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Enterprise: growing plants to sell

Information sheet

If you are looking to fundraise for your school garden, why not combine it with increasing your pupils’ horticultural knowledge?

  • School term: All year round
  • Level of experience: No experience needed
  • Subject(s): English, Maths, Science, Art&DT

Why choose plants for your enterprise?

  • There are vast numbers of plants, both edible and decorative, that can be grown from seed within the school year.
  • It is cheap and relatively easy to grow a lot of plants from seed within the school year.
  • Your school may already have plants on site which could be propagated to make new plants for free.
  • Your school may already hold events which could be used to host a plant sale.
  • Students can grow the plants and organise the marketing and publicity for the sale, as well as sell the plants and handle the money on the big day.

Things to consider before starting a growing enterprise project

Planning is crucial for growing to sell, making a profit and holding a successful event.  

Which plants should you grow to make the most profit?

The facilities you have will determine which plants you can grow. You could sell surplus crops from the school garden, such as tomatoes, pumpkins, salads, herbs and strawberry plants, or grow flowers to sell in bouquets. You may also consider purchasing plug plants. They are more expensive than seed but eliminate the need for fiddly jobs such as seed sowing and pricking out.

Where and when are you planning to sell plants? 

Will you be selling to pupils and parents in the playground, staff within school or external companies? Will you be selling plants on a specific date to coincide with Sports Day or a winter or summer fair? Consider when you wish to start and end the project and research the timing of sowings, flowering, fruiting or harvests of specific plants to make sure you have enough time to grow the plants to the desired size for selling.

How much money do you hope to raise?

This will affect the number of plants you grow and how you price and publicise the sale. You will need to think about what is feasible in a garden of your size. Consider holding other fundraising projects to reach your target amount.

Keeping track of your fundraising

For useful ideas about fundraising visit: Raising money using your school garden

Practicalities of running an enterprise project


You will need enough money to purchase seeds, compost and pots. To reduce costs, recycle containers and contact local garden centres to see if they will donate used small pots or compost.

Space and facilities 

Consider the amount of space you have and whether it will be sufficient as your plants grow. Note tender plants will require a protected environment to keep the plants frost-free until the sale.


If the plants will be left at school during the holidays, consider who has access and will be available to water them.


A successful enterprise project should also make a profit. Involve pupils in this process, estimating costs at the start of the project and tracking the actual costs throughout.