If you are thinking about starting a backyard nursery, zoning is something to consider, but by no means should you let it stop you from living your dream.
For many of our backyard growers zoning is not a problem because they live in a rural area where zoning is not an issue.
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But we do have many members that live inside the city limits, or in residential areas that do have strict zoning or homeowner association rules. Most people easily find a way to comply with the local rules and regulations and are still able to make money growing and selling plants.
These are the things you need to consider about zoning and a Backyard Nursery:
1. You can root thousands of cuttings in a very small area, and unless you make a big deal about what you are doing and why, most people wouldn't even realize that you are selling the plants because when you sell rooted cuttings you just box them up and ship them to your customers. Often times you are allowed to grow small plants, after all it is only gardening, but selling from home is the problem.
2. You can sell a lot of plants at Farmers Markets. A lot of our members do that. It's holding a plant sale in your driveway like I've done that attracts a lot of unwanted attention. And for many people they really don't want all those people coming to their house, so selling at the local Farmers Markets is a great way to go.
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3. You really need to think bigger. Your goal should be to do thousands of dollars in business, and eventually you may opt to move your nursery to a better location. Some of our members team up with other local businesses who let them hold plant sales at their retail locations because it brings in a lot of new customers for them as well.
4. And of course, once you get on the Backyard Growers Message Board, you can get more great ideas than you can imagine about how to deal with backyard nursery zoning issues. Many of our members have gone before you and will offer you great advice.
5. You can sell rooted cuttings, seedlings and liners to other members of our group. Thousands and thousands of plants are sold on the Backyard Growers Board.
6. There are also all kinds of vacant pieces of property where you can work out a deal with the owner who will let you grow small plants on his property in exchange for something as simple as keeping the grass mowed. Investors own thousands of properties that generate rental income but have unused space behind the building that is just an expense to the owner to take care of. They'd love to see you come along with a feasible idea that will save them money and work.
7. These are just a few ideas about how to deal with zoning and a backyard nursery. The Growers Board will give you plenty more creative ideas.