Starting Your Own Nursery

For anyone who enjoys growing plants and trees, why not go into business for yourself? Starting a backyard nursery can be a relatively easy and profitable business to initiate. The demand for healthy well-nurtured plants and trees continues to grow.

According to American Nurseryman, the industry sales grew by 18% between 2009 and 2014 to $13.8 billion. Professional landscaping and home gardening continues to grow as the trend to dressing up older homes and the construction of new ones expands each year.

Growth of Demand

Growth has been fueled by the garden centers connected to just about every “big box” retail, hardware and grocery stores. Stand-alone nurseries have continued to proliferate in many regions.

For supply to match the demand, large and small wholesale nurseries have popped up just about everywhere. Many of the garden centers rely on local “backyard” gardeners to supply the young plants and trees that are mature enough to showcase and sell.

What Should I Grow In My Nursery?

Before starting out, the first step is to investigate which products would be most marketable. You should talk with some established garden center and nursery managers to determine what supply issues may need to be filled to meet the growing demand. The spectrum of opportunities may be fairly broad, but each retailer needs a continual supply of a variety of healthy young, yet maturing plants that have a high probability of survival. Specific plants may be difficult to source or the supply has been limited. So you might be able to provide a solution to their sourcing challenge.

Match the demand with your capabilities and space. In the first year, you may want to specialize in only a few varieties as you work through your process.

How Do I Start a Nursery Business?

Here are some important steps toward realizing that extra income or even starting a new career:

  • Educate yourself. Understand all there is to know about growing healthy plants from seedlings to marketable items.
  • Check zoning restrictions: Determine if you can legally operate a nursery on your premises.
  • Know your sources: Talk with wholesale nurseries about purchasing plugs, liners, and whips that are infant plants and trees that you will need to manage for future growth. Your startup and ongoing costs will determine your profitability.

High-quality, healthy plants and trees will always be in demand.

 

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