Do you enjoy the refreshing taste of mint? Or perhaps you like some soothing lemon balm tea to help calm your nerves before bed.
Before you head to the grocery store or to an online vendor, try the easy alternative of planting and growing your own herbal tea!
Choose Your Tea
The many varieties of herbs in the mint family are quite easy to grow. They require minimal maintenance to produce a good harvest. Mint varieties include chocolate mint, spearmint, apple mint and peppermint. Their names are often a good indicator of their aroma and flavor.
Other herbs in the same family include catnip, lemon balm, bee balm, pennyroyal and skullcap.
One of the best things about growing mint is how easy it is to do! It needs no fertilizers, does not attract pests or insects, and also require very little care. It is also one of the most aromatic herbs you can grow.
Plant For Pollen
By planting mint you are benefitting the environment. It provides a good source of pollen for pollinators such as the honey bee. Melissa Officinalis (otherwise known as lemon balm) in Greek means honeybee. This illustrates the attraction of honeybees to pollen from members of the mint family.
Plant containers or enclosed areas are recommended for planting mint varieties. This is because the plant quickly extends its roots underground causing it to rapidly expand across an area. This may be a blessing or an annoyance depending on the location.
Easy Does It
This does demonstrate the ease of growing the leaves. One single plant can slowly into a large field of mint if it is given enough time. Occasional watering is the only thing necessary to care for them. Nature does the rest of the work for you.
The uses of mint are nearly endless. It can be added to homemade lemonade to create a cooling summer beverage, or as a garnish for your desserts. When dried, it becomes the same thing you buy online or from a store when purchasing mint tea.
Dried leaves can be used to make a hot infusion which aids in digestion. In the case of peppermint when it can be used to awaken your mind and your senses. You could even ice it to make a refreshing beverage for hot summer day.
However you choose to use your mint you will not be disappointed.
Step-by-Step Guide For Preparing Your Own Herbal Tea
- First, determine which herbal tea you would like to grow either as a plant or form seed. Then find some sort of container or a space in your yard where you would like for them to grow. Remember that mint can spread rapidly so keep them enclosed and away from other varieties of plants and herb varieties.
- To prepare the soil simply dig up an area large enough to place the seeds or plant. Thoroughly water the area around it until it is sufficiently moist. Keep in mind that plants from the mint family like to receive full sun exposure.
- After a month you will see some definite results. When you are satisfied with size of your plants feel free to pick them. You can also cut the plants three inches above the dirt. This allows them to grow back quickly.
- Place the clippings from your herbs into a brown paper bag. Cut or tear some holes into the bag to allow air flow. You can hang or just simply keep them upright in order to dry them.
- Wait about two weeks and then remove dried planta from the paper bag. Separate the leaves from the stem and then place into a container or bag. Now your homegrown herbal tea is ready to be infused into delicious beverage!
Will Nelson is a student at Virginia Commonwealth University who is studying psychology and philosophy. He spends a great deal of his time playing music and exploring the world around him. Will has deep interests in the mind as well as sustainability. Visit his website.