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Fear not, DIY herbal tea newbies! Planning an herb garden isn't complicated at all. It's fun, it's easy, and it's a wonderful way to while away a blustery day, waiting for spring to arrive!
Just follow a few simple steps to plan your flavor-filled herbal tea garden:
That's it. That's all. Easy peasy! So grab a piece of paper, a pencil, a tape measure, and let's get to it.
Go outside and look around. Get to know your outdoor spaces from a plant's point of view.
Your herbs want a home that's:
Do you have limited in-ground planting space? Or none at all? Not a problem!
Most tea herbs will grow nicely in containers on your patio, deck, or doorstep ...
Or in a window box ...
Believe it or not, you can even grow your tea herbs on your driveway, sidewalk, or other "un-plantable" spot. Just grow 'em in a bale of straw.
Seriously ... in a straw bale! It works like a charm!!
Think creatively if your space is limited. You'll discover plenty of good places to grow your tea herbs, I'm sure!
No matter how large or how small your garden will be, it's a good idea to have a general game plan before you start planting.
How to Draw a Basic Herb Garden Plan
Yes, I said "draw". But please, don't let any lack of artistic talent hold you back. You're not re-creating the Mona Lisa here. You're simply making a rough sketch that'll give you all the info you'll need when it's time to order your herb plants and seeds.
As you can see, my drawing isn't fancy. It isn't drawn to scale. It simply shows the "basics":
Something to keep in mind if you're creating your garden plan in the dead of winter: Sunny and shady locations change with the seasons.
A spot that's shaded in winter might get direct sunlight in summer when the sun is high in the sky.
An area that's sunny when the trees are bare could become fully shaded when the leaves grow back on a nearby tree.
Now comes the fun part: Thinking about which herbs you'll grow.
My advice is to start by growing a few teas you already know and love. Then add one or two new flavors to experiment with.
Tea Herb Flavor Profiles
To add a splash of color to your yard, patio or balcony - and unique flavors to your cup - plan to grow at least one flowering herb, too.
The chart below will help you choose the best location for each herb.
Preferred Growing Conditions
|Garden||Containers||Full Sun||Part Sun||Min. Space|
To give you an idea what your completed sketch might look like, here's the plan I created for my own DIY herbal tea garden - complete with ordering info:
Note: This is my current garden layout. It's evolved over time from just a single patch of chamomile to ... well, let's just say - I love growing my own teas!!
Are you late to the DIY herbal tea party?
If growing season is already here and you haven't created a detailed garden plan ... that's okay. Many of us (yours truly, included!) started tea gardening by what I fondly call the "wing it" method. And you know what? It worked out just fine.
So go ahead. Buy a few starter plants, and go for it! With a bit of loving care, your herbs will reward you with yummy, homegrown herbal tea ... despite your lack of planning!