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How to make money from your garden

How to make money from your garden

Did you know that your garden is a potential source of income? All you need is a little imagination – and a few helpful hints from us.

School fairs, local farmers’ markets and even car boot sales are budding sales grounds for your homegrown, homemade produce, just ripe for the picking.But your garden can help you save money as well as earn it. A home workspace, or a chicken coop can bring your outgoings down.

Here are eight ways your garden can make you money.

1 - Rent to companies

blue and white summerhouse that's been turned into a painting studio
Companies often rent gardens for photoshoots.
Image source: Waltons Facebook

Companies that specialise in gardens and garden products are often scouting for picturesque locations to shoot their product images and videos. Companies like Jjlocations and Shootfactory invite people to register their properties as location candidates. Become one of them, and your garden could earn you up to £200 per day.

2 - Rent to other gardeners

empty allotment space that can get rented out
An allotment waiting to happen.
Image source: Real Men Sow

A garden shed or unused, extra space in your garden is basically money in your pocket. Hundreds of aspiring gardeners are on the wait lists for allotment plots around the country; it’s a market ready for the picking.

If you’ve got the space in your garden, renting out a plot for an allotment could fetch you around £100 per year.

Meanwhile, a good-sized garden shed is basically a handy storage unit. You can charge between £50 and £100 a month for this, depending on its size and condition. All you need to do is put an advert in a local paper, or local listings site, and get ready to start raking in the rent.  Just make sure you've got the proper insurance!

3 - Use your garden shed

garden office
Create a garden workspace
Image source: Waltons

If you don’t want to rent out your shed, then use it yourself and save money instead.

Your shed is a workspace waiting to happen. Properly insulated, weather-proofed and kitted out with utilities, it could be the perfect place to begin a new venture. Over 4 million people around the UK currently work from home. Why not join them and start your own business right from the bottom of your garden?

Whether you’re a novelist in the making, an aspiring jeweller, or a hopeful yoga teacher, there’s no reason that your dream career can’t blossom in the garden.

4 - Grow plants to sell

komatsuma from the middle sized garden
Komatsuma, or mustard spinach, grows back after cutting - ideal for 'growing and selling'.
Image Source: Middle-Sized Garden

Keen gardeners can turn their hands to cultivating market garden plants. Perennials are a good starting point. They can be self-seeding or grown from root cuttings and, as an added benefit, they expand quickly.  As blogger Middle-Sized Garden says:

“Cut-and-come again leaves, such as salad, chard, perpetual spinach, and most herbs will grow again after harvesting.”

You can also grow interesting, unusual varieties of herbs, like pineapple sage, ginger mint or Vietnamese coriander. These are sure to attract gastronomes without green fingers. 

5 - Grow your own cocktails and booze

Sloe gin making from Lucy Loves
Sloe gin is a popular home-made drink
Image source: Lucy loves

The cocktail trend du jour is botanicals. Things like rosemary syrups and hibiscus-infused Barsol Pisco. Words like “artisanal” and “small batch” are music to the ears of hipsters and cocktail lovers in-the-know. Much of what you need can be grown in your own garden. Why shop for herbs and ingredients when you can grow them for a fraction of the cost – and even sell the finished product for much more?

Got an apple tree? You can also make your own booze. Transform the season’s glut of apples into delicious homemade apple cider. Or turn your basic bottle of gin into artisanal sloe gin with the help of some foraged or purpose-grown sloes.

If you want to save money this Christmas, gift these to your friends and family. But if you fancy more money in your pocket for Christmas shopping come December, get yourself a licence (be sure to do your research properly here), and take your quaffable alcoholic creations to the market instead. That’s what we call seasonal and savvy. 

6 - Grow your own fruits and vegetables

Courgette harvest from the middle sized garden
Courgettes and their blossoms are market favourites.
Image source: Middle-Sized Garden

Getting an income from your garden doesn’t just mean having cash in hand. You can save hundreds - even thousands - of pounds every year on your food shopping by growing fruits and veg at home.

Many of us spend upwards of £1-£2 every week on packaged salads. But a pack of 100 lettuce seeds can cost as little as £1. And any heads of lettuce that you don’t eat? Barter them with your friends and neighbours for their fresh produce, or take it to the market to sell.

With the current zeal for all things local and seasonal, growers can earn good money at the market with their produce, especially with more unusual items. Squash blossoms are delicious stuffed with ricotta and fried. Edible flowers, like nasturtiums, are perfect for decorating that GBBO-worthy cake, or sprinkling over salads.

7 - Make pickles and preserves

jam from the smallest smallholding
Make your own jam for pennies, sell for pounds.
Image source:Smallest Small Holding

Whether you’re a keen preserver, or you’re potty for pickle-making, keep a few extra jars on hand and make a larger batch. You may as well make a few extra to sell or trade.

Making your own jar of jam can cost you as little as 30 pence. This means you could make ten jars of jam for the price of a single shop-bought jar. In the pot for a few pennies, in the market for a few pounds. That’s the kind of return on investment that we like. Homegrown and homemade produce saves money and gives huge satisfaction.

For some inspiration, check out the easy raspberry jam recipe from Lucy over at the Smallest Smallholding. As she says, “no thermometers, no fuss”, just good jam. Perfect with buttery toast.

If you’re going to use berries for your jam, keep this top tip from the folks at Gardening With Children in mind:

“As I pick my Blackberries I freeze them in margarine cartons or ice cream tubs and when they have finished cropping I then make my Jelly.”

It’s a simple, but effective way to make sure berries don’t sit around and spoil while you gather enough for your jam.

8 - Keep chickens

chickens from this little home
A flock of chickens could provide you with enough eggs to eat and sell.
Image source: This Little Home

Fresh eggs are an amazing perk of keeping chickens. Not only are they delicious, but if you have just three chickens, you can collect over 600 eggs a year!

People are happy to pay for quality - and the best quality come from free range hens, which you can easily provide at home. Happy chickens mean happy customers with delicious, golden-yolked eggs.

But if you opt for a small flock, make you sure you have at least three birds. “Chickens are very sociable creatures,” says Rebecca Foxley from This Little Home. And consider rescuing battery chickens. Rebecca continues:

“Not only can you can still get plenty of eggs from these overworked little madams, you will also get a hugely rewarding and fulfilling experience when these chickens come to you to begin the rest of their lives in freedom.”

This won’t be news to hen lovers, but keeping chickens is also known to help combat depression and loneliness. Money from the eggs and happiness from the birds? Win win.

When making your plan to spin your garden into a money-making enterprise, be sure you’re informed. You should be aware of the legalities if you’re selling to local businesses or getting a stall at a local farmer’s market. Buthere’s no legislation around trading with your neighbours or fellow gardeners in your allotment.

Do you earn money from your garden already? Tell us some of your top tips for aspiring green-thumbed earners on our Facebook page.

Lead image: marcin jucha/Shutterstock

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