Today we’re going to be talking about tea garden tips and best practices for tea gardening, as well as tea garden design ideas.
Legend has it that the first cup of tea was made accidentally in China around 2732 B.C. when the wind blew the leaves of a then-unknown tree into a pot of boiling water.
The scent of the brew wafted into air and enticed the emperor. He promptly took a sip of the drink and found it intriguing.
10 Tips For A Successful Tea Garden
The Japanese also love tea, there’s a Japanese garden filled with exotic plants built by Makoto Hagiwara at Golden Gate Park San Francisco. It’s the oldest public Japanese garden in the United States, created initially as a Japanese village exhibit complete with a tearoom.
This lush year-round garden fetches stone arch bridges, a lily pond, stone lanterns as a part of the lighting system, and a Japanese tea house with a tea room perfect for a Japanese tea ceremony that’s down a winding path.
They even have a gift shop and a waterfall area that has a 60-foot waterfall.
Today, you don’t have to wait for the wind to blow just right to have a dreamy cup of tea. It’s now sold all over the world at any grocery store. You can even order online and loose-leaf or bagged.
You can find countless herbal, floral, and spice blends that cater to every taste out there. Tea also has many health benefits like soothing a sore throat, lowering blood pressure, and an settling an upset stomach.
But while you can easily get packets of tea infusions at the store, there’s still nothing more satisfying than knowing you can easily step into your own garden, handpick your own herbs, and brew the perfect cup of tea when you grow your own tea garden.
How To Grow Tea Plants
Your garden has to have the right conditions in order to be conducive to growing teas, herbs, and spices.
Most herbal tea plants thrive in full sun and sunny locations and in well-drained soil.
If the soil in your garden is poorly drained, don’t fret. You can always use a raised bed.
Just make sure that the moist soil is loose enough and that there’s no grass or weeds in the area.
If your tea garden plants are in pots, be sure there are drainage holes to ensure good drainage.
Many perennial herbs make some of the most delicious cups of tea out there.
So, if you’re already growing a nice herb garden you use to add flavor and depth to your recipes, then you’re on the right track to start.
- mint varieties
- lemon balm
- lemon grass
- holy basil
- pineapple sage
- bee balm
- pineapple mint
- lemon thyme
- lemon verbena
- lavender flowers
are popular herbal tea garden options that you can easily raise in your own home.
Of course, you can also opt for the traditional Camellia Sinensis from your local nursery and transplant it in your own Japanese tea garden.
Different teas you can make with your popular herbs and flower heads are:
- Oolong tea
- Black tea
- Chamomile tea
- Lavender tea
- Anise hyssop tea
- Roman chamomile tea
- Green tea
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Flowering plants also make for excellent blends that give every cup you brew a lovely floral note. Edible varieties of hibiscus lend a bright color and a fruity and tart flavor to cups of tea.
Meanwhile, chamomile and lavender soothe and calm your nerves, and jasmine offers a sweet and warm note to your cup of tea.
If you’re looking for a natural sweetener, try planning stevia in your own tea garden or garden beds, too.
Ginger also makes for a great addition in a oriental tea garden and in a pot of tea. Its spicy notes add a vibrancy and warmth to brewed beverages.
Tea Garden Layout Considerations
A garden plan is crucial especially if you’re going to grow different kinds of herbs in your garden for tea.
Remember that each fragrant herb has different needs in terms of tea garden maintenance tips:
When planting tea herbs together, group those with similar needs and habitats.
Some herbs like mint tend to be aggressive and they can take over your garden patch faster than you can boil a kettle of water.
To prevent this from happening, try planting them in separate pots to contain their growth.
If you’re low on space but still want to grow a great tea garden, you can also use containers to grow different herbs.
Just be sure to use well-balanced soil, water them regularly, and place them in an area that gets a lot of sunlight.
If you are making tea from freshly picked herbs and edible flowers, you’d want to keep your garden as close to your kitchen as possible.
This way, you can put on a kettle to boil, step out and gather the fresh leaves and flowers you want, and by the time you get back, you can start steeping your way to deliciousness.
Once your herbs are mature, you can start harvesting them. To ensure maximum flavor pay-off, clip leaves or flowers in the morning before the sun gets too hot.
This ensures that the natural oils present in the leaves are intact and are sealed in.
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While you can definitely make tea out of fresh herbs and flowers, most of these plants are perennials so to make the most out of them, you can harvest them in bunches and hang them up to air dry naturally.
Once dried, you can pick your dried leaves or flowers off the stems and store them in air tight containers away from direct sunlight.
If you’re in a bit of a hurry or if you don’t want to wait too long, you can pop herbs in the microwave. Rinse the herbs thoroughly and pat away any excess water.
Arrange 4 to 5 branches of herbs in between two paper towels and microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes until they are crisp and thoroughly dry. Place the herbs on a cooling rack and then store in an airtight container.
When all is said and done, the only thing left to do is to enjoy your homegrown very own herbal teas. Don’t be afraid to combine herbs to make your own infusions.
Why not try hibiscus and dried apples or lavender and citrus peels for your next cup of tea?
Growing your own tea lets you have the best quality brew every single time you need a little pick-me-up. I hope these tips help you plant a successful tea garden right in your own home.
Do you have a favorite herbal tea blend? Share your recipes in the comments below and I’ll see you next time!
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