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Author: Danny Donello / Category: Article / Published: Jul-30-2019
rowing all seasons any kind of plant or food crop for yourself or your family is great. Nothing compares with the pride of eating food that you grew yourself, maybe even pure organic. But when comes to business and you would like to start growing plants for sale, being a bit more selective about what you grow is of great importance. Hydroponically grown greens are not something new to the markets. Nothing is impossible, but chances are, you won’t be able to compete in the market with already established growers. Several other crops, however, can be grown indoor and provide much greater return on investment.
But before rush off and modify your indoor garden to grow any crop for profit, perform a detailed market research. Do not rely only on your own emotion and estimate without a clear appraisal of the market.
Regardless of which crop is selected for profitability, it must have some similar characteristics if it is to be successfully marketed. It must be a crop that realizes a high yield per unit area or otherwise has a quick turnaround in its growth cycle. The crop should be one that cannot be grown year-round in your particular region with conventional field production.
Fruit is always a hit at farmers’ markets and when fruit is in season, many grocery stores can’t keep up with the demand. By growing strawberries inside your indoor garden, you can have a market advantage if not all year, then at least for the 10 or so months per year when conventionally grown ones do not dominate the market.
Besides being able to control climatic variables and light cycles, there is even further benefit if strawberries are grown hydroponically - they can be grown vertically, several plants high.
Tip: For optimal sweetness (and sales appeal), pick strawberries in the morning; they lose some of their sweetness profile throughout the course of the day.
Herbs are a great cash crop. Not all herbs can be grown indoor well, but basil certainly can be. Basil is sensitive to cold climates, so growing it inside grow room makes sense as it, like strawberries, is usually only available for a few months per year if conventionally field-grown. It can also fetch a high dollar amount per pound as compared to most other crops.
Hydroponic basil under LED grow lights has the added advantage of packing more flavor. This has been quantified by several university-led studies showing that it contains 20-40 per cent more oils than soil-grown basil.
By growing several different types of basil (there are well over 100), you can diversify your market as well. There are giant-leafed basils, variegated-leafed basils, and ones that run the gamut of flavor and texture.
Used for thousands of years in Asian cultures as a healing herb and tonic, this plant brings in so much profit for growers it has been dubbed “green gold”. Even George Washington saw the potential of this plant; ginseng profits helped finance the Revolutionary war against the British.
If you have a small vacant plot and a touch of patience this plant can reap huge rewards. Why patience? Because growing ginseng can take up to six years, as you will have to wait until the roots have fully-matured to harvest them for consumption. If that is well-beyond your timeframe, you can also sell young “rootlets” to other growers to bring some return on investment within a manageable time-frame. Over the six year period, growers can make as much as $80,000 in a medium sized grow tent from seeds, rootlets and mature roots. With ginseng, early birds most definitely do not get the worm.
Unlike trees and many shrubs, this plant matures quickly and can bring in huge profits for growers. And maturing fast is an understatement; bamboo has been known to grow over two feet in one 24 hour period. So if you decide to go with this plant, make sure you know what you’re signing up for as a taller growing space will be a must.
Bamboo is growing in popularity as a landscaping plant, and growers say their product is only increasing in demand each year. You may assume bamboo only grows in tropical climates, but these towering plants also thrive in hardy, sub-freezing weather. While the culinary uses of this plant are limited, landscapers are increasingly using bamboo as a hedge, screen, or shade plant. Many bamboo nurseries are reporting solid sales of potted bamboo at prices up to $200 per plant.
These tiny plants are used as a garnish for main dishes, or served as a mini-salad. Unlike most other food crops, micro greens are quick to grow, ready to sell in just two weeks. They can be grown indoor well, so micro greens are a perfect crop for urban farmers who may not have access to a patch of dirt. Because micro greens are expensive, selling for $20 to $30 a pound, growers can produce a solid income in a very small space, such as on shelving that uses vertical space more efficiently inside your indoor garden.
For growers with capital to invest upfront, medicinal marijuana (where legal) can be as profitable as Apple stores. That’s right, as profitable as the most profitable company in history. For those ahead of the curve (for now), the potential income from this controversial plant is immense.
Gardening is certainly not all about making money, but it’s sure is nice to do once in a while. Whether you’re looking to start a new business, add to your current offerings, or just generate some additional cash-flow, indoor growing of plants in demand can bring big returns for savvy gardeners.