Tea is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world, along with coffee. This plant has been cultivated since time immemorial and is an essential part of cultures such as the Oriental or the Arab, so why not try growing tea at home?
At the agricultural level, tea is grown in the tropics and lower areas of the subtropics, but its ability to adapt to different climates, more temperate, is evidenced in the fact that it is possible to drink your own tea at home, even with the plant growing in pots.
Before we start with the tips for growing tea, it is important to note that the harvest of the plant takes place in spring, when the new leaves sprout. It is these, the green and young ones, which are used to make the well-known infusion.
How to sow and grow tea?
The first step is to plant the tea seedlings. For this we need an area that is well sunny and a substrate rich in organic matter, that it drains well, so that the earth does not flood.
Very alkaline soils are not good, since this plant prefers acidic neutral environments.
To plant the tea we must dig a hole that is three times as deep and four times as wide than the diameter of the pot and cover the plant with soil, without tamping too much.
We water the plant with a little water and place on it between 5 and 15 centimeters of organic mulch.
How much do you have to water the plants?
The tea plant, Camellia sinensis, requires constant water and temperatures between 14 and 27 degrees. This implies water them frequently in summer, but above all in the flowering process.
How to protect plants from pests?
Insects can attack tea plants, something that is very visible when the leaves are deformed, frayed, bent, dry or have lost color.
There are many Natural medicine that help ward off these pesky guests. Some of them are garlic, rosemary, mint, carnation, thyme or citronella. In many of these cases we will ensure that the garden is protected and that it also generates a pleasant smell.
Pruning at harvest
Tea plants need regular pruning to control their shape and size. The best time to perform this action is at winter, when the seedling faces more adverse weather conditions due to the drop in temperatures.
Another interesting aspect is that to grow tea you have to develop a little patience, because harvest is first harvested three years after cultivation, when the plant is mature.
However, after this time it is all good news, because if the crop is healthy, it will be possible to harvest up to three times a year. At harvest we must opt for new and fresh shoots, those of a more intense green color that have a closed bud on which five or six leaves open.
Basic care that we must not forget
The tea growing process is the one we have described in detail. But for this to be successful, we have other issues to consider.
For example, the use of dry fertilizer it will help the plants grow faster and better. Fertilizer can be used during the last months of spring and summer about two times, every 60 days.
With regard to the varieties of plants, there are dozens, the Camellia sinensis var. sinensis It is better than the Assamica variety, since the latter produces very bitter leaves, which do not offer a very rich flavor.
Finally, if any pests appear, all plants will have to be completely discarded.
How to know more about tea and coffee?
Growing tea is a practice that is available to anyone with an interest in gardening and urban gardens.
With this plant you can start endless recipes, whether they are desserts, sauces or the most popular version, herbal teas.
In the blog about tea of Cafetearte we can find much more information and options to use tea, and among them make cold tea, a drink that delights millions of people when summer and good temperatures arrive.