Each year, there does come a time when the seasons change, and the air becomes cold, crisp, and snowy. Wintertime is a season when most plants die back and lie dormant in preparation for the springtime. Whether you are a full-time gardener or a hobbyist, earning a full-time or a part-time income, winter does affect your ability to earn the income you need.
Gardeners can make money during the winter months by:
- Growing and selling crops
- Selling seeds and plants
- Selling homemade produce
- An onsite shop
- Giving onsite lessons
- Selling tinctures
- Getting creative
- Renting out space
- Offering clean-up services
- Becoming Internet savvy
There are many ways to keep your garden working for you and earning an income year-round, not only during the traditional growing seasons of spring and summer. Many gardeners have come up with innovative ideas to keep their earnings stable, especially during the winter season, by selling their produce, time, or gardening services.
How To Prepare For Winter As A Gardener
A gardener should be preparing for winter and every other season on an ongoing basis throughout the year. Each season has a specific task that should be done to prepare for the following season. By constantly preparing and planning what to do next, the seasonal jobs should become routine, allowing extra time to dedicate to earning additional income.
Preparing and buying the supplies needed throughout the year should ensure a stable income during the leaner months of winter.
How Do Gardeners Make Money In Winter?
Making money during the winter season is easier than you think. All it takes is a bit of planning and imagination. You do not need to work a vast piece of land to earn a stable income, although if you do have the available land, use it; we will show you how!
No doubt earning your income throughout the winter months may take a bit more effort than during the summer months but planning what to do for year-round seasons should be something that you do as a matter of course when deciding on your year plan.
How to begin planning for the colder months is possible with some thought. Try the following steps to starting your income-generating winter business!
1. Grow Winter Crops And Sell Them
Fresh, healthy produce will always be in great demand, no matter the season. If you do have surplus produce, try selling it to your extended family and friends. There are many ways to grow fresh produce through the winter season, either outdoors or indoors.
Growing Outdoor Plants
Perennial plants will continue to grow year-round but may require some extra care during winter.
Planting perennials in pots or containers is a good way for the plants to survive in even the harshest conditions as they can be moved to different locations as the need arises. Some plants are particularly suited to container life and can be sold for a profit.
Flowers And Shrubs
Many homeowners will purchase plants to add color to their homes and gardens during winter. Why not grow plants that people will buy to brighten up their environments? Buy some good-quality containers and grow these hardy plants for resale. They can survive the cold outdoor temperatures but may need to be protected from harsh winds and the sun.
- Green Mountain boxwood
- Red-twig dogwood
Growing vegetables in an outdoor garden are possible, but you need to plant suitable crops for your area. Do research online or visit your local garden center to see which vegetables are better suited to your location for winter growth and production.
You do need to follow the planting instructions for sowing the seeds for harvest during the winter months to earn the income from the produce. The following vegetables are good winter growers and will produce a healthy crop. They are popular vegetables eaten by most people so they should sell well at your local market.
There are not many fruit trees that will bear fruit during the colder months unless you live in an area with a more moderate climate. Many citrus fruits are grown throughout the winter season, but only in the more temperate climate areas. Fresh fruit is in great demand during winter!
Fruit trees that do bear fruit even in the colder regions are:
- Honeycrisp apples
Growing Indoor Plants
If you do have space, grow as many plants as you can indoors during the winter season. It does not take a lot of gardening equipment to grow a small indoor container garden for your family’s needs, but if you are growing to sell and earn an income, then try one of these methods.
Growing Plants In A Greenhouse
Growing plants in a greenhouse means that you will have an available fresh produce supply that you can enjoy year-round. Most plants can grow and thrive in a greenhouse through the winter. All they need is natural sunlight and water!
Even cold-hardy plants will thrive in a greenhouse. Plants like salad greens, peas, celery, herbs, and succulents can be grown in a greenhouse.
Growing plants in a greenhouse truly is a great way to maintain a stable income, especially if you are providing local hotels and restaurants with produce for their kitchens.
Growing Plants Using Hydroponics
This is another excellent way to grow the fresh produce that you need to supply your customers regularly. The great thing about growing plants the hydroponics way is that no soil is required, so if you can create the ideal indoor conditions, you are guaranteed a plentiful supply of the required produce.
Growing using this method would require an indoor space of either a greenhouse, a shed, or even your garage. This system does require heat, light, and ventilation to regulate the humidity for the plants to grow well.
Try growing spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts during the winter using this system.
2. Sell Seeds And Plants
Selling seeds is a relatively easy way to generate income. You can collect seeds from your own plants during the growing season and store them until needed. Package them into packs of 10 – 20 seeds and sell.
Package a few different seeds together in a packet as a variety starter pack and label as an indoor salad pack, a mixed veg pack, or a stir fry pack, for example.
Planting the seeds to sell as seedlings or small plants is a bit more difficult as you will need time and equipment to get the seedlings to a good selling size. Also, take into consideration the different growing times of the different plants and their specific growing needs.
The best way to start the seeds growing would be to plant them in small tubs with a growing medium and place them indoors until they begin to grow. This requires some maintenance as the plants could possibly not grow if the conditions are not right.
The best-selling plants are tomatoes, peppers, herbs, and broccoli, as they can be grown in individual pots indoors.
Think ahead and grow some extra seedlings to sell in the springtime. Grow houseplants and pots of indoors herbs to sell. Succulents are easy to propagate and are a wonderful splash of color in a nice container.
3. Sell Homemade Produce
Selling your own homemade produce is a great way to earn that extra income that you need to get you through the winter. After selecting the produce you need for your own family, how about bottling, preserving, and selling the surplus?
There are so many ways to preserve, pickle, and store all your surplus fresh, healthy fruit and vegetables. All it takes is a great recipe, a few ingredients, and some good glass jars.
Bottling your own produce to sell online or at your local market is a great way to guarantee income. You can use up all the fresh produce that you cannot sell without having to discard them.
Top Tip: Using good quality glass jars for bottling your preserved produce is a great idea and will appeal to the buyer as a gift or an item to display in their kitchen!
Use your homegrown produce to make the following homemade products:
Ideas For Homemade Produce
Take a short stroll around your local market on the weekend to get an idea of what is for sale and, more importantly, what other customers are buying!
Using your own produce, try your hand at making the following to sell for your own income. You may have to purchase a few ingredients to get started, but the idea is to eventually grow everything you need to bake, preserve, and pickle your produce.
You will have to purchase glass jars and baking trays, but eventually, all the fresh produce should come from your garden. Try making the following for resale:
- Dried herbs
- Herbal salts and oils
- Bath oils
- Tea blends
4. Have An On-Site Shop And Tea Garden
The best way to sell all your fresh and preserved goods is to have an onsite shop. Display and sell everything that you grow in your garden and have a selection of all your fresh, and preserved, and home-baked produce.
Set up an eye-catching gift display to sell your homemade tinctures, salts, and oils.
This does not have to be open every day, but you could open it once or twice a week, or perhaps once a month. Set out a few tables and chairs and offer a small menu with tea, coffee, and home-baked cookies and cakes.
Allow your customers to wander around your shop and buy all your homemade produce. Don’t forget to advertise your online site by selling mugs with your site name on them.
5. Teach Classes On How To Preserve, Pickle, Can, And Bake
Now that you have figured out what to do with your surplus and are an expert at preserving, pickling, canning, and baking, how about offering lessons to the public on how to do it yourself?
This is always an excellent opportunity to use up your surplus produce and to promote your own company. Be sure to set up an onsite shop supplying everything required for your lesson and showcasing a selection of the other produce you have on offer.
Many people would love to learn how to use up their leftover fruit and veggies and would sign up for a lesson or two on how to preserve their fresh produce.
Offer different classes for the other preserving methods, ensuring that your customers will return for another lesson!
How about offering a package deal for a Mother and daughter to learn how to bake a tart? Include a light lunch and a free recipe book in the agreement.
6. Sell Homemade Tinctures
Another homemade product that is often in great demand is tinctures and salves. These days, many people are turning to traditional herbal medicines as treatments for their ailments. By growing your own herbs, you can produce many traditional herbal medicines.
If you are going to produce herbal medicines, be sure to get the necessary training and permits before you continue.
7. Get Creative
If you have a big enough outdoor space, hold a winter market once or twice a month, or even every season! You can charge the local community to rent a tablespace from you to sell their goods. This would be similar to a community market day, except that you could offer entertainment geared around the theme, culminating in an evening bonfire and roasted marshmallows!
Arranging annual events will bring in extra income for you and promote your business at the same time, free advertising!
8. Rent Out Your Space
Rent out a room in your home as a guest room, offering dinner, bed, and breakfast for a small fee.
If you live in a winter wonderland with lots of snow and big trees and fields, advertise your garden as a backdrop for photographers to use for their photoshoots. Arrange a package deal with the photographer, which could include the use of the venue and a light lunch prepared in your kitchen using your fresh produce.
9. Offer Gardening Clean-up Services
Winter is a great time to advertise your services to your community. Many homeowners would rather leave their garden as is during the winter, but some would like their gardens maintained during the cold months.
For a fee, you could rake up fallen leaves, cut down dead trees and broken branches, or even paint the garden shed if necessary!
Wintertime is always a great time to start planning a spring garden, so offer your customers your services as a consultant.
10. Become Internet Savvy!
By now, you should have enough information on what to do to earn extra income by using up your produce and offering your time and venue.
Another way to earn an income is through using the internet. You can set up an online site to sell your produce or homemade goods. By advertising your own goods for sale on your site, you should be able to earn a little bit extra.
Offer your site to others to sell their goods or even sell advertising space on your site. Create an e-Book and sell it online. Use your imagination here and write about what you know and what people are buying from you.
Set up online tutorials on how to plan and manage a garden. You could offer suggestions on what to plant during which season, garden maintenance, and landscaping by managing your own blog site.
Include mugs and mouse pads displaying your logo for sale on the site to remind people of who you are!
The colder winter season should not stop you from earning the income that you are used to. By thinking creatively and using what you already have available to you, you will earn the income you need.
Remember to check what the legalities are in your state regarding selling homemade produce and tinctures and establishing an at-home business before you begin. You may require a license that is easy enough to purchase.
Earning extra income by selling your products and your time is all about advertising. An excellent way to advertise is through word of mouth, so make sure that people in your community know who you are, even if you need to spend a bit of money printing up flyers to hand out.
If you are going to spend the extra on advertising, make sure that you are committed to the services that you are offering.
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