How to Grow an Organic Tea Garden

tea-8There is something very special about a cup of tea made straight from the plant. In most herbs, the highest concentration of oil (and heathful ingredients) is in young, fresh leaves. Herbs are easy to grow and only require a small patch of well-drained soil and regular watering.

Some herbs grow too easily – like lemon balm or mint – they will spread very quickly and can take over most of your herb garden before you know it. To prevent this, it is a good idea to plant them in containers.

During the summer, harvest your herbs on regular basis – pinching back the leaves will result in a bushier plant.

Here are a few perennial herbs for you to try and direction on making your own organic tea:

Bergamot:

Bergamot

Bergamot

Bergamot is a bushy plant that thrives in sun to part-shade. It is usually grown for its bright red or pink flowers, but the leaves have an orange-like flavour that produces a great cold drink as well as a tasty cup of tea.

Lemon Verbena:

lemon-verbena

Lemon Verbena

Lemon verbena is a semi-tropical upright shrub that requires full sun. It will also need overwintering indoors, but all the work with it is worth it.l It makes a great lemony tea. Lemon Balm is harder alternative, but it is not quite as flavourful.

Marjoram:

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Marjoram

Marjoram is a clump forming culinary herb that also produces citrusy tea with a hint of mint. Milder in flavour than its close relative oregano, marjoram thrives in full sun.

Peppermint:

peppermint1

Peppermint

Peppermint is a plant that will do well in a full sun as well as part shade and produces tons of toothed leaves.

Rose Hip:

rosehip

Rose Hip

The “hips” are actually seed cases . To maintain your rose hip bush flowering, keep deadheading until late summer , then let the flowers go to seed. Harvest once hips are fully formed and deep orange-red  – but before the birds get them. Rugosa roses are hardy and most are excellent producers.


How to make your Organic Tea:

Pick leaves mid-morning – after the dew has dried – preferably on a dry day

To use fresh leaves: Place them on a damp paper or tea towel and keep them out of the sun.

To dry leaves: If you want to use your herbs for alter use, make sure they are dried completely – residual moisture could cause mould – by leaving them in a darkened, warm and dry place for a few days. when dry, store in an airtight container

Before steeping fresh leaves, bruise them to release the oil

Use two to three teaspoons of fresh leaves or one teaspoon of dried leaves for each cup of tea.

Slice rose hips in half before adding boiling water to release their flavour.

Hope you enjoyed reading this information – if you want to add comments, suggestions or experiences, please do so – it will be greatly appreciated!

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About the author

Hanna Trafford

Hanna is the mother of two grown sons Dan and Dusan Nedelko, step mother to Abbie Gateman and is also a brand new Grandmother. She is the lead editor of Mama Knows and is hoping to create an exchange of communications with other grandmothers, mothers and daughters - giving everyone the opportunity to learn and share about everything that is "Mama"

5 comments
Jeanie - July 26, 2009

Thanks Mama!

Reply
Megan Jones - April 19, 2012

What great advice! I have never really thought about growing my own tea, but it seems like a great idea. I love all sorts of teas, but I have never had fresh tea. I can’t imagine how much more flavorful fresh tea is than the store bought dried stuff! Am I too late to start one this year? I live in the Pacific Northwest.

Reply
    Hanna Trafford - April 19, 2012

    Hello Megan! Glad you like the information and I dont think youa re too late – it really depends on the weather and after this winter and somewhat crazy spring, I am not sure what to say! I am considering doing thing in my garden I would not have thought to do in the past years – so I would say:”Go for it and hope you enjoy your tasty teas! Thanks and let me know how you made out!

    Reply
Pat - May 16, 2012

I’ve grown flowers and veggies, – even a few herbs and I’m thinking about berries, but I have never thought about growing plants to make tea!! You’re opening up new horizons to me!! lol This was a great article! Thanks!!

Reply
    Hanna Trafford - May 23, 2012

    Thanks you Pat! Glad you gained something from visiting my site and that you will keep returning!

    Reply
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