Is there anything more soothing than an aromatic cup of tea? If you’re looking for a perfect home activity that will leave you feeling both productive and relaxed, try planting a small tea garden outside the house. Here’s a quick rundown of what’ll you need to know before enjoying your homegrown herbal blend.
Pick Your Herbs
With an abundance of herbs to choose from, picking the right ones to grow is a matter of personal preference. If you want a tea that will aid in digestion, then peppermint and fennel are both excellent options. For a cup you can sip in the evening before bed, herbs like lavender, lemon balm and chamomile can help you fall asleep at night.
Even if you have ample space in the backyard, containers are usually ideal for several reasons. For starters, certain herbs, like mint and lemon balm, are known to spread rapidly. Containers can prevent them from taking over your garden. Another benefit is that you can bring the containers inside when temperatures drop and easily turn it into an indoor herb garden.
Prepare to Harvest
When they’re ready to be harvested, the ideal time is widely considered to be early morning right after the dew has evaporated. Interestingly, the time of day that it’s plucked can significantly impact the flavor of your tea. You’ll want to first clip the stem below the leaves, and once it’s been cut, you can pick the leaves off. For flowering herbs, it’s best to harvest right before they start to bloom.
Dry and Store
While you can certainly brew a cup of tea with fresh herbs, you can also dry the herbs and keep them for up to a year. There are various methods for doing so, such as placing them in a food dehydrator or the oven on low heat. You can also simply bundle the herbs together and hang them to air-dry. Afterward, be sure to properly store your dried herbs in an air-tight container.