Growing your own Tea Garden
Growing the things that you love is a great benefit of gardening. Whether its flowers, produce, or herbs, gardening your favorite plants is fun and easy. Growing your own herb tea garden is a great way to make your own, homemade, and natural teas right in your own yard. Growing herbs for tea is easy and allows you to make whatever blend you want.
Most herbs enjoy full sun and a sandy soil to grow and mature. Soil that is well drained is best for planting herbs, because soil that is too heavy and contains high levels of clay can retain too much water. Heavy and poorly drained soils prevent proper aeration to the roots of your herbs and can lead to rot and other diseases. If the soil medium, or the area that you are wanting to plant has full sun but heavy soil, consider mixing in some sand or potting soil to break up the mixture.
Adding a few inches of compost or organic material to the surface of the area where your herbs will be planted ensures that they will gain the proper nutrients that they need to grow, without having to fertilize them using chemicals later on in the growing season. Herbs for herbal teas can be planted in containers too, and you can even create small herb gardens that can be used indoors and trimmed as needed as a fresh addition to the herbal teas you make.
Once your soil is prepared, you can plant your herbs that you will later use in your homemade loose-leaf tea blend. Some of the easiest herbs to grow are: Bee Balm, Chamomile, Coriander, Fennel, Lemon Verbena, and Mint. Once the herbs have matured, you can cut the fully-grown stalks from the plants and dry them. Some herbs, like lemon verbena and mint, can be used in herbal teas as a fresh herb, but also dry quite nicely to be used later on too. Select the stems that are the largest, and it is important to pick them from the plant using a sharp pair of pruners or shears before they have flowered. Using a sharp cutting implement is important because it makes a clean cut from the plant without damaging it. A clean cut heals faster for the plant, and encourages the herbs to continue to produce new stalks to harvest later on in the season.
Once you have harvested your herbs, bundle them up into small groups of 5-10 stems and hang them in a dry, and well-ventilated area so that they can dry and be used in loose-leaf teas. You can gently wrap some of the more delicate herbs, like chamomile, in a very loose sheet of paper, in a cone shape, to help them from breaking and crumbling during the drying process.
A few weeks later, once the herbs have fully dried, you can store them in airtight containers to maintain their freshness until you are ready to use them. Being able to grow your own herbs for creating your own blends of herbal teas is a fun way to experiment with different mixtures and flavors, and also ensures that the herbs used in your tea blends are organic and all natural.