How to Start a Gardening Business

How to Start a Gardening Business

If you enjoy gardens and plants, you may want to consider a career in gardening. Many people go back to school to obtain a degree in horticulture or landscape architecture to earn a living in the garden, but there are other options.

Do you enjoy designing your garden beds?

Does finding just the right plant for a spot excite you? Many garden designers and installers begin their new careers by accident. People pause to admire the lush grounds as they stroll down the street. Neighbors often jokingly suggest that the gardener should come next door and design gardens for their yards. People stop their cars to drop a note in the mailbox. If this type of thing is happening to you, start telling these people that you would be happy to design and plant their gardens for a fee. Of course, many of your garden’s admirers won’t be willing to pay for your hard work, but if one person responds favorably, you are in business.

Other garden designers plan a career in garden design. They make up portfolios of past gardens they have designed and talk to their local garden centers about doing designs for a few customers so that they can obtain references. They may also decide to go back to school to take a few courses in horticulture.

You should start your business off on the right foot, so be sure to talk to your state small business administration to find out what you need to do to get started before money changes hands. Also, if you do not have a degree in landscape architecture, be sure to check your state’s regulations before doing any structural garden design. You may have to work with a landscape architect to create and implement structural changes to properties.

If the thought of garden design leaves you feeling cold, perhaps growing new plants is your passion. Many plant propagators grow plants to sell to plant nurseries. Others rent a booth at the local farmer’s market. Some even sell plants right out of their back yards through online sites or ads in the local paper. You may think that your garden area is too small for you to actually grow plants to sell, but a bed that is only sixteen square feet can hold quite a few shrub cuttings or perennial seedlings. You could also consider growing a few herbs and vegetables for specialty markets, such as local restaurants. Check with your state before you begin growing plants for re-sale. You will probably need to get a grower’s license and the state will want to inspect your operation before you can sell plants.

If none of these options appeal to you, but you love to weed and prune your garden beds, consider starting a garden care business. Many gardeners need a reliable person to care for their gardens while they are vacationing. Others need someone to assist them because they have been injured or are recovering from surgery. Still, others are just too busy to care for their gardens but want to keep them looking their best.

Finally, no matter which option you choose, make sure that you talk to your local nursery about getting a discount for plants and supplies for your business. You don’t want to pay the full price for items that you will need to make a profit on.


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