If you are a gardener and a tea fan, you can learn how to mix the two to benefit both.  I have been a tea fan for a long time and I have just started to garden.  In January, I began working at my college’s botanical garden and plant nursery and have been spending much of my summer researching and writing about gardening.  Tea seems to mesh with everything in my life, so I am not surprised to be writing about two of my passions.

Recently, I have learned that it is possible to speed up the germination of grass seeds by using tea.  In fact, certain teas, like chamomile, also have anti-fungal properties that can keep seedlings from “damping off,” which is caused by a fungus.  The reason why tea is so useful in the germination process is because its tannins soften the seed’s casing.

You can make your grass seeds germinate more quickly by mixing two tablespoons of cold, weakly brewed tea (either chamomile or black) with your seeds.  Brew a cup of tea for yourself and recycle the tea bag for your next cup.  But instead of drinking it, use it for your solution.

Put your seeds on a paper towel.  Then place the paper towel over a tea saucer.  Pour the weak tea solution onto the paper towel.  After folding the towel, put it in a warm place until the next day.  If you prefer, you can place your paper towel in a cold area (like the fridge) instead.  Place the paper towel in the fridge for five days.

Once your seeds have started to germinate, plant them in small pots or containers.  You may want to place the small containers in a seed tray, which is similar to a cafeteria tray.  The advantage of a seed tray is that the seeds can be kept constantly moist, as long as there is water at the bottom of the tray.  You can use purified or distilled water, if you want to be extra careful.

Use another cup of tea to protect your seedlings.  When you are done germinating your seeds and have planted them, you can use more tea to ward off fungi.  Do this by placing tea (specifically chamomile) at the bottom of a seed tray.  It will get rid of the fungi and help your seedlings stand up.  Your seeds will grow larger and sturdier if you use this method.  This technique is good for African Violets, as well.