouse growing is a most satisfying and relaxing hobby, providing plenty of enjoyment without the full scale commitment of a large greenhouse. Access Garden Products make a wide range of mini greenhouses manufactured from architectural aluminium and glazed in toughened safety glass.

Mini greenhouse growing

In the first section of this Guide to Mini greenhouse growing, we look at what can be grown in a Mini greenhouse. With a little planning even the most compact of Mini greenhouses can be full of plants all year round. Access Mini greenhouses are designed to be very flexible, with adjustable / removable shelves and, on taller models, removable middle staging.


In the early Spring the mini greenhouse can be full of young plants, growing on ready for later transplanting into the garden. Many garden centres offer tiny plug plants at the very start of the season. These can be grown on inside the Mini greenhouse. Many plants, especially salad crops, can be grown direct from seed, in fact with a mini greenhouse you can look forward to fresh salads pretty much all through the year.


In the Summer, the Mini greenhouse can be used for protected crops such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and aubergines. As other plants are planted out, the space left can be used for home grown Mediterranean crops.


In Autumn time cuttings from fuchsias and geraniums can be taken to provide plant material for next year. Salad crops such as lettuce can be planted in the mini greenhouse to ensure a steady supply during the Winter months. Vegetables such as Spring cabbage can be grown on ready for planting out.


During the Winter months, the Mini greenhouse can be used to over-winter more delicate plants such as geraniums and fuchsias. Bulbs for Winter decoration can also be brought on in the mini greenhouse.

Things to look for when buying a mini greenhouse

In this part of our Guide to Mini greenhouse growing, we look features and costs. Mini greenhouses cost between £50 for a plastic framed, polythene skinned mini greenhouse to almost £1,000 for top of the range mini greenhouses, so the question has to be asked ‘Why pay more?’

Well, like anything, with Mini greenhouse growing you get what you pay for. Polythene covered models often need their covers replacing annually, which isn’t cheap, and won’t stand up to winds or snow – I hear lots of tales of people having to chase the mini greenhouse down the garden to try and rescue it – and of course if it blows away with all your plants in it, months of work will be ruined.


Many people have very limited space available, so make sure you make the most of it. Avoid models where the doors open beyond the footprint of the mini greenhouse, as this will reduce the maximum width and depth you can fit in. Always purchase the biggest mini greenhouse you can fit in, the most regular complaint I get from customers is that they wished they had gone for a bigger model!

If your space available is very small, avoid walk-in mini greenhouses, as this space is dead space, reducing the growing area considerably.


Top of the range wooden mini greenhouses look beautiful and you can be pretty sure that they will have been manufactured from well seasoned hardwood that will last for years – cheaper wooden mini greenhouses, however, are prone to warping, and often have poor quality butt joints.

An aluminium mini greenhouse will never rust or corrode, especially if it is superior architectural aluminium, but care needs to be taken to ensure the manufacturer has not skimped on the thickness of the mini greenhouse sections. If looks are important, the aluminium can be ‘powder coated’ with an oven baked finish to give a long lasting decorative finish.

Reputable mini greenhouse manufacturers will guarantee the framework for many years, so look for a 15 or even 25 year guarantee.


Glazing material is also an important consideration. Most budget mini greenhouses are clad in twin wall polycarbonate or very thin acrylic or polythene sheets. These can be made cheaply as they only require a lightweight frame to support them. However, high winds or snowfalls will cause the panels to pop out, ruining everything inside. Twin wall polycarbonate does provide some rigidity and insulation, but prevents you easily viewing your plants.

Glass is the traditional glazing method for mini greenhouses, and it provides excellent light transmission and a very long life. Glass will also stand up to high winds and snow loads much better than plastic. Many people are put off glass, as they are concerned about the safety aspects, however mini greenhouses glazed in toughened safety glass overcome these issues. Mini-greenhouses with 4mm safety glass use the same glass as the side windows of cars and in double-glazed windows. The toughening process makes the glass extremely strong and if it does shatter, it breaks into harmless pieces. Toughened safety glass, however, requires a very strong frame, so is only offered on the best quality mini greenhouses.


One thing many people overlook when purchasing a mini greenhouse is ventilation. Ensuring the plants do not get too hot in the Summer is as important as keeping them warm in Winter. Sliding door designs allow infinitely variable ventilation, from an inch or two in the early Spring to wide open in mid-Summer. Make sure there are plenty of ventilation panels, as you can never have too much ventilation! Models with automatic louvre vents or roof lights will ensure the mini greenhouse is adequately ventilated even if you are away from home.

Avoid models with front opening doors that have no securing cleats – these will just bang open and shut in the slightest breeze, and also avoid anything that only opens at the top, as this will provide insufficient ventilation on a hot day. Lift-up tops should also be avoided, unless they can be securely fixed, otherwise they will lift in high winds.


With a mini greenhouse, space is at a premium, so avoid models that either have no shelving, or have fixed shelves. Ideally you need lots of shelves in the Spring time, but these then need to be removed in the Summer for taller crops. Mini greenhouses with removable roof panels will allow tomatoes to grow out of the top.

Lean-to or free-standing

A mini greenhouse that is fixed against a wall has several advantages: as long as it has a sturdy framework it won’t blow away in even the mightiest gales; as it has no back it is less expensive than a free-standing mini greenhouse; and if it is fixed to a wall, the bricks or concrete act like a storage heater, absorbing the heat during the day and releasing it again at night. This reduces heating bills for the mini greenhouse and lengthens the growing time of the plants, particularly in the early Spring.

Free-standing mini greenhouses have the advantage that they can be sited anywhere, and can be moved around the garden if necessary. Unless you are placing it in a sheltered spot, ensure any mini greenhouse over 4’ (1.2m) tall includes ground fixings.

Siting the Mini greenhouse

In this section of the Guide to Mini greenhouse growing, we look at aspect. The first thing to be said is that many people worry unduly about aspect. The truth is, like all gardening, it is possible to adapt what you grow to the site you have.

East or West

Traditionally the favoured aspect for a mini greenhouse as it provides sun for some of the day, without being too hot. Allows the widest variety of greenhouse crops to be grown.


Ideal for bringing on young plants, especially late in the season when they would be scorched in the full sun. Unsuitable for sun loving crops such as peppers and tomatoes, although the plants can be grown on inside the mini greenhouse, then transferred to a sunny location later in the season.


Ideal in the early spring, as the mini greenhouse will benefit from plenty of sunshine, but good ventilation and shading will be a priority.

Mini greenhouse growing – the next step

To make the most of your mini greenhouse growing, get a good book. One book I always recommend is ‘The Greenhouse Expert’ by D G Hessayon.

In addition, Access Garden Products produce a handy Growing Guide Chart which gives suggestions on varieties to grow, when to sow and planting tips.

Friends who garden are also an invaluable source of advice – gardeners tend to be very friendly and helpful by nature, so use their expertise, but don’t be put off by your own inexperience. One of the most enjoyable aspects of gardening is experimenting and finding out for yourself!

What Vegetables Should You Grow in a Mini Greenhouse

If you are lucky enough to have a greenhouse the first thing you will have noticed is that space is very limited and it can be hard to know just how to get the most from it and how to pack as much vegetables and fruit in there.

There are a few ways you can alter your mini greenhouse to get more plants in. The first thing you can do is to install shelving along one side. This will allow you to stack smaller growing vegetables such as lettuce, salads and herbs on top of each other and you can save the opposite side of the green house for taller growing plants like tomatoes and cucumber or sweetcorn. Be aware that the shelving is going to cast a big shadow all year round so it would be best to position it on the north side of your greenhouse and grow your tomatoes on the south side where they will receive more sunlight.

greenhouse greenhouse not used Greenhouse with shelves

Some greenhouse plants benefit from shade:

  • Aubergines
  • Oregano
  • Asparagus
  • Lettuce

Plants that are happy in full sun:

  • Tomatoes
  • Squashes
  • Melons
  • Strawberries

However in the height of summer all plants in the greenhouse will benefit from some amount of shading in the middle of the day. This can be done using a garden fleece or frost fleece draped over the glass or around individual plants.

Taller plants will provide shade for other plants. Tall Peas, Bean and tomatoes can be used to shade lettuce, salads and herbs

The next thing to consider when optimising space in your greenhouse is to know what plants will grow just as well outside. With that in mind we can say that all brassicas can be sown outside, however it is best practise to start your seedlings in the greenhouse and transplant out once the soil and air temperature is warm and the plants are large enough that they can outcompete weeds.

This method is true for the onion family and root crop family too. Therefore the vegetables that should be grown in your greenhouse include the following:

  • Tomatoes
  • Courgettes
  • Cucumbers
  • Sweetcorn
  • French Beans
  • Strawberries
  • Melons
  • Squashes
  • Quick crop salads
  • Peppers and chillies
  • And for starting all outdoor grown seedlings
  • And for over-wintering lettuce, spring onions and peas

Another way to maximise your greenhouse is to continue to rotate the crops over the year. The greenhouse can be used all year round and this is the best way to optimise the space you have. If the weather outside is warm then you should make full use of your vegetable beds and save the greenhouse for the more tender crops mentioned above.

If your space is limited then avoid growing courgettes as they spread to about a meter in diameter and avoid sowing sweet corn which needs to be sown in groups and will dominate a small greenhouse.

Where possible you could hang trailing tomatoes plants such as the cherry Tomato ‘Tumbler’ from the ceiling of your greenhouse, grown in hanging baskets.

10 Easy Steps

Building a Greenhouse in 10 Easy Steps

Need to know how to build a greenhouse? You’ve come to the right place, as Rimol Greenhouse Systems specializes in designing and manufacturing greenhouses across North America. Once you have determined your budget, available land, and greenhouse location, you are ready to select the Rimol greenhouse that best suits your needs. Follow these 10 easy steps when you’re looking at building a greenhouse!

Step 1: Choose the Greenhouse Style / Frame

At Rimol Greenhouse Systems, we offer a variety of different styles and sizes of greenhouse structures to meet your needs. This step is one of the most critical steps in the building a greenhouse, and can determine the functionality and effectiveness of your entire operation. Each greenhouse structure is specially designed for certain applications and is best utilized in different ways. Study the description of each type of greenhouse in our greenhouse series pages to decide which structure and package will best meet your needs and budget, and use our guide to selecting a greenhouse to make your final decision. If you have further questions, or cannot decide what type of structure you would like, call us and our greenhouse technicians will assist you in planning your greenhouse project.

Step 2: Doors and Hardware

When looking at how to build a greenhouse, your Rimol greenhouse structure needs entry and exit ways that are both functional and fits with the specific look that you are trying to achieve. With our many door options in a variety of different colors and sizes, you are sure to find precisely what you are looking for. Our quality doors are guaranteed to last you a long time, and are well-insulated so heat cannot escape the greenhouse. These doors will be exactly what you need to easily access to your greenhouse at all times.
Selecting the hardware that holds your structure together is another critical step in building a greenhouse. You must be sure that your greenhouse plans include the proper nuts, bolts, and brackets so your structure will be as strong as possible under even the harshest weather conditions. Support your greenhouse with all kinds of hardware from Rimol Greenhouse Systems.

Step 3: Choose Your Covering

Choosing the proper covering is a key step in creating an effective growing environment in your greenhouse structure. Rimol Greenhouses offers a variety of coverings in different materials and thicknesses to ensure that you have options to select the exact covering that fits your needs and budget. These coverings are strong and durable, and will not tear under harsh weather conditions such as snow and wind. You can count on coverings from Rimol Greenhouse Systems to protect your greenhouse structure and last you a long time. Once you have selected your covering, be sure to read our guides on installing a greenhouse covering and installing polycarbonate.

Step 4: Cooling and Ventilation

A common question when people ask how to build a greenhouse concerns greenhouse ventilation. It’s imperative that you include a way to cool your greenhouse structure to keep plants from overheating. Rimol Greenhouses offers a variety of cooling systems, including options for mechanical ventilation, natural ventilation, and shading. Any way that you want to cool your greenhouse, we have a number of quality products that will do exactly what you need in an effective and efficient way. Take a look at our greenhouse building options for cooling and ventilation and determine the system best for you. To select what size cooling system you will need for your greenhouse structure, read through our guide on sizing fans and shutters.

Step 5: Select Your Heating System

Your greenhouse plans should also include proper heating for giving your plants a suitable growing environment. We offer heating options for every type of grower, including propane and natural gas heaters, oil heaters, convection tubing, hot water heaters and more. We can provide you with the materials for any greenhouse heating application that you would like. Browse through our selection of heating systems to decide which heating unit is right for your greenhouse structure, and then choose which size you need by using our guide explaining how to size a heating system.

Step 6: Environmental Controls

In order to create a functional and energy-efficient greenhouse structure, it is essential that you maintain complete control over the heating and cooling. From simple thermostat systems to more advanced computer modules, we have a wide range of environmental control options for every type of grower. These controls are easy to understand and extremely user-friendly, so you never become frustrated or confused. You can depend on our systems to provide you with the service you need in order to create a proper growing environment in your greenhouse. To learn more about the benefits and features of an environmental control system, read our article about understanding environmental controls.

Step 7: Other Systems

Novices looking into how to build a greenhouse should research all the systems that go into creating a fully functional greenhouse structure. A CO2 Generator can contribute to improved growth for your plants. Installing a simple irrigation system can ensure that your plants stay properly watered at all times. There are many different systems available to help you create a thriving and efficient growing environment in a controlled setting.

Step 8: Benching

When using your greenhouse structure for retail applications, benches are an essential part of making it function in ways suited for you. Our benches come in a variety of materials, styles and sizes, so that you can choose exactly which benches you would like. Made of strong, galvanized steel, these benches are sure to last you a long time. We can make virtually any custom bench, so call us and we will help you design the benches that you would like.

Step 9: Order Your Greenhouse

Once you have finalized your greenhouse plans, as well as any additional accessories, it is time to order your greenhouse structure. Fill out one of our quote request forms, and read through our terms and conditions to be sure that you fully understand the ordering process. Once you send us your order, we will have it shipped directly to you as soon as possible.

Step 10: Build Your Greenhouse

Finally, after selecting all of the equipment that will make up your greenhouse, you must build the structure. While this may seem like a daunting task, Rimol Greenhouse Systems has numerous instruction manuals and fact sheets that can help you construct your greenhouse without a problem. Call or email us and we can send you a PDF of any instruction manual that you desire. Before you begin your project, be sure to obtain a building permit from your local government, and understand the construction and taxation of your structure. Contact us with any additional questions or concerns during the building process, and we will show you how to build your greenhouse!

View Greenhouse Series

(Photo: Wiki Commons)

A greenhouse is simply a building in which plants are grown. These buildings can be merely small structures, or they can also be quite large in size. The concept behind greenhouses dates back all the way to Roman times when the Emperor Tiberius demanded to eat an Armenian cucumber every day, for which his gardeners had to use a system similar to that in modern greenhouses to make sure he had one each day.

13th-century Italy was the site of the first modern greenhouses. Initially, greenhouses were more common on the grounds of the wealthy, but they soon also branched out to universities. The 19th century saw some of the largest greenhouses ever built, while the 20th century popularized the geodesic dome for use in many greenhouses.

  • Constructing a Greenhouse
  • Managing Greenhouses
  • Walnut Street Greenhouse History
  • Tomatoes in a Greenhouse
  • History of Greenhouses used for Research
  • Martian Greenhouses
  • Greenhouses in Gaza

How Does It Work? The greenhouse effect as it relates to actual greenhouses works in the following way. A greenhouse reduces the rate at which thermal energy flows out of its structure, and it does this by impeding heat that has been absorbed from leaving its confines through convection. The material for greenhouse construction is typically glass or plastic so that sunlight can pass through it. This sunlight is integral to the greenhouse becoming warm, since it heats up the ground inside the greenhouse. In turn, the warm ground then warms up the air in the greenhouse, which keeps on heating the plants inside since it is confined within the structure of the greenhouse.

  • Global Warming’s Greenhouse Effect
  • Greenhouse Effect Explained
  • How a Greenhouse Works
  • How a Greenhouse Operates
  • Purpose of a Greenhouse
  • Workings of a Greenhouse

Greenhouse Uses

The purpose of a greenhouse is to shield crops from excess cold or heat and unwanted pests. A greenhouse makes it possible to grow certain types of crops year round, and fruits, tobacco plants, vegetables, and flowers are what a greenhouse most commonly grows. High-altitude countries are where greenhouses are most common; this has to do with concerns related to maintaining a viable food supply. For example, Almeria, Spain, is the site of one of the biggest greenhouses on the planet, where it is spread out over 50,000 acres.

  • Purpose of a Greenhouse
  • Heat and the Purpose of a Greenhouse
  • What to Plant in Winter
  • What to Grow in a Greenhouse
  • Ideas on What to Grow in a Greenhouse
  • How to Use Your Greenhouse
  • General Gardening Guide

Greenhouse Garden Gardening is one of the country’s most popular hobbies, so operating a greenhouse garden is just a logical extension. A greenhouse garden is primarily meant to extend the growing season of prized crops and plants. Horticulture fans should be enthusiastic about greenhouses, too, because it allows them to grow plants and flowers all season long, which can then be brought into the house. A greenhouse garden can be built cheaply or expensively, with plastic or glass, and look attractive or simply utilitarian. After choosing a great location for a greenhouse garden, you can build one yourself by ordering a greenhouse kit from any number of popular manufacturers. These kits are do-it-yourself projects and can be as complicated or simple, or as large or small, as is desired.

  • Tips for Experiments in a Greenhouse
  • Greenhouse Gardening Tips Resource Page
  • Tips for Using a Greenhouse
  • Greenhouse Gardening Tips
  • Tips for Starting out with a Greenhouse
  • Tips to get the most out of a Greenhouse
  • Using a Greenhouse during Spring
  • Greenhouse Construction and Building Tips

Famous Greenhouses

Some of the most famous greenhouses have exemplified what the operation of a greenhouse is all about, or they are attached to research facilities that are doing successful work in the field of botany. One famous greenhouse is Kew Gardens in England, which is actually 121 hectares that consist of both greenhouses and gardens. This facility both does research as well as receives tourists. Another famous greenhouse is also in England: the Eden Project. It is a group of geodesic dome greenhouses whose purpose is to educate people on the dependence of humanity on plants. Yet another famous greenhouse called the Glass City sits in the Netherlands; it is a large series of greenhouses that is located in the largest greenhouse area of the Netherlands, which is called the Westland.

  • Kew Royal Botanical Gardens
  • Eden Project Website
  • The Glass City
  • Laeken Royal Greenhouses
  • NY Botanical Garden
  • Land Pavillion at Walt Disney World
  • RHS Garden Wisley
  • Helsinki Winter Garden

Growing plants for profit is a great way to turn your gardening skills into serious cash. While most of us immediately think of tomatoes or salad greens, the most profitable plants are specialty crops that are not always found in a home vegetable garden. Many specialty crops can bring as much as $90,000 per acre, and are quite easy to grow.

Best of all, most specialty crops can be grown without a full-time commitment. If you have a few extra hours a week, then you can be a specialty crop grower. Here are eight specialty crops worth growing:

1. Bamboo. Landscapers and homeowners are paying as much as $150 each for potted bamboo plants, and many growers are finding it hard to keep up with the demand. Why is bamboo so popular? It’s a versatile plant in the landscape, as it can be used for hedges, screens or as stand-alone “specimen” plants. Bamboo is not just a tropical plant, as many cold-hardy varieties can handle sub-zero winters. Using pots in a bamboo business, it’s possible to grow thousands of dollars worth of profitable plants in a backyard nursery.

2. Flowers. If you are looking for a high-value specialty crop that can produce an income in the first year, take a look at growing flowers for profit. A flower growing business has almost unlimited possibilities, from bulbs to cut flowers to dried flowers – often called “everlastings”, for their long life. It doesn’t cost much to get started growing flowers for profit either – just a few dollars for seeds and supplies. Most small growers find lots of eager buyers at the Saturday markets held in most towns.

Ginseng Roots Can Bring Up to $400 a Pound

3. Ginseng. Nicknamed “green gold”, the value of this plant is in it’s slow growing roots. Asians have valued ginseng for thousands of years as a healing herb and tonic. Even though growing ginseng requires a six year wait to harvest the mature roots, most growers also sell young “rootlets” and seeds for income while waiting for the roots to mature. Over the six year period, growers can make as much as $100,000 on a half-acre plot from seeds, rootlets and mature roots. That’s why ginseng has been prized as a specialty crop since George Washington’s day, when ginseng profits helped finance the Revolutionary war against the British. Ginseng production is only possible in areas with cold winters.

4. Ground Covers. Due to high labor costs and water shortages, ground covers are becoming the sensible, low-maintenance way to landscape. Growers like ground covers too, as they are easy to propagate, grow and sell. Bringing profits of up to $20 per square foot, ground covers are an ideal cash crop for the smaller backyard plant nursery.

5. Herbs. Growing the most popular culinary and medicinal herbs is a great way to start a profitable herb business. The most popular culinary herbs include basil, chives, cilantro and oregano. Medicinal herbs have been widely used for thousands of years, and their popularity continues to grow as people seek natural remedies for their health concerns. Lavender, for example, has dozens of medicinal uses, as well as being a source of essential oils. Lavender is so popular, hundreds of small nurseries grow nothing but lavender plants. So to start your herb business, focus on popular plants.

6. Landscaping Trees and Shrubs. With individual plants bringing as much as $100 in a five gallon pot, many small backyard plant nurseries are enjoying success on a small scale. Those that specialize in unique or hard-to-find tree and shrub varieties can charge premium prices and still sell out each year. The secret to success is finding a “niche” that you enjoy, and then growing the varieties that simply can not be found at your average plant nursery.

Oyster mushrooms ready to harvest

7. Mushrooms. For those without space to garden, growing mushrooms for profit can produce a great return in a small space. Exotic mushrooms, such as oyster and shiitake, make sense, as they can be grown indoors without soil. Oyster mushrooms, for example, produce around 25 pounds per square foot of growing space in a year’s time. At the current wholesale price of $7 a pound, that’s $17,000 worth of mushrooms from a 10’x10′ space! Exotic mushrooms do not travel well, so small local growers will always have an edge over distant producers. At our local Saturday market, the oyster mushrooms are also the first items to sell out.

8. Ornamental Grasses. Because ornamental grasses are drought-tolerant and low maintenance, landscapers are using more and more of them, as are homeowners. Because there are hundreds of shapes and sizes, they can be used for everything from ground covers to privacy screens. It’s easy to get started growing ornamental grasses, as you simply buy the “mother” plants and divide the root clump into new plants as it grows. Using pots, it’s possible to grow thousands of plants in a small backyard nursery.

These are my favorite profitable plants, as they all enjoy strong demand year after year, yet can be grown by anyone who has, or can learn a few basic gardening skills. Given the right care, any of these eight specialty crops can grow into a sizable income for you, and bring years of satisfaction to your customers.

If you’re a homesteader then chances are you’ve got the one thing that most home gardeners don’t have, and that’s extra space. So, why not take advantage of an unused area on your homestead to set up a small backyard nursery.

Backyard nurseries take very little to set up and can yield a nice little spring income when most of your other homestead ventures are waiting for warmer weather.

Here are my top 5 easy to grow plants that can help you make a little extra money from your homestead.

Organic Vegetable Starts:

Chances are if you are a homesteader then you are growing a vegetable garden. And if you have space why not sell a few of your organic veggie starts at the market, on local online forums or at a roadside farm-stand.

Growing seedlings does take up a bit of room, but once you are set up, they are easy to tend and only require light, warmth, and water.

Try to aim for unique and heritage varieties, plants that are intriguing are great conversation starters that will help sell themselves at farmers markets. I grow indigo gem tomatoes along my front walkway, they always stop people in their tracks!

Or try making themed variety packs, black beauty zucchini, purple haze carrots and drunken woman lettuce all have a rocker vibe that is sure to make your buyers smile.

Dollars and Cents:

Novelty aside, do your best to grow quality, organic seedlings to see a real return. A healthy, stocky tomato plant in a 4-inch pot can fetch $2/plant… While it might not make you rich, if you’re anything like me, it will definitely help fund your seed addiction.

Perennial Flowers:

Many perennial flowers grow better when divided often, this makes them an excellent candidate for reselling as nursery stock.

Perennial flowers are so easy to pot up and grow out for resale, all you need is good potting soil, tons of pots and a nursery area that is close to water.

Spring and fall are the best times to divide perennials. Simply use a clean sharp shovel to divide perennials such as peony, daylily, iris, yarrow and bee balm, shake off any big soil clumps, and tease out any visible weeds, then pot them up into new pots.

While it’s not necessary, I recommend growing the perennials out in a nursery area for a year, before selling them. This will help ensure you are providing a quality product to your buyers, which results in repeat business.

Dollars and Cents:

When selling at a farm stand or market, expect to get upwards of $5 for a healthy 1-gallon potted perennial, rare or unique varieties can earn even more.

Note: Be sure to take a second to ensure that you are not reselling proprietary plants. These are plants that have patented genetics and require you pay a small licensing fee to resell them.

Small Fruit:

Small fruits such as strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry need dividing often and can fetch a pretty penny when grown organically.

Growing out small fruits is much like keeping perennials. You’ll need a potting medium, lots of pots and a nursery area near water in which to grow the plants out. Other than that, they pretty much take care of themselves.

Dollars and Cents:

Organically grown small fruits are often hard to find and can fetch a premium price. Small fruits sell best when sold in groupings of 3, 5 and 7 as they tend to fruit best when grown in patches.

Bundle mixed small fruits together for a clever marketing strategy, 1 rhubarb and 5 each strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry can be marketed as a Pie Garden. Or fill a pot with strawberry and mint for a Cocktail garden… just add rum 😉

Nut Trees:

Growing nut trees from seed is easy and can be profitable. While growing nut trees takes more patience then say, growing veggie starts, the long-term reward is much higher.

The nut growing season begins in the fall when fallen nuts such as hazelnuts, walnuts, and chestnuts are collected and placed into stratification pots for the winter. Once spring comes the nuts begin to sprout and are potted up into a growing medium. We grow nuts in pots in a nursery bed for 1-3 years before planing them out onsite.

Sadly, many nut trees are being hit with disease, which makes them hard to find in commercial nurseries. Hazelnuts, for example, are plagued by a filbert blight in cool, wet, coastal areas, which makes it hard to find them in my dry, inland region. Growing and selling blight-free Hazelnuts locally is the only way to ensure that these amazing nut trees continue to be included on farms and homesteads in our area.

Dollars and Cents:

When selling nuts in pots expect to get between $10-15 for a healthy 3-year-old nut tree. Walnuts grow fast and will outgrow a 1-gallon pot quite quickly, so try to have them sold by year 3 or consider selling them as bare root trees.

Fig Trees:

Fig trees are a fun novelty species and they are really easy to propagate, which makes them a fun addition to your homestead nursery. Fig trees thrive in tough conditions and produce better when pruned often.

Once you have an established fig growing on your homestead, consider propagating the prunings while the branches are dormant. In the early spring, place 8-12 inch cuttings in a jar of water in the window sill and allow them to take root over the next 1-3 months.

Once the cuttings have a healthy root system, pot them up into 1-gallon pots and keep them growing in a greenhouse or sunny spot for another month or two, to ensure they are healthy and growing strong before selling.

Dollars and Cents:

A single healthy fig plant grown in a 1-gallon pot can fetch between $5-10 dollars and upwards of $25 when they have been allowed to grow on for about a year, not bad for pruning scraps.

So there you have it, 5 Plants to grow and sell to make money on your homestead. Do you have a Homestead Nursery? What types of plants are you growing and why?


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Gardening can be more than just a hobby! Learn how you can make money gardening with over 20 ideas so you can start earning now!

Sell plants

If you’re already starting your own plants from seed, then this one is a no-brainer! Grow a few extra seedlings to sell in early spring.

The best plants to grow and sell include tomatoes, peppers, herbs, and broccoli.

Don’t limit yourself just to transplants for the vegetable garden, though.

You can also pot up and sell shrubs, lilies, and house plants. Or indulge your creative side and make gorgeous porch planters, miniature fairy and succulent gardens, and indoor herb gardens.

Before you decide to start selling plants, do an internet search to determine whether you’ll need to purchase a license to sell plants in your state.

Requirements vary, but in our state, it was as simple as filling out a form and paying for the license. Although you might not ever get caught, it’s best to go ahead and get the license in case someone asks you about it.

Make your own miniature gardens to sell.

Sell seeds

If you’re already saving your own seeds, this is another easy way to make money growing plants at home. Just package up some of your seeds in sets of 10-20.

You could even make a ‘garden starter’ pack and sell a group of seeds that grow together or make your own seed bombs for sale.

Make money gardening by selling seeds in seed bombs. Photo: Joybilee Farms

Just like with plants, do some research about whether you’ll need to purchase a license to sell seed in your state.

Sell fresh or dried culinary herbs

Selling fresh or dried herbs for culinary use is a great way to profit from your garden. I’ve sold fresh sprigs of mint, thyme, basil, and rosemary at our farmer’s market.

But you can also dry your homegrown herbs and sell them in plastic snack bags, mylar bags or even miniature glass jars or test tubes.

Learn to make your own cute labels so your products really stand out.

Make culinary herbal salts and oils

Another way to market your homegrown herbs is to make your own herbal oils and salts.

Sell fresh or dried medicinal herbs

Medicinal herbs are an important part of the homestead. In addition to growing them for your own health, you can harvest and dry herbs to sell at market.

Make your own tinctures, salves, and oil blends

Sell your medicinal herbs in the form of tinctures, salves, and bath salts. Learn more about medicinal herbs.

Make tea blends

Herbal teas are very easy to make. Experiment with a few of these healing recipes or come up with your own blends!

Create your own tea blends for sale to earn a profit from your home garden. Photo: Wellness Mama

Grow mushrooms

Mushrooms would be a cool new addition to your garden. Not only are they a great food source for your own family, but you can sell them at market.

Mushrooms can be sold fresh, dried, frozen, or even pickled! Be sure to check your local ordinances for restrictions selling processed food.

Learn more about growing mushrooms for profit.

Mushrooms are a great option for making a profit from vegetable gardening. Photo: Christine Siracusa

Sell produce

Whether you decide to set up a roadside stand or join your local farmer’s market, selling your homegrown produce is the most obvious way to make money growing vegetables. Here is some great information about starting your own CSA program.

Locally grown produce is in very high demand, don’t be afraid to speak with local restaurant owners, caterers, event venues, and grocery stores about buying your produce as well.

Try growing some exotic fruit or offer your clients something different with one of these vegetables that stand out at market.

Sell cut flowers

Bring smiles and make money by adding cut flowers to your market booth! Photo: Tim Mossholder

Everyone loves fresh flowers! Cut flowers sell well at farmers markets, but you can also market your flowers to restaurants, grocery stores, and florists.

Here are some tips for getting started growing flowers for profit.

Grow grains and mill your own flour for sale

If you grow your own grains, check your state laws to see if you can mill and sell your own flour! See how one farmer grows and mills whole wheat flour for his local market.

Have a you-pick garden

If you want to make money at home gardening, consider planting a you-pick garden.

Good plants for a you pick garden include blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and pumpkins.

Fruit trees like apples, peaches, and pears are also great for great pick your own produce farms.

Grow and sell garlic

This is a great idea because garlic is so simple to grow. Not only can you sell the heads at market for cooking, but they store well and can be sold as seed garlic for planting next year.

Stand out at market by braiding your garlic.

Braid your garlic to really stand out at market and make more sales!

Sell homemade fruit tarts, jams, and jellies

Many states now have cottage laws that allow you to sell your homemade baked goods, jams, and jellies at market without the use of a commercial kitchen.

Check here to learn the cottage food laws in your state.

Teach Classes

After a few years in the garden, there’s no doubt that you’ve picked up some skills that you could share to help other gardeners. Check with local schools, garden centers, a community garden, or even the YMCA to see if they’ll allow you to teach classes at their facility.

If you don’t want to host them at home, check with local schools, garden centers, a community garden, or even the YMCA to see if they’ll allow you to teach classes at their facility.

Some ideas for classes include saving and starting seeds, transplanting seedlings, garden planning, pruning tomatoes, or arranging cut flowers.

Host farm to table dinners and parties

A garden is a lovely place to have a dinner party, bridal shower, or a club meeting. Maybe your garden is less formal and is a fun place for kids birthday parties.

If you have an area in your garden where you can place a few tables and some twinkle lights, then you could easily rent out your space for a farm to table dinner. Talk to wedding planners and caterers to let them know you have space available and offer them a tour.

Make sure you protect yourself by speaking to your homeowner’s insurance company before you allow the public on your property, especially if you plan to allow adult beverages.

Host a yoga class

It seems like people will do yoga anywhere! Why not in your garden?

Maybe you or a friend can teach the class and charge a small fee for yogis to come workout in your garden.

Sell bulbs and tubers

If you’re growing plants like lilies, hostas, or phlox that spread quickly, set a few bulbs or tubers aside when you divide the plants in early spring or fall and offer a few for sale.

Here are some tips for dividing perennial flowers.

Use dried herbs and flowers to make candles, soaps, and jewelry

Another way to use your home gardening for profit is to get crafty! Use your homegrown flowers and herbs to make candles, soaps, and even jewelry.

Sell photos of your garden or offer photography sessions

The garden is a natural setting for getting gorgeous photos! It’s really not hard to get stunning photos growing plants.

A unique way to use home gardening for profit is to offer your images for sale at craft fairs or as stock photos online.

If you are skilled with portrait photography, offer photo sessions in your garden for babies, families, and engagement photos.

View this post on Instagram

A stunningly perfect and fragrant Magnolia bloom made me smile just when I needed it today. Doesn’t it look like a pineapple?

A post shared by Gardener at You Should Grow (@laura.ysg) on Jun 10, 2017 at 7:07pm PDT

Plant a corn maze

Everyone loves a fun corn maze in the fall!

If you have space, you can create a unique and fun fall experience right on your own land. If the idea of creating a corn maze seems like too much work, get ideas and help from Corn Mazes America.

If you’re thinking of starting a corn maze, you need to read this first.

Grow pumpkins and gourds for crafts and fall decorating

Pumpkins are extremely versatile on the homestead. Not only do they form the base for delicious soups and pies, but they store well and can be sold not only for food but as seasonal decorations.

Decorative pumpkins and gourds can sell for top dollar at holiday markets, but make sure you plan ahead for this one. Growing pumpkins and gourds can take several months.

More ideas to make money gardening

Make wreaths and garlands with pinecones, vines, and branches.

Offer garden services like garden planning and planting a spring garden.

Make a picture book, mugs, mousepads, or calendars with your garden photography.

Create an e-course or e-book. Here are mine!

Start a gardening blog (like this one!).

Sell dried grasses and seed pods for arrangements.

Sell your crafts on Etsy!


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