What can I grow to make money


What can I grow to make money

The term ‘cash crops’ is used for plants we make money from and there are several cash crops you can grow at home. What you grow will depend on what space you have available more than anything else, after all you can’t grow a field of wheat on your windowsill – you could grow a rare plant that sells for a higher price though. 

The top 5 home ‘cash crops’

1- Bamboo

2- Gourmet Mushrooms

3- Herbs

4- Ginseng (Green gold)

5- Flowers

6- Landscaping Trees and Shrubs

7- Ornamental Grasses

8- Ground cover plants

9- Microgreens


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Can I sell plants from my garden?

In short, yes – you can sell plants from your garden. If it’s occasional selling of plants or produce there is no need to get a licence for the majority of species. You do need to label your plants to make them ‘legal’ for sale, the label should include the name of the species & its source (ie where it was harvested).

Plants you will need a licence to sell (UK)

You need a licence to sell plants that are listed on the Schedule 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act and taken after 30 October 1981, the Annex IV b of the EU Habitats Directive and taken after June 1994 – this includes plants known as European protected species (EPS)

The following plants are EPS:

  • Creeping Marshwort (Apium repens)
  • Early Gentian (Gentianella anglica)
  • Fen Orchid (Liparis loeselii)
  • Floating Water-Plantain (Luronium natans)
  • Killarney Fern (Trichomanes speciosum)
  • Lady’s Slipper (Cypripedium calceolus)
  • Marsh Saxifrage (Saxifraga hirculus)
  • Shore Dock (Rumex rupestris)
  • Slender Naiad (Najas flexilis)

You also need a licence if the plant is an EPS and was taken after 30 October 1981.

Banned plants for sale in the UK

You must not sell, advertise for sale or keep for the purposes of selling any of the following invasive non-native aquatic plants:

  • Water fern (Azolla filiculoides)
  • Parrot’s feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum)
  • Floating water pennywort (Hydrocotyle ranunculoides)
  • Water primrose (Ludwigia grandiflora)
  • Australian swamp stonecrop, also known as New Zealand Pygmy weed (Crassula helmsii, also sold as Tilia)

Can I sell vegetables from my garden in the UK?

So, can I sell food from my allotment? The answer to this is yes as long as the label meets Marketing standards, this means it must contain certain information and it’s not on an industrial scale.

When it comes to edible plants there are 2 sets of Marketing Standards – 

  • Specific Marketing Standard (SMS) for 10 types of fresh produce
  • General Marketing Standard (GMS) for most other fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts and herbs

For the full rundown of these standards please see here

What is passive income gardening?

A ‘passive income’ is where you set something up to earn money with minimal effort, passive income gardening is setting up to earn money from growing plants or vegetables. A surprising amount can be made from growing things like mushrooms or micro greens with very little effort.

Can a backyard garden be profitable? 

Yes, a backyard farm can be very profitable as a side hustle. There is a huge variety of produce that you can grow from home to earn money, and it is something that is getting even more popular. The demand for local produce is growing with green grocers & restaurants alike looking for reliable sources of fresh produce. 

How to make money from your garden uk

To make money from your garden you need to first figure out what you are going to grow and why. Your choices will be dictated by how much spare space & time you have. There are several proven ways to generate an income from a reasonable amount of space, the top 2 being Microgreens & Mushrooms. They are both relatively cheap to get started with and require very little maintenance once you get going. 

How to start growing microgreens


What are microgreens?

Microgreens are the highly nutritious shoots of salad vegetables such as rocket, celery, beetroot and other salads. The plants are  picked just after the first leaves have developed, microgreens are becoming more and more popular, especially in fine dining – they are delicious, fresh and very healthy.

Types of Microgreen

The things you can eat as a ‘Microgreen’ are endless – however, there are a few tried and tested plants that make a great addition to any salad or meal, such as:

  • Rocket
  • Celery
  • Beetroot
  • Red Cabbage
  • Garnet amaranth
  • Green daikon radish
  • Coriander / Cilantro
  • Basil
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Mustard
  • Parsley
  • Pea

How are microgreens grown?

Microgreens are grown in trays with either a soil medium or hydroponically (roots suspended in water). In a home setup they are often grown under fluorescent lights and in shallow trays with soil as this is cheap and effective. Most microgreens are quick to get going with the first crops being ready in 2-3 weeks.

You can also grow your microgreens in a greenhouse or even outside in warmer climates, just watch out for pests!

How to start growing mushrooms

Oyster Mushroom Kit

Growing Mushrooms is a little different to growing plants, afterall you are growing a fungus! To grow mushrooms you first need somewhere you can control the temperature and moisture to some degree. Somewhere like a loft, garage, a cupboard under the stairs or a shed work very well as they maintain a steady temperature. Mushrooms need to sit somewhere between 10-15 degrees, if you are going for an outdoor setup then you need to find areas that get little to no direct sunlight. 

Different mushrooms require different environments and starting methods, one of the most popular mushrooms to grow are Oyster Mushrooms. This is for 2 reasons, they taste great and are relatively easy to grow. 

  • You will need a pack of oyster mushroom spawn, some straw & thick black bin liner
  • Soak the straw in water for 12-24 hours & make sure it’s thoroughly damp, discarding excess water at the end
  • Mix the mushroom spawn in with the damp straw and then pack into the thick black bin liner
  • Seal it and leave for six weeks in a sheltered damp spot that sits between 20-25ºC, compost heaps are great as they create warmth, next to one is perfect
  • As the straw breaks down the mushroom spawn will grow and after six weeks the spores will have colonised the straw
  • Move the bags into a light, warm and moist environment, such as your greenhouse & cut slits into the bag so that the oyster mushrooms can grow through them
  • After two weeks it should have developed oyster mushrooms which will be poking through the slits.

And that’s that, tasty oyster mushrooms that can be eaten or sold, the straw will continue to produce mushrooms for several weeks in the right conditions.

Oyster Mushrooms

What is the most profitable thing to grow at home?

So, what plants sell for the most money? Believe it or not the answer would be ginseng. Know in Asia as green gold, ginseng is used as a healing herb or tonic. The downside – it takes 6 years! However, you can make some money in the meantime by earmarking some stock to sell as rootlets to other growers. 

After ginseng, the next most profitable plants to grow at home are gourmet mushrooms, followed by bamboo.

Ginseng Root

How to make money growing plants at home

You really do not need much to make money from growing plants at home, the main assets are time & space. If you have some time and space – you can make some money. As we talked about earlier in the article, Microgreens & Gourmet Mushrooms are great ways to earn a fairly passive income from home gardening.

Most profitable houseplants to grow and sell

There are some plants out there that can fetch a healthy sum, again the beauty with growing is that nature does much of the work, you just maintain it. Some of the most profitable houseplants to grow and sell are:

  • Swiss Cheese Plant (Bathroom plant)
  • The snake plant (also easy to grow)
  • Peace Lily (Easy-ish to grow)
  • Monstera (low-maintenance houseplant)
  • Zanzibar Gem (low-maintenance houseplant)
  • Devils Ivy (perfect houseplant)
  • Calatheas (bathroom plant)
  • Spider Plant (easy grow)

These plants are some of the most profitable houseplants that are reasonably easy to grow, this doesn’t mean they require no care, as with anything some time does need to be given in order to profit from your passive income garden.

Most profitable houseplants to grow and sell

How to make money with a small greenhouse

To make money with a greenhouse is just the same as making money growing things in an allotment, you need to decide what to grow based on the conditions and space available. The advantage of a greenhouse is that it keeps warmer and a more steady temperature throughout the year. This means you can grow some plants that prefer warmer conditions, and keep on growing things like microgreens all year around.

To make money with a small greenhouse you can grow popular house plants like the Swiss Cheese Plant or Calatheas, these both require some humidity & warmth to thrive. You could also optimise the space with shelves to grow the maximum amount of Microgreens to sell onto gourmet restaurants.


What can you grow to make money? The best way to make a passive income from your garden is to do one or more of the following:

  • Grow Microgreens to sell onto gourmet restaurants or market stalls
  • Grow Mushrooms to sell onto gourmet restaurants or market stalls
  • Grow a houseplant that is in demand to sell on direct or to sellers

Thanks for reading and we hope you learned something you can use from this article. If you want to give back to us here at backyard-farmer.com,  just click on an advert 🙂 Thanks!


Photo by Polina Kovaleva: https://www.pexels.com/photo/oyster-mushrooms-surrounded-by-cherry-tomatoes-5644975/

Photo by Andre Moura: https://www.pexels.com/photo/bamboo-grass-2534507/

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