3 profitable plants to grow in your garden – extra cash with minimum effort

Can you make money gardening? Yes, but choose what you grow wisely – these 3 plants can turn you a nice little profit, even if you don't have acres of land

oyster mushrooms
(Image credit: Getty/Minh Hoang Cong / 500px)

These profitable plants can be grown in most gardens, don't require much space, and prove that you can make money gardening. Full disclaimer: you won't make mega bucks growing these plants in your garden, but growing a little extra as part of your kitchen garden ideas can make you a little extra cash, especially if you establish a relationship with a local restaurant or greengrocer. 

These are not the only profitable plants to grow in your garden, but they probably are the easiest. What we like about these three is that they don't require acres of land so are suitable even for small urban gardens.

1. Salad leaves

As Luke Marion from MI Gardener explains, 'the trend now is locally grown', and 'salads are something that a lot more people are now looking to eat.' However, salads still aren't grown that much commercially, so restaurants often rely on leaves that 'have been shipped hundreds of miles' by restaurant supply companies. By offering fresh, homegrown lettuce, chard, and other leaves, you will be offering an in-demand food that is local. Luke says that he was able to get '$6 a pound' for his lettuces – an amazing price considering how easy they are to grow. 

2. Herbs

coriander seedlings

(Image credit: Future)

Herbs can easily become a steady source of a small side income. It help that they're so easy to grow – you can learn how to create a herb garden in our guide. Again, they're profitable for very similar reasons to salads – they are perishable and not always readily available at their freshest for local restaurants and greengrocers. Luke picks a small bunch of his homegrown cilantro to demonstrate that he can get $1.50 for it; sell 20 or even 40 of these, and you've got a nice extra bit of cash for one of the lowest-maintenance plants in your garden. 

3. Oyster mushrooms

oyster mushrooms

(Image credit: Getty/Minh Hoang Cong / 500px)

Do you see a pattern developing here? Highly perishable foods that cannot be flash-frozen are in high demand from small stores and restaurants alike. Mushrooms are another such crop, and oyster mushrooms are in particular high demand thanks to their excellent taste, versatility, and the fact that they're still somewhat exotic. They're not difficult to grow – learn how to grow mushrooms in our guide – and don't require much space to grow. They will fetch you around $7 per pound. 

Anna Cottrell
Anna Cottrell

Anna's background is in academic research – she is the author of London Writing of the 1930s, published by Edinburgh University Press. She is a keen urban gardener and has an impressive collection of house plants.