Growing greens as a business

Growing herbs for sale is becoming an increasingly popular business and is attracting more and more people. This business has proved to be a cost-effective and profitable direction, and the payback of this activity sometimes reaches 70% with constant distribution channels, which is a very decent result.

Materials for planting are very inexpensive, large areas and expensive equipment are not needed for activities, greenery for sale grows for about a month, the cultivation technology is quite simple. The yield is high by all standards: one square meter of area gives up to three to four kilograms of greenery.
It would seem that in such favorable conditions, everyone around is simply obliged to engage in this business, but let’s take a closer look at how the situation really is.

How to start a green business

The profitability of a business based on greenery is based, firstly, on the search for a permanent sales niche, and secondly, on the competent organization of agro processes. First you need to understand whether there is a demand for greens in your location, or this niche is packed to capacity and having grown a crop, you simply will have nowhere to put it or you will have to give it away almost for nothing.

Therefore, before driving volumes, monitor sales markets, visit shops and markets, find out at what price you can sell your greens, agree on volumes in advance, and only then proceed directly to cultivation.

If we are talking about business, then you cannot do without greenhouses in which you will grow products all year round, since in summer the competition in this niche is high, and profitability as a result is no longer so pleasant.

What greens to grow for sale

There are many exotic options, but the following list of plants is in demand in domestic markets:

Dill . A rather unpretentious culture, among summer residents it grows well on its own and without any difficulties. Sowing is carried out in rows or sown in a continuous field. It all depends on the cultivation technique and production volumes. Dill is very light and heat-loving, this is its difference from other greens. It can be grown year-round, both at home and in a greenhouse. The yield of dill ranges from 3 to 5 kg per square meter. m. depending on the variety.

dillProductivity of dill varieties:

Alligator . (from the first shoots to harvesting – 40-45 days, until seed ripening – 110-115 days). Long keeps a trade dress. The yield of greens is up to 4.2 kg/sq.m., spices – up to 6.6 kg/sq.m.

Anna . (From the first shoots to harvest – 42-52, spices – 70-90 days). The yield of greens is up to 1.2 kg / sq.m, spices – up to 4.5 kg / sq.m.

Borei . (From the first shoots to harvest – 39 days). The yield of greens is up to 4.2 kg / sq.m, spices – up to 4.5 kg / sq.m.

Buyan . Seedlings should be grown. The yield of greens is up to 400 g per bush. Stored after collection, up to 10 days. Up to 150 plants are grown per 1 sq.m of beds.

Gribovsky . (From germination to flowering – 60-65 days). The yield of greens is 2.4 kg / sq.m. Resistant to low temperatures.

Umbrella . (From the first shoots to harvesting – 35-40 days, to harvesting spices – 65-85 days). The yield of herbs is up to 4 kg/sq.m., spices – up to 3.4 kg/sq.m.

Lesnogorodsky . (From germination to flowering – 80 days). The yield of greens is up to 3.8 kg / sq.m (greens give within 2 weeks).

Salute . Late-ripening variety (. Collection of greenery – within 20-35 days. Productivity of greenery – up to 4.7 kg / sq.m.

Superducat OE .
 (from emergence to flowering – 70-105 days). Productivity of greenery – up to 3.6 kg/sq.m Resistant to fading.

Patterns . Mid-late variety (from germination to harvesting greens – 40-55, to harvesting spices – 80-95 days. Greens yield – up to 3.3 kg / sq.m, spices – up to 4.6 kg / m 2; Resistant to cercosporosis.

Green onion . Often grown in greenhouse conditions. It is easily cultivated and influenced. Difficulties and problems during cultivation, as a rule, do not arise. For these purposes, seeds or small bulbs (about 4 cm in diameter) are taken, planted in sawdust or cultivated soil. Up to ten kilograms of onions can be sown per square meter. A necessary condition is direct vertical light strictly above the landing zone. Harvesting occurs when the length of the feathers is 25-30 centimeters. The average yield of green onions is about 3.5 kg per sq. m.

Parsley . It is rightfully considered the “royal green”. This is perhaps the most sought after culture, which is in great demand all year round. The yield, depending on the variety of parsley, ranges from 1.5 to 8 kg per square meter. m. Below are examples of the yield of varieties:

  • Borodino . (from the first shoots to harvest – 110 days). Productivity – up to 8 kg / sq.m.
  • Breeze . Mid-season variety (from germination to harvest – 80 days). Well transported and stored. Productivity – up to 2.5 kg / sq.m.
  • Kaderava . Mid-season variety (from the first shoots to harvest – 70 days). Productivity – up to 1.5 kg / sq.m.
  • Sugar . Early ripe variety (from the first shoots to harvest – from 80 to 105 days). Productivity with leaves – up to 6kg / sq.m.
  • Khanachka . Late-ripening variety (from germination to harvest – 120-180 days). Productivity – up to 2.8 kg / sq.m.

Salad . It has taken root perfectly and is spreading more and more in its popularity. There are different types of this culture, they can be very different in their characteristics. In cultivation, lettuce is unpretentious and grows in a short period of time. It is in good demand and is remarkably sold both in retail stores and catering places. It grows for about a month, when ripe, large succulent leaves are used for food. For the germination of lettuce, a slightly acidic soil environment is desirable, the seeds should be placed in the ground by a centimeter. Lettuce yield per square meter – 2.5-4 kg

Spinach is similar in cultivation technology to lettuce. The processes of care and cultivation of crops are the same. Spinach is very healthy, it has a high dietary value. It tolerates temperature extremes well, so it is relatively easy to produce. Ripens about 35 days when the leaves reach their maturity. The disadvantage of this type of greenery (as well as lettuce, in principle) is the need for its regular watering. Spinach yield per square meter – 1-2 kg

Cilantro can be planted next to other crops, as it is very unpretentious in its care. It has a high similarity. Does not require much space for placement, you can plant seeds directly between other plantings. In other requirements (soil, watering, light), it is similar to the main crops. Coriander yield per square meter – 1-2 kg

In a greenhouse, in order to grow greens, you will need:
– insulation: polystyrene foam, film, foil (apartment option);
– soil, fertilizers and seeds for planting;
– container for plants (various containers, boxes, pots);

Green business features

The peculiarities of the region should be taken into account for the successful construction of a greenhouse economy . Ideally, it starts in the south of the country, where a warm and mild climate reigns. In a cold region, there is always a risk of crop death from frost and increased production costs, when the cost of heating and electricity compensates for all income from the sale of the crop. Sometimes it may even be more cost-effective to spend money on delivery from another, climatically advantageous area. Before starting a business, you should once again weigh the pros and cons.

Greenhouse size 18 sq. meters will incur heating costs in the cold season in the region of 80 thousand rubles. And already in the middle lane, costs will increase to 250,000 rubles.

Greenhouse soil consists of various types of peat, standard garden soil, various types of compost, wood waste, sawdust, manure, straw, river sand and manure. The minimum layer for the soil layer is recommended to be 25-30 centimeters. For the production of plants, you can use a typical decontaminated soil from the garden, mixed with fertilizers and peat. Microgreens do not require fertilizer at all, enough land and peat.

When using hydroponics, a minimum of knowledge is required to determine the choice of crop for planting. It is also worth taking into account investments in the implementation of the work plan itself. Although hydroponics is a cheap technology, it significantly minimizes physical work and shortens the vegetative cycle by several times, increasing efficiency by several times. The use of hydroponics allows you to grow greens outside of natural soil – in standard containers.

With this technology, the plants are fed by a humid-air environment, which requires regular and frequent watering with a mineral solution. Due to the relatively small volume of the container, it can be placed both at the bottom of the greenhouse and along the walls (and even under the ceiling), which will increase the efficiency of relatively small areas.

The only, but significant disadvantage of this technology is the lack of natural taste and aroma in grown plants. Their practical insipidity cannot be compensated for by any low cost. But they do have a very attractive look. Not surprisingly, this technology is widely applicable in the winter.

For sale, the most profitable type of greens is green onions (if you focus on making a profit). This is followed by salads of different cultures, the third place is shared by parsley, cilantro and dill. The cost of the final sale of products varies from 50 to 220 rubles per kilogram (price formation is influenced by the time of year). In winter, prices almost double. The cost of producing ardent greens varies from 15 to 70 rubles. You will constantly have to bear the costs of advertising a business, purchasing fertilizers, paying utility bills, maintaining greenhouses and equipment.

greenery trade

The yield or cultivation of the product, according to many merchants practicing the production and sale of greens, is not at all the main difficulty. The main task will be the competent sale of products.

There are quite a few competing companies on the market, and the very need for products is able to saturate local farm production. It is possible to stand on the market at first, with an increase in volumes, it will be necessary to search for additional sales channels (cafes, eco-shops, public catering, hypermarkets, warehouses, municipal institutions by tender).

Profitability, or the minimum payback level of this business should be at the level of 20%, and strive for an indicator of 35-40%. Although the payback should be assessed commensurate with the scale of the business: successful merchants with a well-established clientele reach 60-70% profitability, start-up entrepreneurs – up to 30%, on average it comes out to about 45%. It would be ideal to arrange the implementation in bulk. In this case, problems with storage and the risk of loss of presentation are minimized.

It happens that a certificate of a personal plot and a special certificate of the product itself may be required for implementation. Production in large volumes will have to be registered as an individual entrepreneur in agricultural production (ESHN 6% of profit). To officially hire workers, you will need to register with the Pension Fund and the Social Insurance Fund.

Newly minted businessmen often allow themselves many mistakes, for starters, simply by not asking the following questions:

What greens will I grow? – you can grow one thing (having two or three large distributors) or combine several options with the same conditions.

Do I have competitors? – will certainly affect the cost of production if the market is oversaturated with competing firms.

Who will I sell to? – you should take care of the implementation ahead of time, and it will be even cooler if you manage to get an agreement with the future client in writing (or even verbally).

Do I have start-up capital? – 500,000 will go directly to the greenhouse, the same amount to the hydroponic installation.

Who will grow the greens for me? – It will be very difficult to cope with such production volumes on your own.

What knowledge do I have? – you need to understand that the cultivation of greenery (despite its apparent simplicity) has many subtleties, such as the maintenance of greenhouses, growing technology, product sales, certification and business registration.

How much money do you need for a green business

Expenses. Let’s calculate the cost of purchasing two greenhouses (material – cellular polycarbonate). An area of ​​18 square meters will cost 65,000 rubles. You will have to spend around 2,500 on seeds, and about 8,000 on fertilizers. We do not take into account transportation costs, since they entirely depend on the location and points of sale. The total costs will amount to 75,000 rubles. Then the business will expand and we will have to fork out for an assistant (125,000 rubles per year), the registration of activities and the payment of appropriate fees will cost us an additional 16,000 rubles.

For six months, that is, from mid-autumn to spring, constant heating with lighting should be maintained inside the greenhouses, and this is an expensive pleasure. But on the other hand, it is in winter for greenery and increased demand, and, accordingly, the price, so the business is especially profitable in the winter. Additional spending may be: for the heating system – 13,000 rubles, coal (6-10 cubic meters per year) – about 11,000 rubles, electricity – 17,000 rubles.

How much can you earn on greenery

Income. Calculate usable area. It will be about thirty square meters (although you can always add additional tiers and shelving). One square will allow you to grow in the region of three kilograms of greenery. Two greenhouses will give ninety kilograms of greenery. You can get four to five harvests per year. Suppose we were able to grow half a ton. The price per kilogram of dill varies from 55 to 220 rubles (it all depends on seasonality and sales volume). Onions sell for more. On average, we calculate the cost of a kilogram of greens 140 rubles.

In total, you can sell for 70,000 rubles. That is, already in the second year of operation, we are reaching self-sufficiency. In the future, profits will grow due to a reduction in greenhouse costs and an increase in the customer base. The costs for seeds and fertilizers will remain unchanged, and the increase in usable space (due to tiers and racks) will make it possible to recoup greenhouses in the first six months of business. Successful activity in subsequent years will be able to give up to 250% of the average profit per season. It makes sense to think about year-round cultivation of greenery.


There are certain risks that should also be taken into account when developing your business. This is the high cost of production, short shelf life. There are a large number of various pests and pathogens that can destroy your crop. Elementary – these are the high costs of heating greenhouses in cold regions of the country.

So, we have analyzed that solid production volumes and well-established clear distribution channels will create favorable conditions for the successful improvement of your farm. This is a great business idea that, if properly implemented, can bring profit and benefits to the owner.