12 Most Profitable Plants for Aquaponics, Small Gardens and Backyard Nurseries

Urban areas don’t lend a land for growing your own plants and vegetables, but it’s not impossible to do so with this list of the most profitable plants for aquaponics, small gardens and backyard nurseries.

Growing up in the south, I am no stranger to farms and large expanses of land. My extended family has farmed for a few generations and because of this, I am no stranger to farms. Sometimes, there’s just nothing like throwing on some old clothes and boots and trekking around the farm, or planting or picking fresh fruits and vegetables. I’m definitely no expert at the planting part, but I at least know how to pick the produce. Some of my favorite things to pick are strawberries, tomatoes, and corn because they’re fairly easy to spot on the vine. Strawberries are mainly my favorite because I eat more than I pick. As you know, it takes a good amount of land and space to be able to successfully grow a variety of produce. If you’re thinking of incorporating livestock, you better have tons of land. However, if you are just getting started with your farming, it may be best to start with plants. You can also check out the 11 Most Profitable Agricultural Business Ideas for Young Entrepreneurs for ways to make money with your new hobby.

Nejron Photo/Shutterstock.com

Nejron Photo/Shutterstock.com

Unfortunately, not everyone has access to acres of land, which many times translates to a lack of access to fresh produce. In urban areas, the closest farms can sometimes be hours away, which isn’t always easy to get to. Luckily, urban farms and other small farms are popping up in cities around the country. Technology has even allowed for aquaponics which is an integrated system that uses nutrients from fish-inhabited water to fertilize plants. This is not to be confused with “hydroponics” where you add supplemental nutrients to the water. This can be indoors or outdoors, and in big or small spaces. Aquaponics serves as a more organic process. So, if you live in a tiny apartment in New York City, it’s possible for you to grow, and even sell, your own produce. For more on this, you can check out our list of the Easiest Edible Plants to Grow Indoors where you can find some profitable plants to grow at home like herbs, flowers and mushrooms. These same plants are also considered among a few of the most profitable plants to grow and sell.

In our list of most profitable plants for aquaponics, small gardens and backyard nurseries, we are going to focus on the most profitable crops to grow and sell when you don’t have much space to work with, or if you’re working with aquaponics. Obviously, some high-profit cash crops, like corn, tobacco, and soybeans need to grow outside to thrive and won’t work in a small or indoor space. Many of the most profitable plants to grow in a greenhouse will bring you pretty good profits (while probably not the same yield) if you’re growing in small spaces, so those are also on our list.

To create our list, we used sources like the University of North Carolina, Cornell UniversityHarvest to Table and the USDA to determine the value of plants. We first researched the most profitable plants, then narrowed them down for our list, based on their ability to be grown using aquaponics, or in small spaces. It is important to note that plant value varies depending on your market and where you are growing the crops. Due to the variation in values it’s hard to determine exact prices for crops, so we’ve ranked our list based on which crops are considered to have a “high” value per square foot.

Get your gardening gloves and let’s take a look at the most profitable plants for aquaponics, small gardens and backyard nurseries.