How a Green Thumb Equals a Greener Bottom Line


My regular readers know that I love to find ways to monetize ownership of things like cars and even homes or unused corners of my property. I have written about making cash by renting out parking spaces (short and long term), considering how to use Airbnb to earn income from spare rooms or your knowledge of your area, and even turning a fenced yard into a private dog park. Naturally, my attention would turn to the idea of monetizing a green thumb. In other words, how to earn money growing plants to sell at a profit.

And there are many, many ways that you can find to do just that, including turning your entire yard into a vegetable bed that both feeds your household and gives you excess to sell; planting edible hedges and trees (such as fruit trees and vines; planting flowers to cut and sell as pre-made bouquets; growing only seedlings; and more.

However, what I want to emphasize are (what I feel are) the two most intelligent, low maintenance and nearly fool proof ways of doing it:

  • Blogging about the ways to earn money growing plants or simply sharing gardening secrets
  • Focusing on specific crops, in this case herbs and edibles, that you sell as plants, dried as potpourri or for cooking, and as seeds for the next season

Technically, you won’t earn money growing plants when you are just writing about it, but you do need to have your own garden and access to skills, knowledge and living plants to make the most out of your blogging. In that way, you are going to earn money growing plants.

The other method is to focus on herbs that you can sell at farmer’s markets, in your front yard, via the internet, or using all three channels. You will earn money growing plants in as little as eight to ten hours of work per week, and with a space as little as 40″ wide by 30′ long. It doesn’t even have to be in one swoop and can be three ten foot beds that will yield a lot of profit. How much? I have seen people bringing in around $300 per week when they choose the right herbs and plants.

Even more interesting is that you can earn money growing plants without growing plants. What I mean is that there are some truly golden crops that include garlic, ginseng and mushrooms – and though not harvested as plants, these yield enormous sums in comparison to standard crops like flowers, greens, herbs and more.

Let’s first look at the ways you will earn money growing plants by blogging about it, and then we’ll dig into the actual growing options that let you bring steady income.

Greener Bottom Line

How to Earn Money Growing Plants and Blogging About It

My regular readers know I love the opportunities presented by affiliate marketing, but that I also view the Internet as a place ripe with ways to bring in passive and steady income. When you are eager to earn money growing plants, but don’t own enough real estate or have enough time or money to do small-scale farming, you can turn to blogging.

In fact, you need to think of your blog as the foundation of your green empire. This is because it is the place where your ideas are first discussed and from there, everything branches out into the other channels. Here is what I mean:

  • You write a blog about your gardening secrets, your particular expertise with one sort of growing (such as a blog for dahlia enthusiasts or ginseng growers, and so on)
  • You need to illustrate that blog with great photos. So, you constantly snap images of flowers, plants, bees, birds and more. Guess what, there is another opportunity to earn money growing plants right there by selling your photos to microstock photography sites. Develop your niche – macro shots of bees and butterflies, beautiful floral images a la Georgia O’Keefe, or excellent shots of many types of plants and flowers. The key is to offer a steady supply and look for “hot” topics related to your work – and then be sure to post some good, recent shots to fill that need.
  • You offer to guest write blogs or articles for gardening sites. If you want to earn money growing plants, it means networking with others who have similar interests. You can offer to do a guest blog for their site and they can return the favor. Make sure you are offering something their readership is interested in and vice versa. They can pay you for the work or you can give each other a bit of ad space or embed affiliate or referral links in the content. Guest blogs and articles are also good for SEO!
  • You become a knowledgeable expert in gardening and can earn money growing plants by doing reviews of the many gardening products available. Whether it is plant food, gardening tools, guides or plants and seeds – you can do videos and blogs that review them. This builds up your SEO, gives you a larger and larger library of valuable content, and can often translate to sponsorships or sponsored blogs by the brands you work with. It can also be an ideal way to earn through affiliate links.
  • You can then expand your expertise into recommendations for systems for growing under optimal conditions. If you are emphasizing backyard gardens or smaller gardens, your affiliate marketing can be used to steer everyone of your buyers towards the drip irrigation, soil blends, raised bed systems and other costly items that can net you consistently high returns in any affiliate system.
  • Your reputation as an expert can grow to such an extent that your blogging, vlogging, affiliate marketing, guest blogging and reviews lead to the need for you to offer up services as a consultant. Whether it is as a consultant in how to earn money growing plants, how to specialize in your chosen area, how to get started in micro gardening, how to photograph flowers, or whatever other area of expertise the point is that you are earning income from the effort. Charge for a half of an hour of phone or Skype consulting, create a monthly enrollment option where clients can send questions and get answers or meet with you in a virtual or real world setting for a set number of hours. Charge for a half of an hour of phone or Skype consulting, create a monthly enrollment option where clients can send questions and get answers or meet with you in a virtual or real world setting for a set number of hours.
  • You can make recordings that teach others how to earn money growing plants in the way you do or in the way you promote. You can turn those same materials into printed or online seminars, and run them on a regular schedule. Rather than getting just that single consulting fee from one client, your work creating training materials and selling them as seminars can make a lot more income. You can package them as printed options or eBooks, and even offer brief consultations to those who buy them as an “add on” feature.
  • You can create eBooks that are full of how-tos, recipes, and even garden plans. Because you have no overhead costs for printing (though you can create print on demand options), it is only your time that is invested in writing and creating the books. Focus on whatever you might like, and make several different volumes. This is a great way to create passive income because books are done and continue to generate sales over time.
  • You might also earn money growing plants through your website and blog by actually selling the goods that come from your garden. It could be actual plants, seedlings, dried plants or flowers, canned or bottled goods, and even things like postcards, prints and images from your garden. Maybe you grow heirloom varieties and can seeds? The whole “seed experience” concept is very hot these days and you may be able to create something like a “salsa garden”, “bee and butterfly garden” or a “fairy garden packet” that sells well. Be sure to invest in nice package design and effective shipping to get customers the best experiences. Don’t forget to consider dried herbal mixes that can be added to things like canned tomatoes, pots of tea or other edibles to create a hot seller.
  • You can expand into garden d├ęcor that is sized for regular or fairy gardens. Plant labels are a hot seller, as are toad houses, gazing balls and other appealing “extras”. You will find an almost endless array of affiliate options for such items, and this too can help you earn consistently from your gardening interests and efforts.

Note that few of these options actually force you into the garden on a regular basis. Naturally, and as I always suggest, when you are doing anything related to affiliate marketing, it is best if it is a personal passion. Don’t write about auto repair if you neither enjoy or have much interest in it. The same can be said of earning from growing plants. If you don’t have a lot of enthusiasm about gardening and the many activities and products associated with it, you won’t do well trying to use blogging and affiliate marketing associated with it.

However, blogging is an absolute must if you love to garden and grow plants. And as I said, the other way to earn money growing plants is to focus on specific plants or crops and then use “square foot” gardening methods to really make the most of your space.

If you ask experts about earning income from gardens, many say that the best plants to grow and sell as seedlings are tomatoes, peppers and herbs. These transplant well and are very resilient, and though you can make some good income from them, there are other crops that are a bit more significant and lucrative. I mentioned a few earlier, but my list of “must explore” options include:

  • Bamboo
  • Garlic
  • Ginseng
  • Heirloom seedlings – especially tomatoes, peppers, melons, squashes and cucumbers
  • Lavender
  • Micro greens
  • Mushrooms
  • Unique annual flowers

And as I said, three ten-foot long and 40″ wide beds are really all that most would need to begin monetizing their growing activities. Of course, you need seed starting equipment and the right soils, but once you have a functional system in place for starting, transplanting and then packaging seedlings for sale, it can take as little as an hour or so per day to start making good profits.

Though you can sell seedlings via websites like eBay, you may find that it is more localized resources that can net you the most in returns for the least amount of effort. A booth or a part of a booth at a farmer’s market, a relationship with a local grocery store or restaurant, or working with a specialty market that sells gourmet foods are great options.

Do take the time to figure out what can grow easily in your part of the world, what crops might be able to withstand seasonal conditions, and even if there are crops that you can grow for a while before you need to harvest. For example, Ginseng is a rare and difficult plant, and it takes a few years to reach a saleable size. Yet, it is a highly lucrative crop that can grow in a north facing location and in even some of the coldest climates.

Choose what plants are best for you and then pair them up with your blogging and affiliate marketing. You’ll find an endless number of ways to video yourself doing gardening related tasks, reviewing products, and offering advice. You can convert this into content ideal for affiliate marketing, and soon make a steady income doing the kinds of outdoor work you love, and making the world a greener place as you do it.


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