In this article, we will explore 8 spices to kick start your spice gardening dreams!
Gone are the days when you had to go to the local market to buy those special spices. Your backyard can turn into a special spice garden, and it is pretty easy to set up and maintain. If you already have a garden, you can create space to plant some species for home use.
Now, truth be told, you won’t be able to grow all the spices your little heart desires since some only grow in certain climates. A good example of this is cinnamon. Cinnamon is mostly grown in Sri Lanka, India, and South America. If you are in North America, you will have a hard time growing a cinnamon tree outside, but you might find success growing it in a pot indoors. But there are a ton of spices you can grow at hime.
You could also try your hand at placing some of these spices in pots, or grow some hydroponically, like cumin. Let us dive into the details and start learning!
>> GET THE MOST OUT OF GRINDING YOUR SPICES
8 Easy Spice Choices to start Your Spice Garden
Get ginger rhizomes from the market and soak them overnight. Pour some earth in a wide but shallow pot and plant the rhizomes in it.
The eye buds must face upwards. Then, set the pot away from every bright light but ensure it is in a warm corner. Every two or three days, water the rhizomes to keep the soil moist. However, be careful when watering the rhizomes to avoid overdoing it.
Two factors make ginger stand out: it can grow in pots indoors and produce all the year’s months. Ginger is so rich in bioactive compounds and nutrients. This gives it a powerful flavor and aroma. These make the spice superb for enhancing body activities and brain functions.
SPICE GARDENING TIP: Ginger isn’t the only rhizomes you can grow! Try growing your own turmeric or galanga.
Use a 10-inch-deep pot to plant your garlic. If you have a deeper pot, that also works.
Poke holes in the bottom for draining water. Then, consider the type of garlic you are looking to plant: bulbs or greens. If you are planting the garlic bulbs, create a 4-inch gap between the cloves. But if you are growing the greens, don’t space the cloves.
Pour some soil into the pot; organic soil will serve you better. Pick the cloves from the bulbs and start planting them, ensuring that the flat ends go into the soil. Garlic roots spring from those ends.
Ensure the plants get up to six hours of sunlight. So, if you will place the pots indoors, set them in an area with direct sunlight. If they are going outside, they will receive uninterrupted sunlight.
As for watering them, ensure the soil is a little moist all the time. Never allow it to dry out completely. Garlic thrives best if the soil is evenly moist.
I encourage you to try going some different varieties of garlic as well. You will be amazed at the difference in flavors and intensity.
Use wide planters with 10-inch depth to plant your onions.
Set each onion root into the soil in the planters and create a space of about three inches between them. Make sure there is enough soil in the planters and water the plants from time to time.
Dried onion powder is a spice, even though the bulb is a vegetable. When added to dishes such as grilled chicken or pasta, it gives a different yet unique flavor. So, wonder no more that we included onions in our spices list.
Plant coriander seeds, but remove the husks before you plant them.
Coriander has a beautiful fragrance and lends an almost citrus like flavor to dishes. The outstanding thing about growing this spice in your spice garden is that it’s also an herb. Coriander seeds actually grow cilantro! So, you are getting major bang for your buck when you grow it.
Now, planting the seeds while they are still enclosed in the husks will slow the germination rate. Also, start the planting process in the pot where the seeds will grow; coriander does not do well with transplanting. The pot must be wide and deep, not less than eight inches.
After putting soil in the pot:
- Plant the seeds, making sure they are a quarter-inch deep into the soil.
- Place the pot where there is light; sunlight is best, but the seeds must not have too much of it.
- Moisten the soil until you see the sprouting seeds.
- Keep from pouring water on the leaves to avoid attracting mildew.
It is best to plant coriander when spring comes. Coriander thrives between spring and fall. It doesn’t do well in the cold unless you grow it indoors and have a way to keep it warm.
Growing cumin in a pot is easy, even if you are new to gardening. And since cumin is of the parsley family, it is best to grow it in warm weather, or at least not in winter.
Therefore, starting from spring, plant your cumin in pots and ensure the seeds get some sunlight. At the same time, water the soil without making it soggy or water-logged.
When choosing a planting pot, pick one not less than eight inches deep. With such a pot, the cumin can be submerged into a good amount of soil and receive needed nutrients.
South Asia and the Middle use cumin as a spice. The leaves are as edible as the seeds, but they are not as flavorful. Cumin has many health benefits, including detoxification and improved digestion.
Akin to bell peppers, paprika needs a pot with holes for draining water to survive.
“The paprika pepper is a large, cone-shaped chili pepper. It is typically dried and ground to make the more familiar powdered spice widely produced in Hungary. The paprika is a fairly large red pepper and quite long, growing up to 8 inches, and lends a unique spiciness to paprika powder...” Mike at Chili Pepper Madness
The soil must remain moist for the most part, so water it frequently, especially when the weather is hot.
Use a 24-inch-deep pot if you are going to grow a wide variety of the plant. Also, living in an area with warm weather means you use this type of pot because paprika takes a long time to grow, so it will need some space to thrive.
If you live in the temperate region, start your paprika planting about six weeks before you see the last frost or ice. And if you live in the tropics, you can plant and grow paprika at any time, so long as it is not significantly hot. You can choose to grow the plant indoors or outside.
7. Indian Bay Leaf
You can grow Indian bay leaf in pots, even though it typically grows as a tree. All you have to do is to restrict how tall it grows.
As the name implies, it originates from India, so it thrives best in warm weather. Measure the root of the plant and use a pot a size bigger than the root. As the plant grows, transplant it into a bigger pot without leaving too much room for it to grow too big.
Once dried, the bay leaf is quite spicy and pleasant. You can use it for dishes such as gravy, curry, and soup.
Mustard is easy to grow in a pot, especially the leafy greens.
The seeds are great as spices, and you can choose to use them fresh or dry them for better storage. Grow them any time of the year, except it is fall or winter if you lie in a hot climate. The same applies if the environment is cool and it is winter.
FAQs about Spice Gardening
1. What is a Spice Garden?
A spice garden is similar to an herb garden, except the focus is on growing spices. These can include allspice, star anis, bay leaves, black pepper, cumin and more.
2. How do I Start a Spice Garden?
You can start a spice garden by grabbing seeds or plants from your local nursery. From there you can decide if you want to have a potted spice garden, or in your backyard.
3. How Do You Transplant Spices in Your Garden?
To transplant spices in your garden, do the following:
Water the plants regularly: Find a balance between waterlogging and leaving the plans dehydrated. The key is keeping the soil moist.
Be gentle with the plants: Never pull them up from their stem. Instead, loosen the soil around them first before removing the plant.
Use the right pot size: If you are growing the plants in a pot, always pots with enough room for breathing. You don’t want the plants to struggle for space or to spend too much on buying potting soil.
Use premium soil: Avoid gravel and go for the right type of soil for the plant. The roots of the plants may rot if you use gravel, no matter how little.
4. What spices should not be planted with other plants?
Don’t plant onion and sage together. Keep fennel away from other spices, and ensure garlic is nowhere near peas or beans. Carrots don’t do well around dill or anise, and basil should be kept far from rue.
Add spice to your life in more ways than one. Spice gardening is gardening for everyone, whether you are an amateur or expert. Plus, it gives you room to have a variety of spices at your disposal; no need to spend precious money at the local market.