Tea Garden/Spice Garden?

juliemaye(8b)January 26, 2014

I previously worked at David's Tea and developed a huge love for herbal teas...then I realized...I could grow my own!

Last year was my first year developing experience with plants...I hopped aboard about 2 months before the season ended, and purchased 1 stevia plant (that my cat killed) purchased 1 more Stevia plant (that thrived) and 2 Mint plants - one Chocolate, one Plain.

This year, I would like to have two indoor (or outdoor if that's better?) herb gardens...one grown specifically for tea, and one grown specifically to create spices for cooking.

I have been able to come up with a lot on spice gardens (it's super simple...reading the back of packets in grocery stores, etc. and finding out what the best/most common spices are, and previous cooking experience LOL!)

But I am having a hard time figuring out which herbs I should grow for my tea garden! I think the Stevia from last year was good, because it is a natural sweetener, but what else do you guys think? Mint? Lemon Grass? Fennel? Catnip (this would benefit me AND my cat, LOL!)? What else? I am so stumped, every time I typed these questions in google they just came up with super simple: the ones I mentioned above...LOL

Thank you so much in advance for your help!! If you have any experience with growing your own tea garden...please let me know what other types of plants you grew for it, too! (I know herbs aren't the only thing that go into herbal teas...organic fruits do and others' as well? I want to get a dehydrator so I can add fruits to my teas. :] )

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kaliaman

what fun! i love herb tea too. this sounds a bit silly since its so simple but perhaps just grow what you like to drink. mint and chamomile are very easy to grow and nice for tea. lemon grass is a large tropical shrub so buy that one unless you have a large yard and live in the tropics! dried lemon balm does not taste like lemon but is nice for the nerves, depression and sleep. catnip is perennial and very easy to grow too, a nice bitter for the tummy. maybe check out the herb gardening forum for more complete gardening chat and info. good luck!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 7:51PM
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juliemaye(8b)

Thank you!
I wasn't quite sure of the difference between herbalism and herbs so I posted here, but I think I might understand the difference now

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 7:23PM
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chervil2(z5 MA)

Nettles is a great tea plant and can often be found as a weed. Chocolate mint is one of my beverage favorites. Lemongrass is very easy to grow from shoots purchased in the Asian stores. I seek out the freshest stalks with intact ends and place them in water. Within a few days roots emerge and the plant can be potted.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 8:36PM
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hilee

This is a fun thread! How about roselle (hibiscus sabdariffa), which is a short lived perennial, ginger (can be rooted from a grocery-store purchase), or galangal (can be found in asian markets)--galangal's flavor is much milder than ginger. The acid from the roselle mixed with any small amount of the gingers might make quite an uplifting tea. All three can be grown in pots. The last two will go dormant fall to winter (most of the time).
Keep us updated and with photos!
Good luck,
Lee

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 5:17PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Be sure to read through the back posts on the Herbs forum. This is a pretty common thread that much has been written on.

Seeing roselle mentioned, I'll mention that it is very easy to grow and a pretty plant. My season is way too short for any sort of production though so I can't imagine zone 7 of the OP will fare much better. I'd opt for rose hips instead in zone 7.

As far as drying, get screens to dry your herbs on. Skip hanging herbs in bunches. Too much effort for so-so results in moist climates. And only roots, fruits or herbs needing a quicker drying time since they air dry so poorly may need a dehydrator's help. But even so, some roots and fruits like dandelion roots, hawthorne berries and rose hips air dry amazingly well.

Enjoy your garden.

FataMorgana

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 7:28AM
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eibren(z6PA)

Pineapple sage and pineapple mint make an excellent tea when combined--one is very aromatic, and the other has a nice flavor. The sage is not as hardy as the mint, unfortunately, but it grows quickly and produces many leaves and a little red flower that can be used for garnishing.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 8:06AM
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Pandookie(9)

Marigolds could add color. Violet and rosehips are great for tea.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 9:51AM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Julie you can find lots of herbs & spices at Richters herb in Toronto.

Here is a link that might be useful: Richters

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 9:59AM
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river_city(7b)

Akebia's make good tea as well.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 7:58PM
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