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Starting a tea garden, need suggestions/tips!

Im going to make a garden with various flowers, spices, and herbs to add to my teas for fun. I cant get started on the actual garder for a few months because its almost winter, but I can at least get started on some plants that can be grown indoors regardless of season :D

So far ive only though of peppermint, and google isnt helping me at all with this so im asking the fine community of steepster! Which herbs/spices/plants should I grow in my tea garden?

21 Replies
momo said

Also spearmint (I love mixing the two together, it’s tasty), chamomile, lavender, lemon balm, bergamot, lemon mint.

Not sure if all of them can be grown indoors but you can definitely get at least some of them going now or just a couple weeks before planting.

You can grow bergamot on NE US?!! I’m looking this up right now! :)

Also, for the lemon balm, I happen to have one. I love walking by it and just picking a few leaves to smell as I go in and out of my home. So up-lifting.

momo said

Yes! I first saw it in an aerogarden kit but I think I’ve killed mine so I’m going to just plant some in the spring.

I should add just in case anyone is confused I mean the flowery one also called bee balm, not the citrus plant. It smells just like the citrus though, you use the leaves in tea, and it’s good for colds.

Oh, I totally thought you meant the citrus! haha This herb sounds awesome though! I’ll add that to my Dream Garden list. :)

momo said

you could probably do that too! My dream is to have a bunch of dwarf citrus trees that I can bring inside in the winter, I imagine it’d do fine too!

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Cool idea! You could grow lemon verbena. We had a ton of it in my yard a couple summers back. Some parts of Asia make a tea out of chrysanthemums. Chamomile could be grown as well…it looks like little daisies.

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Alphakitty said

I would look into interesting and unique herbs you wouldn’t usually see in blends, like chocolate mint, lemon thyme or pineapple sage (which, yes, does taste fruity!). You could make some really fantastic and truly one-of-a-kind blends with them!

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momo said

oh yes I totally forgot pineapple sage, it is awesome! I grew some but it has a slight problem..bugs LOVE it so watch for that. I’d go out and wonder why these huge holes were chewed in it and then one day saw a giant grasshopper sitting on top. I sprayed all my plants with cayenne infused water but that did not stop that damn grasshopper.

Zeks said

“Yum! Spicy!”

Alphakitty said

I had that problem with regular sage in my herb garden, it seems to be the food of choice for little bugs!

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I have a whole list of plants I want in my garden should I eventually get a good sized backyard.

Here are a couple of things that might work for tea:
Coriander (aka cilantro): I’m not suggesting that you use the herb itself for tea, though maybe it wouldn’t be bad… I’m suggesting that you harvest and use the seeds. I don’t really like cilantro as an herb, but I’d grow the plant just for the seeds. They are tasty.

Jasmine: My mom grows this in pots and moves them inside for the winter so I think you can too! Smells so awesome!

Rose: Get a fragrant variety and use the petals in your tea. You can also candy them or make jam. Rose hips can also good for tea.

Lemon grass: Not sure of the logistics for growing this in non-subtropical climates but maybe indoors?

Linden tree: If you have the space, the flowers make a nice soothing herbal.

Stevia: Not sure about best growing zones for this, but seems fun to have around.

Take pictures of your garden next summer!

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K S said

All good suggestions so far. I would add tulsi (holy basil). It is good alone or blended with other things. My favorite mix is tulsi and white tea.

Can you grow tulsi in temperate climates?

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JazzyB said

A note about chocolate mint that Alphakitty mentioned, I would definitely go potted with that stuff if you decide to plant it. I have some in my backyard and it likes to spread. It does smell nice when we mow though…

This true for any plant in the mint family. This includes lemon balm.

JazzyB said

You learn something new every day.:) I only knew about the one because it’s all over the place over here.

Alphakitty said

Yeah, mint is basically a weed so it’s really important to keep it potted. It’ll take over your garden!

What would happen if you get a variety of mints, plant them, and let them have at each other? Who would win the turf war? I’m rooting for the lemon balm.

momo said

I planted peppermint, spearmint, and lavender in the same container and the lavender won. It didn’t really kill the mints but it just took all their sun so they stayed pretty small. Next year I am totally putting lemon balm in with them instead and having this mint battle royale.

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Here are some suggestions for your consideration and reference. Some herbal plants in my garden. Hope it can contribute some ideas for you.

Peppermint
Planting Period: March to May / September to November
Sowing Methods: Sowing Seed, Cutting Method or Division Method
Growth Period: 50days (from cuttings)

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis – scientific name of this specie)
Planting Period: March to April / September to October
Sowing Methods: Sowing Seed, Cutting Method or Division Method
Growth Period: 100 days (from seeds) / 60 days (from cuttings method)
I love the smell of this herb very much. You can mix it with honey only. Of course, I usually mix with green tea loosen leaf together. You may pick 3-4 leaves or more. Some experts suggest that this herb can reduce stress and promote sleep.

Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium – scientific name of this herb)
Planting period: September to November
Sowing Methods: Sowing sees and Division Method
It has been used for medical or making tea. It can treat colds, influenza, abdominal cramps, and to induce sweating. Of course, if symptoms persist, should consult doctor.

Lemon Grass
Planting Period: March to May / September to November
Sowing Methods: Cutting Method or Division Method
Growth Period: 100-120days (from cuttings)

Ginger
Planting Period: Feburary to March
Sowing Methods: Ginger tuber
Growth Period: 150 – 240days (depends on whether you love stronger or light favor)
It can be mixed with honey and green tea together. It is always a good drink in winter time.

Pot Planting
As others’ suggestions, it is good to plant them in pots so it is easier to manage and care them in different climate regions and weather.

Caleb

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Dustin said

Man, I WISH mint would take over my garden. It’s one of those things that I always manage to kill.
I have lemongrass in my front yard that I planted from some stalks I bought at an Asian grocery store. It died back in the winter, but came up again in the spring. I read recently that the trick is to cut it back and add a bunch of mulch as insulation for the winter.
I haven’t had any tea with Kaffir lime leaves, but the flavor is a staple in Indonesian cooking. I love it in soup and I bet it could make a really good tea.

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