Grow Your Own Tea At Home
Tea is a beverage enjoyed by all walks of life, whether you enjoy a cup of classic black tea or prefer a fruity tisane served on ice. Growing your own cuppa is easier than you think and will make that morning sip extra special. Check out our list below on tips for creating the ultimate Tea Garden:
Edge with a hedge
Find a sheltered corner in your garden and use a hedge to create an outdoor ‘’tea room’’. This will frame the rest of your plants and create a cosier space. Camellia Sinensis is a variety of Camellia that makes an attractive evergreen hedge. The leaves of this plant are commercially used in the production of Black Tea making it a fitting border for your tea garden. Left to flower, these plants produce beautiful fragrant white blooms. Before planting out your hedge, be sure to incorporate some high quality compost and consider installing a drip irrigation system for ease of maintenance.
Scatter with shrubs
Scatter some herb plants in front of your hedge that can be dried and steeped for herbal teas. Chamomile is an attractive plant that is often used to create a calming tea. Lemongrass is another great option and thrives in drier soils. To save on costs, grow these from seed inside compostable pots like Jiffy.
Simply place some good quality seed raising mix into a Jiffy pot and lightly firm the surface. Water the soil until soaked through and press the seeds on top. Sprinkle some fine grade vermiculite on top and lightly spray with water until moist. Keep the pots moist and place in a warm sunny area or inside a mini greenhouse until they germinate. Once your seedlings are established, plant them pot and all into some well-draining soil with a slow release fertiliser.
Pop in some pots
Add in some coloured ceramic pots in front of your shrub area to create a focal point. Mint is best grown inside pots due to its spreading habit. Stevia is also perfect as a pot plant and can be used to sweeten your teas.
Mint and Stevia seeds are quite small so it is important to take care when germinating. Use a light seed raising mix and firm the surface. Sprinkle your seeds on top and very lightly cover with a fine grade of vermiculite. Place inside a mini greenhouse in a sunny location and ensure the surface is kept moist. Once plants are a 5cm or taller, transplant into their final pot.
Furnish and flourish
To finish off your tea garden, add in some outdoor furnishings. For a cosy feel, use items like hammocks and hanging chairs against the backdrop of your hedge. Some chic outdoor chairs, colourful cushions and a table will also make the perfect spot for you to enjoy your tea in relaxed comfort.
Snip, steep & repeat
Be sure to keep some Microsnips handy in your tea garden so you can harvest as needed. Many herbal teas such as peppermint, lemon balm and lemongrass can be brewed using fresh leaf cuttings from your plants. Other plants you may wish to dry first in a dehydrator such as chammomile flowers and camellia sinensis leaves. These can be stored in decorative jars for later and make beautiful home made gifts too.
To get the best flavour from your tea it is important to use the correct temperature water and brew for the optimal amount of time. Here's our recommendations:
Mr Fothergill's has made it easy to grow and brew your own tea with our all-in-one starter kits. Each kit contains everything needed to get growing and brewing, including seeds, a biodegradable pot, soil pellet, enamel mug, tea strainer and instructions. Choose from four flavours - Bergamot, Chamomile, Lemon Balm and Peppermint.