Growing herbs and spices

Growing herbs and spices can be a good way to save money as you don’t have to buy them in the grocery store. This will not save a huge amounts of money but can make a clear difference. How much you can save depends on how much spices you use and what types of spices you use. If you use a lot of fresh herbs from the super market then you can save several hundreds a year by growing your own. These herbs are all very easy to grow and grow very quickly. They can be grown in the window or in the garden. Your will need a very small spice garden to grow all the herbs and spices you can eat. This is true even if you use a lot of fresh herbs. The main reason to grow your own herbs and species will however always be that you will get higher quality spices that taste better than those that you buy in the super market.

It is possible to grow enough herbs and spices in a garden to be able to sell a lot. You can read more about that further down on the page.

Spices that easy to grow

Below you can read about spices and herbs that are easy to grow and that I recommend that you always grow yourself.


There are a lot of different spice herbs that are very easy to grow. Most of them grow extremely quickly and allow you to harvest leafs and branches during the entire growing season without hurting the plant. The more you harvest/prune it the nicer it will look.

Below you can read about some of the easiest herbs to grow.

  • Chives: A perennial plant that can be grown directly in your garden and that will grow bigger and healthier the older it gets. One plant is enough for most families to get all the chives they need but I recommend that you plant several of them if you use a lot of chives. Do not harvest them to heavily during the first year. Once they have established themselves they are almost impossible to kill by over-harvesting.
  • Basil: Basil is easy to grow and grows very quickly. Do not let them flower as this will cause them to grow slower and reduce the leaf production.  Most basil types will only live for a limited time before they age and die but there are a few perennial types as well. I recommend that you plant new seeds about every 3 months to always have new, young and healthy plants available. If you have a perennial basil then you can start harvesting more heavily from year 2 and onward. It can be good to have 2 – 3 plants to be able to supply all the basil you need.
  • Thyme: Thyme is another herb that grows very quickly. It is a small plan that gets pretty blue flowers. How many plants you need depends on how much thyme you use and how long you wait before the first harvest. The longer you wait the larger the plant will get and the more thyme it can produce. I generally recommend that you start out with 3 plants and then add more if needed.


There are a very large number of different types of chili out there. All of them are easy to grow and can be grown in your garden or in pots. They prefer a warm climate and are sensitive to cold. I recommend you move them indoors before it gets to cold if you live in the north. If you do they can keep producing fruits for several months more. If you take good care of it then the plant will survive until next year. It will then reward you with an even better bigger harvest.

I try to always grow a number of differ types so that I got a selection of chili to chose from when I am cooking something. Each plant does not take much space and keeping several plants is a luxury that is very easy to obtain.

Spices that are better to buy

There are a number of spices that are very hard or impossible to grow yourself and that you should buy instead. This includes most of the spices that grows on trees and large vines. Example of species that I recommend that you buy rather than try to grow yourself include.

  • Black,White, Green, rose pepper: All these species comes from the same vine but are harvested at different times and treated in different ways. It is not worth trying to grow pepper yourself unless you have a large green house or live in a tropical area where it can survive year long. It takes a long time to get pepper and it can be hard to keep the plant alive.
  • Cloves: Cloves comes from the flowers of a big tree. Not worth trying unless you live in an area where the tree can survive outdoors. It will take many years for it to mature.
  • Nutmeg: Another large tree that isn’t worth trying unless you live in a suitable climate.
  • Anchiote: Grows to big to be suitable to grow at home or in a green house.

This was just a few example of species you are better of buying rather than trying to grow yourself.

Scaling up

Many herbs and species grows very quickly and does not grow very big. You do not need a large garden to be able to setup a spice company selling locally produced spice. It is easy to scale up by acquiring more land if your spices become popular and you feel that you want to grow.

Many spice herbs will give you several harvests each year and you can produce several hundred pounds in a regular sized garden. Provided you devote the entire garden to spice production. It is usually rather easy to grow enough spice herbs to provide your small society with spices. One single garden can often produce enough spice to support a community of a thousand people. The exact space needed to do this will of course depend on a number of factors including the soil, how you fertilize your plants, how much herbs the people in your area use, the climate and so on. Your harvest each year will be smaller if you sell the spices fresh then if you sell them dried and packaged. The flip side is that you usually get a higher price if you sell them fresh. To sell them fresh will often bring you more money.

Growing spice herbs is not hugely profitable but can be a good choice if you are looking to create an earning garden that requires very little work. Most of these plants are happy as long as you make sure that they get enough water. They are however labor intense to harvest so you have to be willing to but a lot of energy in at harvesting time. Other than that they do not require a lot of care.

I personal do not recommend this type of earning garden as it requires to much land for not enough profit. This is a business that is best ran at a larger scale than a garden.