Tea is probably the most popular beverage in the world next to water. It has a variety of benefits that go beyond taste and flavor, including providing us with many beneficial health properties. However, many people do not know that the compounds found in tea can also help with everyday tasks around the house.
One of the best, non-conventional ways to use tea is by using it to assist in gardening. Different types of tea provide different uses for your garden, but overall the beverage proves to be a versatile asset for growing vegetation. Here are some of the ways that you can use tea to benefit your garden.
There are some common plant seeds that are notorious for having a difficult time sprouting from their seed, such as sweet peas. Soaking your plant seeds in cold tea before planting them is an effective way to encourage germination in these hard-to-grow plants. This is because the tannins, an organic substance, which are found in the tea help soften the casings of these seeds, making it easier for the plant to sprout from them.
Consider soaking your seeds in cold Chamomile tea overnight. This tea contains antifungal properties, which will reduce the chances of your seed “damping-off”, a common plant disease that is the result of a fungal infection which effectively kills seedlings.
One study conducted at the University of South California found that misting plants with a certain type of tea increased both plant size and leaf production. During the study, plants were both conventionally watered and misted with water and a variety of different types of tea. It was found that plants that were misted with “white tea” grew between 8-12 inches over a 36 day period, showing significant growth compared to plants misted with the other substances tested.
White tea is tea that is made from the buds of young leaves, and can be purchased in any place that sells tea. In order to mist plants, pour the white tea into a spray bottle and lightly spray your plants, making sure that the leaves get well-misted. Make sure to only mist your plants in the morning so the sun can dry it up, as misting during the evening can lead to disease and other problems for your plants.
Aside from helping your plants grow, tea can also help repel pesky insects that want to eat them. It is already well-known that there are a variety of plants that naturally produce a scent that wards of insects. One of the most popular of these plants is the famous lavender.
In order to repel insects, put lavender tea bags in boiling water and then strategically place them throughout your garden to keep pests away. Black tea is also known to produce a strong scent that many insects find unpleasant, so this could work as well if you are all out of lavender.