Sunday, September 1, 2013

20 Fun and Easy Ways to Make Money From Your Yard

Small Backyard Businesses

As we all struggle to earn a little extra income, we take a look around our homes, seeking any way in which we can capitalize on our skills, from writing to crafts. What many people fail to realize is that their backyard can be used to bring in a nice part-time income. In fact, some people utilize their back yard so well that they can sustain themselves with no outside income from jobs away from the home. Here are 20 business ideas you can start up in your yard.

1. Growing and Selling Strawberries

Strawberries are like gold in the garden. If your yard is right for growing strawberries, you will be able to bring in a good amount of money selling fresh grown, juicy ripe strawberries from your home. At the farm I grew up on, we had a patch of strawberries, however, many people build tiers to grow their strawberries and make better use of limited space.

2. Selling Cut Flowers

This is a popular home business in my area. Grow and sell hardy, cut flowers. You can pick the flowers and sell them in bunches or you can allow buyers to walk the flower patch and pick their own bouquet.

3. Growing and Selling Herb Plants

This is one of my personal favorites - growing and selling unique herb plants. Many of the local nurseries and garden centers do not carry herbs, and if they do, the have only the most basic herb plants - lavender, one or two types of mint, basil, rosemary, and chives. Look into growing specialty herbs for cooking and for medicinal uses.

4. Doggie Daycare

Do you love dogs? Is your yard safely fenced in? If so, check out your local laws in regards to setting up a simple doggie daycare. You can provide people's dogs with exercise, love, and attention while their owners are at work.

5. Chicken Eggs

This is another popular backyard business in my area. Raise brooding chickens and sell their delicious eggs from your home. You can also hatch chick to sell to other families who want to raise chickens for their eggs.

6. Stock Photos

Writers and graphic artists always need a fresh supply of interesting and colorful photographs. Why not use your backyard for all of its photographic beauty? Grow and photograph flowers, insects, butterflies, textures, and more. Use your photos in the articles you write or sell your photographs online at such places as ShutterStock, Fotolia, and ShutterPoint.

7. Plant Fruit Trees and Sell Fruit

All it takes is a few fruit trees and you can start selling fresh fruit from your home in a few short years. Check out the dwarf varieties of fruit trees available for your area. Dwarf trees produce quickly and a lot of fruit. Their only downside is that the trees have a shorter lifespan that regular sized fruit trees.

8. Grow and Sell Exotic Houseplants

If you have a knack for growing houseplant, consider adding a small greenhouse to your yard. Many people love to fill their homes with beautiful houseplants and, often, the only houseplants available to them are those sold in the grocery store. Grow a wide variety of houseplants, from spider plants to jade plants - both of these plants are very easy to start. You can also branch out into venus fly traps and unusual cacti.

9. Grow and Sell Fresh Veggies or Pumpkins

Fresh veggies are always a hit, especially when you can catch people coming home from work, trying to come up with a fresh vegetable to add to the dinner table. Discover what vegetables will grow best in your yard and plant them accordingly. Another variation of this type of home business is to grow pumpkins and gourds for the Halloween season.

10. Breed and Sell Small Animals or Fish

While I am particularly stubborn in my views about breeding animals irresponsibly, there are many people who successfully breed and sell small animals in a clean and responsible manner. Small animals can include rabbits, guinea pigs, different types of chickens, and others. I've known people in warmer climates that bred beta fish outdoors. Goldfish, however just need a simple pond, clean water, and a good food source before they start leaving eggs about. A variation of this is providing a safe pond for frogs and selling tadpoles.

11. Grow and Sell Coleus

Coleus is such a simple plant to grow. All you need are a few mother plants of the many different varieties of coleus. With small pots and potting soil, take cuttings from the mother plants and root them in the soil. The cuttings root quickly, almost as fast as these plants sell.

12. Sell Container Gardens

Container gardens continue to grow in popularity. If you live near apartment complexes, this would be a fantastic business to go into. Grow vegetables and herbs in containers for apartment dwellers to purchase and keep on their balconies. There are many seed packs of vegetables available that are labeled for container gardens. You will want to do further research in seed catalogs.

13. Grow Supplies for Basket Weaving

If you have a good patch of land, consider catering to basket weaving hobbyists. Grow the grasses and reeds used by basket weavers. Prepare the items and sell them to local basket weaving groups, a local college that provides basket weaving classes, and online.

14. Beekeeping

Beekeeping is a bit more involved than the other yard businesses listed here, but it is a fun and enjoyable small business. Sell honey from your home or at local health stores.

15. Grow and Sell Fresh Blueberries

Grow and pick blueberries to sell from your yard or let people pick their own blueberries. Blueberries are a great seller and many people, such as myself, will buy large amounts of blueberries to freeze for the year.

16. Yard Sales

Yard sales are a fun and popular way to make a little extra money and get rid of unwanted items. If your home is located in a highly visible area, you can start buying items in bulk and selling them for a profit from your yard. Any fresh fruits and veggies you have grown can also be sold at your yard sale.

17. Paint Scenery and Flowers

Are you handy with a paintbrush? Why not make paintings of the scenery from your yard. Paint the beautiful flowers you have growing, the plants, the skyline, butterflies, and anything else you can see in or from your yard. Sell these paintings from your home or at co-ops.

18. Grow and Sell Butterfly Attracting Plants

People want to have a garden just for butterflies without having to hunt down the plants and flowers they need from multiple garden centers. Start growing and selling butterfly attracting plants from your backyard and sell them to your neighbors.

19. Cut and Sell Firewood

Firewood doesn't sell like strawberries or coleus, but it does sell and you can sell firewood year round. People living near campgrounds will often sell bundles of wood to campers. This is a great side job if you have a heavily wood property.

20. Rent Your Yard for Parties

Do you live in an area with a lot of apartment complexes? Do you own a nice, private yard that can comfortably host a party of 20, 30, or 40 people? If yes, look into the latest trend - renting yards for private parties and family outings. This is a great way to make extra money without much initial effort.

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