In an earlier post, I spoke on how I decided to start growing a tea garden for my business Healing Intentions Natural, due to COVID-19. To update you, I finally got a hold of the seeds for the tea plant, Camellia Sinensis, and began the necessary steps to grow the ancient Chinese plant in Los Angeles, CA.
Due to dedicated research and the use of a green thumb, the garden is officially thriving. Since the last post, I have added a few vegetables and more herbs, and I’m waiting for them to sprout.
Disclosure: I am not in affiliation or compensated for any links in this post, other than the links referring to my e-commerce business Healing Intentions Natural.
While it is easy to purchase seeds and pre-grown herbs for tea, obtaining seeds for the tea plant, Camellia Sinensis, took a little more time. Since I didn’t want to get my seeds imported from China, I had to search for US seed distributors.
Seeds for the tea plant are pretty hard to find in the US, but my search finally came to an end when I came across a seed distributor on Etsy that ships from San Francisco, CA; Buy Rare Seeds.
After the purchase, everything seemed to be falling into place until I had to figure out what was the hardiness zone I lived in.
What’s a Hardiness Zone?
If you are new to gardening like me, a hardiness zone is a defined geographic area that surrounds a specific range of climatic conditions related to plant growth.
According to garden.org, you must compare the climate of the plants’ natural habitat with yours to help the plant survive. Using their zone map indicator provided by USDA Hardiness Zone, I found out the Los Angeles climate is Hardiness Zone 10b, and growing the tea plant Camellia Sinensis can be challenging.
In total, North America has 11 hardiness zones.
And the Camellia Sinensis originally comes from hardiness zones 7,8, and 9.
Luckily, it is not the end of the world trying to grow the tea plant in a zone 10 climate. However, a few more steps have to take place for the plant to survive, which brings my gardening skills to a different level.
Garden Techniques I Picked Up!
Gardening is a relatively new hobby for me. Over the years, I purchased pre-grown herbs and tried to keep them alive. Although keeping pre-grown herbs alive was easy, it wasn’t until I began growing from seeds when I took gardening seriously.
I learned lots of valuable information about harvesting a healthy, pesticide-free garden for the reason that I wanted to create my fertilizer.
As a result, I learned money saving techniques of the following:
- Studying Temperature
- Water distribution
And above all, my favorite lesson has been learning how to create my humidity.
Wait! You Have to Create Humidity?
Camellia Sinensis needs humidity to survive, and Los Angeles, Ca air is dry.
Dry air is when the air has low vapor levels.
A post from UCLA Institute of the Environment & Sustainability explains,
“The relationship between temperature and absolute humidity is fairly linear. More heat means more water vapor in the air… But when temperatures rise in L.A., humidity doesn’t always rise with it.”
Therefore, I have to create humidity.
While it may seem like a lot of work, it is pretty cool. Since I am a big supporter of DIY projects, all while being eco-friendly, growing Camellia Sinensis in an unfamiliar environment is one of the most exciting projects I have ever tried.
There is so much at risk, and not only am I learning about gardening, but I am also learning patience, self-care and love, and last but not least, how to live and let go.
Finally, if you are like me or just curious about how this tea-growing process is going to go. Simply check out my germination process in the video below, and subscribe to the youtube channel to stay up-to-date on the tea growing series.
Originally published at https://teawithkrystle.com on April 28, 2020.