Growing Your Own Herbal Tea Garden
Herbal tea is calming, restorative, has plenty of health benefits, and can be a great way to start your day or a beneficial addition to your nighttime routine. You can easily grow your own ingredients for herbal tea on your patio or balcony. Not only is a personal herbal tea garden useful for brewing your own customized concoctions, the herbs will also lend a pleasing scent and aesthetic appeal to your patio space.
How to Make Your Own Herbal Tea
You can either use fresh herbs or dry them to make your own herbal tea. Fresh herbs will give you a bolder flavour, but dried herbs are also very flavourful and you can store them in an airtight container for use all year round. You can brew tea using just one herb, like mint, or you can combine herbs to create your own personalized flavour. You can also add other ingredients if you wish, like fresh grated ginger or cinnamon sticks. Place your ingredients in a tea infuser, add boiling water, and let steep for 2-5 minutes. Add honey and/or a squeeze of lemon, as preferred.
The Best Herbs for Tea
The following herbs make delicious teas and grow well in containers. When planting your patio herb garden, make sure that you choose planters with good drainage so that excess water will not pool in the bottom. Use high quality potting soil and add a little compost or nitrogen-rich plant food for the best results. Check your plants frequently and water when the soil is dry to the touch, or get a self-watering planter.
Mint comes in lots of fun varieties like chocolate mint and pineapple mint, so you can choose one (or a few!) that suits your tastes. Mint is an aggressive grower and will choke out other plants, so plant it in a container on its own. Mint makes a delicious tea on its own or pairs well with all of the other herbs on this list.
When planting chamomile seeds, sprinkle them on top of the soil and do not cover them--the seeds need direct light to germinate and grow. Chamomile tea has calmative properties that can help you get a better night’s sleep. Chamomile has a mild flavour that tastes good on its own with a little lemon juice added, or combine it with mint and lavender for a relaxing bedtime tea.
A member of the mint family, lemon balm has a refreshing citrus taste that makes for a flavourful, energizing tea perfect for the morning. Lemon balm does not thrive in direct sunlight, so choose a shady corner of your patio for this plant.
Lavender can be grown from seeds, cuttings, or bedding plants and prefers sandy soil. Try it in a tea with mint and chamomile or fennel and lemon balm.
Fennel has a pleasant licorice taste that pairs well with mint or ginger tea or on its own. Keep in mind that fennel produces a large taproot, so in order to thrive on a patio, fennel will need a larger planter than most herbs. Always water fennel at the base and avoid getting the foliage wet.
Ready to grow your own herbal tea garden?