If you’re short on space, time, or money, you might be wondering how you can get the most bang for your buck in your garden.
It’s simple - you need to trim the fat away and only focus on the most profitable, high-yield crops.
In this article, we’ll tell you about the 30 most profitable crops for a high yielding garden - so that you can stop wasting time and start growing money (literally!).
- 1. Lavender
- 2. Basil
- 3. Cilantro
- 4. Chives
- 5. Garlic
- 6. Arugula
- 7. Corn
- 8. Cut Flowers
- 9. Arborvitae
- 10. Ginseng
- 11. Woody Ornamentals
- 12. Wheat
- 13. Sorghum
- 14. Squash
- 15. Beans
- 16. Cucumbers
- 17. Cherry Tomatoes
- 18. Microgreens
- 19. Hostas
- 20. Shiitake Mushrooms
- 21. Bamboo
- 22. Goji Berries
- 23. Ground Covers and Ornamental Grasses
- 24. Soybeans
- 25. Saffron
- 26. Bonsai
- 27. Peanuts
- 28. Potatoes
- 29. Peppers
- 30. Heirloom Tomatoes
If you’re looking for a flexible, drought-tolerant, and high-yielding crop, you can’t find a better plant than lavender. It can be sold as both an edible herb and an ornamental, meaning it has a ton of value for commercial purposes. It's also a natural mosquito repellent plant!
Lavender requires a minimal investment on your part and spreads quickly. It can grow in just about any climate and tolerates the heat with ease. It does require well-draining soil, but it grows rapidly and is usually disease-resistant.
Plus, once you get going, you’ll have a tough time stopping - lavender flowers for more than ten years after it was initially planted.
Just a single acre of lavender can produce more than 10,000 bouquets per year - immediate cash crop!
If you’re new to gardening and want to make a profit, you might want to start with basil. Basil is easy to grow and is everybody’s favorite culinary herb, meaning you won’t have any problem selling it later on.
It’s highly productive and you can take multiple cuttings per year. It’s also easy to grow indoors and matures rapidly there, too. The warmer and more humid your environment, the better suited it is for growing this aromatic herb.
Another popular herb that you might consider growing is cilantro. It requires minimal space to grow (just a few feet can be profitable) and has a ton of applications in the kitchen as well as in the medicine cabinet.
Chives reproduce rapidly and can be grown both indoors and out. Grow chives outdoors, and you’ll find that they spread quickly, producing extensive growth in just a few seasons.
They’re easy to harvest and remarkably hardy, too, surviving tough winters in some of the country’s harshest climates.
Any kind of garlic will be profitable, but if you really want the potential for a big payday, you’ve got to consider growing gourmet garlic. Garlic is used by people all over the world and if you’re willing to grow hard-neck garlic, you’ll be able to fetch higher prices at harvest time.
On Average, garlic is sold for about $10 per pound. Just one acre can produce over 15,000 pounds of garlic per year. It’s easy to harvest and grows well during dormant seasons, like fall and winter, too. Garlic is a perennial vegetable! Check out our guide on other perennial vegetables to make your garden more colorful.
Arugula is a lot like lettuce in terms of how easy it is to grow, but it fetches higher prices. It offers salads a unique, zesty flavor and is popular in restaurants and at farmer’s markets.
Corn is one of the most prominent crops in the United States -, particularly in the midwest. It’s easy to grow and is simple to produce on a small scale with very little labor required.
8. Cut Flowers
Just about every household in North America will purchase some cut or ornamental flowers from time to time. Luckily, growing flowers is one of the easiest ways you can make money on your small farm or garden.
You can grow bulbs, cut flowers, dried flowers, or more. All it takes is a tiny greenhouse to produce more than $100,000 worth of flowers in a single season. They grow quickly so you can turn around your profits rapidly, too.
Some of the most popular and most profitable flowers you can grow are snapdragons, zinnias, salvia, sunflowers, and peonies. Try to implement decorative perennial flowers to save money on yearly plants.
Arborvitae is a small evergreen tree that is very popular in landscaping. You can sell this plant as a full-grown tree or in a small pot. Your best market will be nurseries and landscapers looking for plants to fill in customer’s lawns.
Ginseng will require some patience in order to make money, but if you’re willing to create the right conditions for growing it (and to sit on your investment for a while), you can seriously cash out on this popular medicinal herb.
It is often found growing in the wild but is easy to cultivate, too - you just need a forested location with plenty of shade.
However, you can also plant ginseng in an open field if you don’t have a forest available to you. Just one pound of ginseng can fetch up to $500 - just be sure you protect your investment with some solid fencing, as ginseng is prone to poachers!
11. Woody Ornamentals
Woody ornamentals, like curly willows, are always in high demand, particularly by nurseries who will purchase young stock and sell them to landscapers and homeowners. You can often harvest woody ornamentals all year round, as long as you plant several varieties of plants.
Wheat is a cash crop that is commonly grown in the Great Plains states on a commercial scale. However, you can grow it on a small scale in a backyard or in a tiny row garden. As a hardy plant, there are tons of varieties of wheat that can result in high grain yields.
Another popular grain is sorghum. Often used in syrups and beverages, sorghum is a bit trickier to grow than wheat but grows exceptionally well in warm climates.
It’s having a serious moment right now as craft beer becomes more popular, so take advantage of the boom and grow some to sell at farmers’ markets!
Squash, particularly summer squash like zucchini, is an incredibly high-yielding crop. You may have noticed this if you’ve ever grown zucchini - once the plants turn on, it seems like they never stop producing!
In order to experience the best harvest and highest yields, you’ll want to irrigate regularly and harvest seven days after the fruit is set.
Beans can be a pain to harvest if you’re growing them on a large scale, but if you’re diligent about harvesting every day, you can make the most of your space. Beans produce more the more frequently they are harvested.
The best time to harvest? First thing in the morning, when their sugar level is highest and when the beans are still young and tender.
Cucumbers are inexpensive vegetables, but if you’re smart about growing your plants, you’ll find that they are both high-yielding and highly productive to grow.
Make sure you grow your cucumbers in a weed-free setting to make your growing virtually laborless (consider planting in plastic sheeting as mulch for best results).
17. Cherry Tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes are super tiny, which you probably already know, meaning they can easily grow in any small garden. You can pick the tomatoes constantly during the growing season, and the more you pick, the more your plants will yield.
If you have limited space in your garden but still want to make a few bucks, you’ve got to consider growing microgreens.
Often, microgreens are grown in greenhouses in 10”x20” trays filled with soil. They can also be grown hydroponically.
You’ll sell microgreens fresh, since they don’t have a long shelf-life, but the beauty of growing microgreens is that their turn-around time is rapid.
You can take microgreens from seed to customer in as little as three weeks.
The hosta is another popular ornamental plant. They require minimal care and grow rapidly - plus, they’re hardy, so they can be grown in just about any location. They’re easy to divide and propagate, meaning you can produce tons of hostas in a very small amount of space before selling them directly to consumers or to landscaping stores.
20. Shiitake Mushrooms
Shiitake mushrooms and other kinds of gourmet mushrooms are popular in a wide variety of dishes. They grow quickly and require minimal space- they also require very little care. You won’t have any trouble selling shiitake mushrooms to restaurants and at farmer’s markets.
Shiitake mushrooms don’t deserve all the credit, either - lots of people also grow oyster mushrooms to make a bit of money. These yield up to $20 per pound and can be grown more easily on a small scale. Oyster mushrooms produce up to 25 pounds per square foot - good news for space-constrained growers!
Bamboo might not be the first crop that comes to mind when you’re thinking of how to make the most money in the smallest amount of space possible, but it should. It’s not edible, but it’s highly profitable because it has a variety of diverse applications.
It can be used for everything from fishing pole construction to flooring and even fiber production. It spreads aggressively and can be grown from small clumps of roots that were transplanted from another batch.
Unlike other woody plants, bamboo only takes five years before it’s ready to harvest. It does require extensive irrigation, so be prepared to spend a little bit of money on watering supplies.
22. Goji Berries
Goji berries have recently gained traction in North America as they are now recognized as “superfoods” and are in high demand. You can’t plant these in all environments, but if you have the right conditions for goji berries, you’ll find that they grow rapidly.
Some gardeners compare goji berries to tomatoes, as they both grow in tall, shrub-like patterns.
Goji berry shrubs reach full production in five years and will produce much longer than that. Just one acre can yield you up to 7000 pounds of goji berries, with one pound yielding more than $20.
23. Ground Covers and Ornamental Grasses
Believe it or not, you can grow grass to sell to others! And you can make a ton of money doing so, too. Ground covers can be sold at up to $20 per square foot, meaning you can easily grow this profitable cash crop in your own small backyard.
Soybeans are a lot like corn in that they can thrive in similar conditions. However, unlike corn, soybeans aren’t the first plants that come to mind when you’re thinking of crops to fill your profitable, high-yield garden.
They’re easy to sell, though, as they can be used in all kinds of food and animal feed products.
Saffron is a rare herb, but it's the most expensive culinary herb in the world as a result. Just a single pound of saffron can yield up to $10,000! All you need is an acre for four pounds - need we say more?
Saffron can’t be grown just anywhere, but it’s a sure bet for people who live in dry areas that experience mild winters. It has both domestic and international demand.
Bonsai is an ornamental tree or shrub that is grown - and lives its entire life - inside a pot. It has its roots restricted to prevent it from reaching full size. You don’t necessarily need a full-sized garden in order to grow bonsai, either - all you need is a few containers.
Yes, peanuts! This profitable crop can only be grown in the subtropics and tropics but it’s easy to grow regardless of your garden size. In some places, you’ll be able to get up to five hundred pounds of peanuts per acre.
Plus, it’s a niche market that will be easy to break into if you want to sell some of your products.
Potatoes are valuable crops for growers all over the world. They are used in a variety of applications, from the dinner table to potato protein, which is used in many kinds of animal feeds.
Potatoes can be grown in just about any type of soil - some people are even able to grow potatoes in trash bags! Therefore, the humble spud is the perfect choice for a garden looking for productive yields.
Check out our guide on high yield potato gardening - Potato Towers, Bins and Containers.
Peppers yield up to half a ton per hectare - or more than 10,250 plants per acre! Since you can get multiple harvests of peppers from one plant, you’ll enjoy a continuous harvest that’s perfect for a high-yield garden.
In fact, the average yield per pepper plant (depending on species and planting location) is more than three and a half pounds over the course of one growing season!
30. Heirloom Tomatoes
Growing tomatoes is easy, which is why the tomato is the crop of choice chosen by many first-time gardeners. All you need is a moderately warm climate and plenty of moisture.
You can grow tomatoes that are ready for harvest in as little as three months and you can yield up to 20 pounds of tomatoes per acre, too.
The best tomatoes for your money are heirloom tomatoes. These tend to be in high demand at farmer’s markets and restaurants, so you’ll be able to fetch higher prices for all of your hard work!
So what are you waiting for? With all these ideas, you should have no trouble starting your own profitable, high-yield garden no matter where you live or how much gardening experience you have.