Growing your own herbs can be an enjoyable and rewarding activity. There’s nothing quite like having fresh herbs on hand whenever you need them.
If you want to grow your own herbs at home, I’ve written a few other articles that should help you along: Herbal Health 101 – How to Collect Plant and Herb Seeds, Herbal Health 101 – How to Transplant Wild Herbs to a Home Garden, Herbal Health 101 – How to Dry and Store Herbs at Home, Herbal Health 101 – a Guide to Identifying Wild Herbs. The article you’re reading now will lay out some of the reasons why growing herbs at home is a good idea.
Save money – Growing your own herbs at home can save a lot of money. Seeds typically range from $1-$6 per packet depending on whether you’re getting common cooking herbs or medicinal herbs. On average a bottle of dried herbs can cost anywhere from $1-$10 or more depending on the herb. When you grow your own herbs you don’t have to pay the high retail prices, and you can keep harvesting throughout the life of the plant, and that’s where the real savings come in.
Have access any time – When you grow herbs at home you can harvest fresh herbs whenever you please. You don’t have to worry about the cabinet being empty or making a run to the grocery store. Your plants will provide a constant supply, and if you dry some of the herbs periodically, you can keep a stock in your kitchen or pantry as well.
Extremely fresh – When you grow herbs at home you know they’re going to be fresh because you can pick right from the living plant. You’ll know if any pesticides have been used, and you’ll know exactly where it came from. Even if you dry and store the herbs, you know that they’re bottled without preservatives, and you know exactly how old they are. There’s also nothing that compares to the flavor of herbs that are straight off the plant and haven’t been sitting in the grocer’s mister display for no one knows how long.
Prepare any way you want – When you have your own herb plants, you can prepare them any way you see fit, and change at any time. No more will you be limited to whether you bought fresh or dried. You’ll be able to use fresh pickings, dry the herbs, make herbal oils, decoctions or any other preparation you see fit at any given time.
Limited to available seeds and clippings – This is one of the few down sides to growing herbs at home. Your herb garden will be limited to the seeds or clippings that you can acquire. However, there are some great sellers on Amazon and eBay that have some of your more rare and unusual medicinal herbs. You can also join groups online for medicinal herb users, and sometimes you can buy or trade seeds and clippings with others. I used to do this to get herbs that grew wild in other parts of the country but not in mine.
Growing your own herbs at home has quite a few benefits of you have the time and space to do it. Luckily, many herbs can be grown in pots on windowsills and porches, so you don’t need to have a lot of land or a greenhouse. Many people create windowsill gardens, and I’ve heard of people in the city using their fire escapes as a place for their potted herbs to get sun. Try some herb growing for yourself and you’ll likely never go back to buying from the store again.