I love growing herbs! The benefits of growing herbs are so plentiful it’s hard to resist this facet of gardening. In fact, back in the days when we had our little hobby farm, I couldn’t resist buying different herbal plants or growing my own from seed. There’s something so down-to-earth about herbs. I’m sure they give off good energy. One experience with herbs I always enjoyed was visiting them on my tours around our yard. Invariably there would be one plant I would be drawn to. Just inhaling the scent would feel energizing and relaxing at the same time!
Lavender - Truly one of the benefits to growing herbs is their beauty.
You’ll quickly learn just how great it is to grow your own herbs once you start reaping the rewards of your harvest. Most people, like me, who start by growing a few herbs never want to stop, and their herb gardens only seem to expand every year!
Growing your own herbs, indoors or outside, has many benefits. Here’s just a few:
1. Save Money: One major benefit of growing your own herbs is saving money. Fresh culinary herbs can be ridiculously expensive, with a single small container of fresh herbs sometimes costing $3 to $5 in many supermarkets!
For just a dollar or so, you can buy a big packet of seeds that can grow many plants, and can keep producing for quite a while. Even when you factor in costs such as tools, fertilizer, and other garden expenses, you should still save a great deal of money if you use fresh herbs often.
2. Stress Relief: Herb gardening is also very relaxing. Many people find that it really helps them reduce stress and unwind. All types of gardening can relieve stress, but herb gardening combines the stress-relieving effects of gardening with the natural stress-relief of aromatherapy!
Sipping herbal tea made from your own freshly picked, or dried, herbs is wondrously satisfying in every sense of the word. Mmm...thinking about some lemon balm tea right now!
3. Ease of Gardening: Many herbs, perhaps all, are natural plants (not hybrids), don’t require heavy fertilizing, so they are very simple and easy to grow if you keep to types that are easy to grow in your climate. This ease of growing is one of the benefits of growing herbs that can’t be beat. A lot of herbs will grow almost anywhere and require very little maintenance. Herbs can be grown in almost any garden location, and even in containers where they can be moved around at will.
The fact that herbs can easily be located almost anywhere makes them a very good subject for most gardeners. If you love to garden and want the health benefits of growing herbs, but are disabled physically, the ease of growing herbal plants may meet your needs. If the cold winter weather is too harsh, simply bring them inside but many of your favorites will probably be winter hardy if they are sold as perennials.
4. Multi Use: Herbs can be used as part of your landscape design, as well. Because of the fact that they are generally very attractive, they look perfectly at home in their own garden, tucked among flowers, or even used as ornamental plants along walkways, by porches or steps, or anywhere you need a bit of an accent.
I once bought a package of Lavender seeds! And so I grew many, many lavender bushes because I couldn’t bear to throw the seedlings away. They make a nice hedge!
5. Useful in the Kitchen: Culinary herbs are great at jazzing up bland dinners. If you want to add some zest to your cooking and baking, try adding some fresh herbs to your food! Once your family has tried spaghetti made with fresh basil, they may never want the stuff in a jar again! Having a few fresh sprigs around makes it easy to add a touch of chopped herbs to a dish or to add a sprig for a garnish to a serving platter. Chop some fresh chives (part of the onion family but used as a culinary herb) over scrambled eggs or a bowl of home made soup. Yum!
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6. Health Value: Fresh herbs are also a very good source of additional nutritional value. Sure, they taste great and can make a wonderful garnish for all sorts of dishes, but they’re also good for you! Some herbs contain decent levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Fresh herbs are very good for adding that extra bit of nutrition to your meals.
Some herbs , like thyme, have antiseptic properties (I use it as a natural disinfectant) but look at some other health benefits, too. It might not just be the pasta that makes you enjoy your best pasta dish so much!
7. Companion Plants: Many herbs repel insects just by being in your garden. For example, those handy (and easy to grow perennial chive plants repel the insects you don’t want, as they grow or in homemade sprays, but they also attract bees. In bloom they look very pretty with their round, purple blooms among other flowering plants or as a border. Trim them once the blooms are finished and wait for them to grow again. It’s like a recurring income; it just keeps happening whether you’re there or not!
8. Home Value: An attractive herb garden can also increase the value of your home if you decide to sell it. A lot of people have always wanted to have their own garden, and having a lovely herb garden waiting for them could be a big selling point. Back on our hobby farm we built some rockeries (John had a backhoe for moving those big rocks around) and medicinal herbs found a welcome home tucked in amongst the bedding plants. But whether you want to sell your home or not, your own pleasure in your garden is worth allowing yourself to enjoy the benefits of growing herbs.
9. Variety: Variety is the spice of life and one of the benefits of growing herbs from seeds. If you’re wanting to grow them in quantity, ordering from a seed catalogue (as I did with the lavender seeds) may be the way to go especially if you want to try some more exotic plants. Not every nursery has 10 kinds of mint plants, lemon sage, chamomile (often found as a road side weed – but don’t harvest because of car exhaust), let alone up to 50 varieties of basil.
So if you want to expand your herb garden, you may want to start from seed to get varieties that you can’t find locally. Most people are able to find fresh chives and standard basil locally, but can you find garlic chives, purple basil, or fresh chervil in your local grocery store or nursery? Most people can’t, and the only way they can experience these exotic herbs is to grow them.
10. Quality of Seed: Sadly today, many seed varieties have been altered. For purists who want non-hybrid, non-GMO seeds, you’ll need to hunt down some organic heirloom seeds to have plants of the best quality. But that’s one of the benefits of growing herbs of your own – you get to choose the quality of the seed, which, ultimately, is the quality of the pant and its harvest.
OF course, many people also like to buy seeds and start their plants from scratch so they always have an emergency stock of seeds on hand in their survival kits. Another of the benefits of growing herbs from non-hybrid and non-GMO seeds is that you can harvest next year's seeds from your plants, too. You'll probably end up with enough for your needs for a few years - and have some to share.
BONUS! Growing herbs can also make you more popular!! A lot of people really love fresh herbs, and if you neighbors hear that you’re growing them, they might stop by and ask for some! Your friends and family will be delighted to be given fresh herbs as a gift, and they’ll be wanting to hang around you for more handouts as often as they can!
And all those extra little seedlings that pop up - you don't have to plant them all like I did with my lavender plants - they make perfect gifts! Or a nice little side hustle. Think Farmer's Market. Christmas Craft sales in homemade planters.
I hope you love and reap the benefit of growing herbs as much as I have. :-)
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