Starting a Herb Business in 6 Easy Steps

Basil is a best-seller for a herbal business

Basil is a best-seller for a herbal business

Starting a herb growing business is really quite easy, not to mention fun and best of all, profitable. In fact you can be on your way to success in the herbal business in six easy steps. Follow these steps to growing for profit, and you’ll have herb plants ready to sell in no time.

1. Gather materials

First of all, you’re going to need a mini-greenhouse/raised bed in which you’ll grow your plants. It is recommended that they be 40 inches in width. The length is up to you and is based on what you’re capable of accommodating. Also, keep in mind you’ll need access to your plants from all sides of the mini-greenhouse/raised bad. Herbs need lots of sun light, so don’t put them in a shady place, such as near a tree. A wheelbarrow and hand tools are a necessity for mixing your soil blend.

A 40 inch by 30 feet bed with six-inch pots (in general, use large pots, such as a six-inch pot, over smaller ones), makes it possible for about 400 plants. This recipe will provide a perfect herb growing mixture for 400 plants to grow:

  • 8 cubic feet topsoil
  • 8 cubic feet washed sand
  • 4 cubic feet perlite
  • 12 cubic feet peat moss
  • 10 pounds dry organic fertilizer
  • 10 pounds dolomite lime

2. Decide which herbs to grow

Now that you have all your basic supplies, it’s time to decide which herbs to grow. In general it’s a good idea to focus on a select few when you’re growing for market rather than offering a huge selection. Are you more interested in growing culinary herbs or medicinal herbs? Or what about herbs for herbal tea? Once you decide which herbs you’d like to grow, you can buy herb seeds. There are several online companies that specialize in seeds for commercial herb growers, such as Johnny’s Seeds and Richter’s.

3. Plant your herb seeds

Your seeds came in the mail. Now the fun begins! Plant your seeds, keeping in mind that some cannot grow in cold conditions. Consider using plug trays as a way to start growing plants indoor, and then you can rotate them out into your normal greenhouse/raised bed.

4. Take care of your plants

Only use organic fertilizers, as they help plants grow healthier and at a less-stressed rate. It’s also a good idea to apply liquid seaweed or liquid fish emulsion as foliar spray every week during growing season. This can provide the right amount of nutrients needed to keep your plants healthy. Also, water your plants only when they need it. Try once a day, preferably in the morning.

5. Start selling plants

Your plants are grown. You’re ready to sell them. There are many ways to sell them, whether it’s directly from your garden, a roadside stand, a farmer’s market, or through a fundraiser such as one for a church or other charitable cause. Keep in mind what your local laws allow and what could give you the most profit.

6. Advertise and get creative

You want to get customers and then keep them coming back. Make flyers and put them up at bulletin boards around town. Print business cards and put something fun on it, like a pesto recipe on the back! Get creative. Putting something on a business card that makes your customer want to keep the card will keep the business coming back to you. Just have fun with it and you’ll see the profits go up as well.

In just six easy steps you could be on your way to a successful herbal  business. It’s really that simple. Put in a little work, some tender care, and most of all, get creative with it, and you’ll see the business continue to grow. For more information about growing herbs, and information about downloading the free plans for a mini-greenhouse/raised bed, read Growing Herbs for Profit.