by Erin Marissa Russell
Ready to start a market garden? One of the most important things for you to consider is what you’ll grow. Planting herbs and vegetables for money is a whole different situation than growing them for your own enjoyment. You’ll want plants that are easy to care for, produce well, and look pretty so they’ll sell well. Here’s our list of the best herbs and vegetables to grow for money.
People love cooking with fresh basil because it’s so aromatic and delicious. It’s also easy to grow in a market garden. You might consider mixing up some fresh basil pesto to sell alongside the bouquets of fresh basil leaves.
Basil does best in a spot where it will get full sun, which equates to between six and eight hours of direct sunshine each day. It likes slightly acidic to neutral soil. Basil only grows in the summer once the soil has warmed up if you want to keep it outdoors. It’s also easy to care for indoors if you want a longer harvest.
Everyone loves the taste of carrots fresh from the garden, and so will your customers, whether they plant to chop them raw into a salad or cook them into a stew. With their vivid orange color and delicate, fernlike leafy greens, carrots are one of the prettiest vegetables at the market. You may consider growing rainbow carrots for an extra punch of color.
Carrots will tolerate partial shade but flourish best in spots that get full sun, or at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. They need plenty of consistent moisture to thrive, as well as a loose gardening soil that’s well aerated, so the edible root has plenty of room to grow downward.
Growing cilantro is simple and rewarding. The time and energy you invest will be rewarded with a bumper crop of cilantro you can take to market. People love using garden-fresh cilantros in salsa, sprinkled onto tacos, or in Asian dishes.
Find cilantro a sunny spot in the garden where it will get at least six hours of direct sun each day. Cilantro plants prefer well aerated soil that drains well, and can even grow happily in sandy soil. The plants will tolerate most soil types as long as they provide adequate nutrition. Harvest before temperatures reach 85 degrees Fahrenheit, as plants begin to bolt at this temperature.
Lettuce and Salad Greens
From microgreens to baby greens to mature heads of lettuce, there are all kinds of ways to sell lettuce and salad greens. As long as they don’t get too much sun and go to seed, they’re simple to grow. Just make sure they get plenty of consistent moisture. A bit of afternoon shade is a blessing, especially in hot weather. If you use the cut and come again method, your lettuce will keep growing so you can continue to harvest it.
Peppers are known for producing heavily in hot weather. There are all kinds of different peppers you can grow, from sweet to mild to hot to unbearably hot. In addition to plenty of sun, your peppers will also need a long growing season and slightly acidic soil.
Squash (Summer and Winter)
All kinds of squashes grow prolifically when they receive the proper care and tend to do well at the market, including summer squash, winter squashes, and zucchini. These plants are super easy to care for and provide a bountiful harvest when they get what they need.
Tomatoes are the star of the summer garden, and market gardens are no different. Customers love to shop for heirloom tomatoes in different colors. The taste difference between a garden fresh tomato and the mealy, watery tomatoes that are usually at the store means customers are bound to get hooked on garden-grown tomatoes. Consider growing an indeterminate variety, as determinate tomatoes will produce their whole harvest at once. Indeterminate types continue to produce tomatoes the whole season long.
Now you’re ready to start a market garden. You can’t go wrong with these herbs and vegetables that are easy to grow and attractive to market customers. Grow one or two, a few, or the whole list, and you’ll find yourself with plenty to sell when it’s time to go to market.
The beauty of growing and selling microgreens is that it does not require a lot of space and you can even do it indoors with a very bright room or limited grow lights. And there are more than 50 options to choose from, although the most popular microgreens are things you have heard of like broccoli, alfalfa, radish, beets, cabbage, collards, kale, arugula, sunflower, basil and many more.
Microgreens are different than sprouts, because you grow them for a longer period and they do require light.
How to Grow Vegetables Intensively
If you’re growing at home and you want to make money from your garden, it is important to grow your crops as intensively and as efficiently as possible. Here are some of the most efficient producing vegetable plants to grow, and some of the most popular ultra efficient gardening methods to reduce your labor and increase your output.