As an avid gardener one of my favorite things to grow is herbs because they have so many uses and from what I’ve found can actually help save money.
Yes, herbs like thyme, lavender, citronella, mint and many others are a lot more than just scented plants that add a certain flavor to our surroundings. Able to be cultivated in a number of places around the home such as the yard, on the balcony, or in pots throughout the house they only need water and a little tender loving care to grow into a valuable lot with good sweet returns.
That being the case here are twenty reasons why growing herbs can be financially beneficial and in some cases add to our investments:
Herbs Save On Grocery Costs
If you ever purchase herbs for soups, salads, or sauces then you know fresh or dried they can be a little pricey sometimes running as high as five dollars for a bundle or a bottle. Unlike a package which goes empty and gets tossed in the trash growing your own means you can cut a branch off for immediate use or several to dry and use later. Either way the plants will produce more without you having to pay a dime.
Herbs Are Healthy
Herbs are good for our health and when we use them in food they can help prevent sicknesses and ailments. The more herbs we have around to make healthy dishes interesting the less we will rely on unnecessary junk food that weighs us down.
Herbs Are Medicinal
When we’re sick we usually need something to bring us back on top so depending on the illness various herbs can sometimes do the trick. Used properly the right ones can be wonderful remedies for bad colds, stomach viruses, nausea, and more. They can also ease burns, moisturize, and clear nasal passages when they are blocked.
Herbs Are Perennials
If the yard seems boring fix up the landscape by investing in perennial herbs. Lavender and rosemary, which grow into full bushes, make great choices and the fact they return each year with increased resilience shows they can be an investment that pays off.
Herbs Raise Curb Appeal
Not only are herbs perfect perennials but matched with a few exterior repairs they can help raise the value of your home simply by adding curb appeal.
Herbs Are Easy to Maintain
Many types of herbs need very little maintenance, especially those grown in the ground. They are usually pest free, are easy to pick when needed, and can essentially be left alone for long periods of time.
Herbs Use Little Water
An unknown fact about many herb plants is that they require very little water which translates into a lower monthly bill. That’s why they also pose as excellent substitutes for outdoor vegetation like lawns which need regular feeding. In essence they help make the landscape a less needy space.
Herbs Withstand Harsh Weather
Unlike many other types of plants herbs can withstand some of the harshest weather and live in various climates. It’s another reason why they are a good investment that won’t wilt so easily.
Herbs Are Organic
Most of the time unless we spend a little extra and buy organic we have no control over pesticides sprayed on fruits and vegetables from regular supermarkets. Chances are we aren’t going to use any chemicals on our own crops so growing herbs in the backyard cancels out this concern and we can enjoy a healthier meal at no extra cost.
Herbs Keep Away Pests
Insects rely on their sense of smell for getting around yet for some reason they don’t like the scent of many herbs. For this reason herbs can act as repellents against pests keeping them away from both crops and people.
Herbs Smell Nice
Herbs may be a turn off for bugs but people usually love them. Even for someone who can’t stand the smell of coriander or anise there are plenty of others some of us can’t get enough of.
Herbs & Essential Oils
Herbs are one of the sources for making essential oils. Depending on the herb being used these oils can be anti-inflammatory, used in aromatherapy, as relaxants, or another form of bug repellent. Growing herbs means you can make your own essential oils for your various needs.
Herbs Keep Weeds Down
One of the amazing things about many types of herbs is that if you let them grow some will spread like wild flowers. For example, we once had a patch of mint that filled in around other flowers and plants keeping the weeds down. In the end it needed to also be controlled somewhat but was an interesting substitute for the weeds we’d been unsuccessfully trying to control for years.
Herbs Can Be Sold and Traded
When you’ve grown something like mint and it’s popping up everywhere it could be harvested and sold or traded to neighbors or local shops. Furthermore, as long as you never used pesticides or chemical weed killers in the yard you could label it as organic and add a few more cents to the price.
Herbs Make Tea
A box of herbal teas can run anywhere from three to six dollars so why not grow herbs and make your own. Just pick an herb suitable for tea, when it has enough leaves pick a few off, put them in a mug, pour hot water over them, steep for at least five minutes, and enjoy.
Herbs Are Calming
Having a stressful day? Smelling herbs like lavender can be calming and bring us back to a safer place. Putting some in your pillow case can also help you fall a sleep.
Herbs Are Refreshing
Not only can herbs be used for medicinal purposes but they are great when mixed with fruits for refreshing drinks on hot summer days. One example is spearmint in lemonade.
Herbs Promote Freshness
If you use air fresheners or scented drawer inserts why not make your own? Simply fill sachets with herbs and store with clothing to keep them smelling fresh.
Herbs As Incense
Some of the best incense is made from natural ingredients, including herbs. With your own herb garden you can experiment with many kinds of flavors. Alternatively, some herbs burn well on their own. An example is sage, which produces a cleansing sage-like smell that is believed to aid in purifying indoor air.
Herbs As Gifts
As you can already see there are many different benefits to growing herbs but one of my personal favorites is giving them away as gifts. Like most other plants clippings can be taken, transplanted, and packaged up for a birthday or other occasion. In doing so you’re helping others on the path to enjoying all the benefits of having their own herbs.
Jakob Barry is a home improvement journalist for Networx.com. He blogs about green pest control methods for exterminators across the U.S.
(Photo courtesy of meglet127)