If you are interested in herb gardening, but not sure if you have enough uses for the herbs, consider all the different types of tea you can make! This allows you to create your own tea combinations, while using natural herbs you grew right at home. Here are some things to know about growing a tea herbal garden.
What is an Herbal Tea Garden?
First of all, let’s start with the basics, and first define what exactly an herbal tea garden is. Basically we're talking about an herb garden specifically for the purpose of making tea. This might be tea you enjoy just for the flavor, tea that is good for overall health, or even medicinal types of tea.
Perhaps you drink a lot of peppermint or chamomile tea because of digestive issues, and would prefer making it from your own herbs that you grow in your backyard. This is what we're aiming for with an herbal tea garden.
Choosing Herbs for your Tea Garden
When you understand that this type of garden is specifically for making tea, it's usually easier to start choosing the type of herbs and plants you intend to grow. Thinking about your favorite types of teas and what herbs are used can lead you in the right direction.
Some of my personal favorites include passionflower, mint, rose hips, milk thistle, lemongrass, lavender, dandelion, chamomile, and Echinacea.
When you're consider the herbs you want to include in your herbal tea garden it can be helpful to also consider the purpose of the teas you might be making and go from there.
For instance, if I want to focus on a medicinal herbal tea garden, I might favor herbs like echinacea, lavender, lemon balm, and chamomile, which are some of my favorite medicinal herbs to have on hand. All of these can be used in a tea as well as for other uses.
If, on the other hand, I wanted to plant an herbal garden for teas that are simply soothing and easy to enjoy, I might choose herbs like chamomile, lemon balm, and mint, that are easier and can be enjoyed simply as a tea at anytime.
One last thing to consider is what kind of ambience, feel, or fragrance you'd like to have your garden give off. If you prefer a pretty garden as much as functional, you might choose herbs like lavender and echinacea which produce beautiful flowers to be enjoyed when in bloom.
Pruning & Storing your Herbs
After you've begun growing the herbs in your herbal tea garden, you'll want to keep up with pruning and harvesting the herbs. The pruning process helps to control the overall size of the herb garden and keep them more manageable.
Some herbs (particularly mints) can be invasive and you can risk causing damage to other plants in the area if you don’t keep each one trimmed on a regular basis. When you're ready to start making tea, you can use many parts of the herbs for the tea, including the leaves, petals, and even buds. Just make sure you know which parts should be used for each herb.
Preferably you will want to dry the herbs before making tea, instead of using fresh tea leaves and petals.
Tips for Making your Herbal Tea
After you have trimmed and dried the herbs to use for your tea, you'll need to store them in a sealed container and keep them at room temperature.
Then simply take a small amount to brew your own tea. Typically you'll only need about a teaspoon or two (depending on how strong you like your tea). Add the herbs to a cup of hot water (you can use a tea infuser like this one if you prefer).
Let it sit for about 5-15 minutes before removing. For a stronger tea, you can leave it in longer.