If you are good at growing vegetables in your backyard or garden, it is possible to expand the scope a bit and grow them commercially, so you earn profit as well. Growing commercial vegetables differs from homegrown ones in several ways. You have to produce in bulk, use organic methods and ensure the vegetables are bug-free and fresh so retailers purchase immediately. As little as 1/2 to 1 acre of land can earn you sufficient profit.
Prepare a business plan that highlights your target market; costs of seed, fertilizer, irrigation, weed control, transportation and rent; and your production expectations per square foot.
Study and shortlist a few vegetables native to your environment that you can grow. Design a detailed drawing of the location of vegetables patches and containers, if any, on graph paper. Keep the sunlight requirements of your desired plants in mind to provide sun-loving vegetables southern exposure.
Furnish or build a covered processing area with a counter, water and baskets to collect and store vegetables until transported.
Clear the planting area of weeds, sod, stones or plant debris. Loosen the soil up to a depth of 3 inches. Test the soil with a soil testing kit, or send a sample to your local nursery to determine its pH value, which should be in the 6.5 to 7.0 range. Add lime to cure acidic soil, or sulfur if the alkaline content is high. Also rake in organic compost or well-rotted manure over the planting site.
Insert stakes over the planting site and run wire or rope around them to demarcate individual vegetable patches. Cut strips of paper with names of the vegetables you are growing, glue them to sticks and place in the ground.
Sow good-quality seeds in the patch. Follow label directions for seed depth and appropriate spacing. Water lightly and spread a thin and even layer of mulch over the seeds to prevent weeds. Continue watering your growing vegetables at soil level.
Harvest vegetables as soon as they mature. Wash them thoroughly and place in baskets. Transport the baskets to your nearest farmers market.
Things You Will Need
- Graph paper
- Soil-testing kit
- Lime or sulfur
- Select a planting site with well-drained soil.
- Start with crops such as potatoes, lettuce and onions that are easy to grow.
- Remember to rotate your crop every three to four years to prevent nutrient loss in the soil, as well as pests and diseases.
- Trellis growing vegetables, if necessary. Wind wire to secure the seedling to the trellis so it grows upwards.
- Feed the vegetables a commercial, organic fertilizer during the growing season. Follow label directions.
- Inspect the vegetables for pests or disease frequently. Remove pests by hand, if possible, or spray an organic herbicide to deter them.