Guest Contribution by Stella Ryne
Having your own tea garden is a wonderful hobby. It is a wonderful activity where you can reap great benefits – you can calm your mind by taking care of the herbs and watching them grow, but you can also enjoy the fruits of your work – prepare the herbs and enjoy a cup of healthy tea. If you are thinking about it, here’s how to grow a tea garden and which herbs to choose.
How to make a tea garden
The first thing when coming up with the plan is to find a sunny location with well-drained soil for the herbs. At least 6 hours of sunlight every day is necessary for the herbs to thrive. In case the soil you have is poorly drained, you can always plant the herbs in a raised bed. Thoroughly remove weeds and grass from the soil and dig the soil a bit to loosen it before you plant the herbs. Spread a thick layer of compost over it and then start with planting. Make sure every plant has enough room to grow and feel free to move them around until you find the perfect spot.
The perfect choice of herbs
Many herbs are incredibly healing, while others are simply delicious. Here’s the list of most common and beneficial ones:
Mint – it’s popular for a reason – it has a refreshing taste, especially if you enjoy it on a cold day or have a sore throat or a stomachache. It is also known to help you sleep better. Both flowers and leaves can be used for tea, fresh and dried.
Chamomile – another herb perfect for a good night sleep and fighting insomnia. It can also help you reduce anxiety levels and ease your tummy problems. You can use both dried of fresh flowers.
Lemon balm – its citrusy taste makes it special and also calms your mind, so make it whenever you feel under pressure. Its leaves are best to use before the plant sets flowers.
Calendula – its cold tea can help treat conjunctivitis and varicose veins. Its petals can also be eaten in salads to fight ulcers and indigestion, and the flowers are used for tea (fresh and dried).
How to harvest and prepare herbs for tea
When the time is right for snipping the herbs, it’s best to use good, sharpened gardening shears for that and do it early in the morning. The reason behind this is that plants have the highest water retention in the morning, making them fresher if you snip them then.
If your plan is to make tea with flowers, then pick mature flowers that are in full bloom.
In case you want tea with fresh herbs, use a mortar and pestle to bruise the herbs. Next, add one tablespoon of herbs to the teacup and pour boiling water over it, letting it steep for about 5 minutes. If you want stronger tea, then let it steep for longer than that.
The simple method
Sometimes you won’t feel like making a fuss out of the preparation. Luckily, there’s a simple way to have your cup of tea. Snip and toss the flowers and the leaves into drinking water and enjoy. Or you can even add them to sun tea. You can also leave a pitcher of water with herbs steeping in the fridge – who says that tea always needs to be hot?
A little tea garden is a wonderful addition to your home. It is a very rewarding hobby. It allows you to enjoy different herbs good for your body and you also get the opportunity to relief from everyday stress through taking care of your little herbs. It is a simple endeavor, so don’t hesitate to try it.
Images provided by author