Growing Herbs For Herbal Teas
I found chamomile to be one of the easiest plants to grow that I have ever planted. Depending upon the variety that you choose, you can save the seeds in the fall and have more than enough for the next year.
Chamomile is an excellent container plants and an ideal one to keep near the kitchen door so that you can harvest the flowers readily for drying in order to make chamomile tea, for example.
Even in containers it kept coming back for years. One year I emptied the container that I had used to grow chamomile the previous summer, so that I could add new earth.
I must have left some soil in the bottom of the container, because within a few weeks there were chamomile plants growing out of the haloes in the bottom of the container.
Varieties of Chamomile
There are two main varieties of chamomile available:
- German chamomile: this is the most common variety and it is an annual plant that grows to about 1m tall.
- Roman chamomile: this chamomile variety is a perennial and grows to just 30cm tall.
As I stated earlier, chamomile is an easy herb to grow, and self-seeds happily. This means it will sprout up from the ground in the same place each year without the trouble of you having to save seed and re-sow them.
The plants grow up to 1m tall, depending on the variety you choose. It is a great choice for a container garden, or to have growing in a window box. The flowers are pretty and have a delicate scent that is slightly sweet.
Folklore has it that a pot of chamomile next to the bed is will help get you off to a sleep.
Chamomile is a sun lover and does best in well-drained soil; it appreciates the addition of organic matter especially if it has been growing in the same location for a number of years.
Well-rotted animal manure is good as is compost.
You can sow chamomile into yoru garden bed straight from seed in the late spring. Chamomile seeds are light sensitive so just scatter them over the garden bed then cover with a very thin layer of soil and water well.
Within fourteen days you should witness the seedlings peeking up through the soil; that is the time to thin them allowing about 30 cm between plants so that they can reach maturity,
Place 6 tsp; dried chamomile flowers into tea ball or straight into pot
Add 3 cups boiling water
Steep ten minutes
I have made chamomile tea with fresh flowers that I picked straight from the garden for 2 cups of tea you will need about 6 flowers; place them in a tea pot and add boiling water.
I have also made sun tea with chamomile. To make sun tea. You use a clear glass container, fill with water and add chamomile flowers, use fresh. Place in a window or out on the balcony where the sun’s rays will strike the jar. Do this first thing in the morning as the sun is coming up and leave until sun goes down.
Add ice and serve.
- Approaching Herbal Tea
The first thing you will want to make herbal tea is a tea pot and a tea ball of some kind, the bigger the better. Then you'll want some herbs.
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I am not talking about growing hydroponically which is an option but using natural light to keep your family supplied in some fresh produce all year round.