Growing your own vegetables, fruits, and herbs has become more popular over the last decade. Even people who buy these products care for their origin and cultivation. But once you decide to start your small gardening business, you stop being a buyer or consumer and become responsible for the quality of your products.
To make sure you don’t waste your time and investment, here are some of the basic grounds to cover for a successful launch of your career.
Make room for your garden
Your garden needs space so you have to find a suitable amount to accommodate all your plans. This can be your backyard, piece of land in the country, or even built greenhouse by your house. The first step is always to clear the area from brunches, foliage, rocks, and anything else that may be an obstruction to create zones, rows, and position growing beds.
Additionally, make room for the compost bin, small shed, and rainwater barrels, as well as vehicles and equipment you plan to use. Of course, you also have to pay attention to sun exposure or shade in certain areas, since not all plants are fond of UV rays.
Work on your investment plan
You need investment to start any business. To avoid erratic and unnecessary purchases, sit down and put your finances on paper. Try to include everything in your budget calculations, from the removal of rubbish to buying crates for the products.
When unsure what to put in your investment plan, talk to other farmers that successfully initiated their undertaking. If you need a loan or outside inflow of money, consult with your bank or financial advisor to go over all the options. Professional help in this matter may save you from debt and lack of funds to see this project to the end.
Prepare a marketing campaign
It may seem too early to talk about a marketing campaign, but this is something best taken care of from the start. Marketing is not only about advertising, but also about creating your brand and image that will tell a story about you. Logo, colors, motto, and goals are things that will affect the way you present yourself to consumers.
Social media can help you create a following and turn them into buyers, but only if you use the right platform and message. If this is something you don’t understand, it’s best to leave it to professionals since mistakes can be costly. Keep in mind that the marketing campaign has to reach your target audience because not everyone is a potential buyer.
Prepare the soil in time
The soil for your future garden needs to be treated before the time to plant the first seeds. Take a sample for analysis to find out more about its properties, like the ratio of Nitrogen, Potassium, and Phosphorus.
The preparation of soil should start in the fall by spreading compost so it becomes fertile and ready for spring planting. Moreover, use plastic sheets or mulch on the surface so the soil is free of weeds and well moist by March. When this is not possible, use raised beds since they allow you to use store-bought soil already full of nutrients and ready for seedlings.
Install an irrigation system
Installing an irrigation system with sprinklers and timers is a great idea to keep the plants hydrated automatically and independently of your presence. However, always have your garden hose reel ready since not all plants require the same amount of water, or your irrigation system can stop working. This depends on the climate, soil, and varieties you have in your garden.
If you are struggling financially, consider rainwater catchment and using it to water your plants. This is a cheaper investment and may provide better yield since rain is softer and more agreeable for plants. To not waste resources, group plants by their need for irrigation so you can have more control over their watering schedules.
Select the plants for your small gardening business
Those who are new to gardening or starting a business should be careful what they plan to grow. It’s fine to plant vegetables or fruits that are not common on the market as long as there are interested buyers. Local varieties and native plants are the best choices for the first crop while anything else can be only a side project without big plans.
To see what is in demand, visit a farmer’s market and stores to check on the prices and quality of products. Research the market and your competitors so you would follow the newest trends and learn from their mistakes.
Regardless if you use modern equipment or raised beds, they will make this agricultural endeavor easier, not void of human touch. From the moment you plant the seeds to the time for harvest, you will spend hours almost every day caring for your garden. Always remember that you started your small gardening business to make a profit, but also to discover something new about yourself.