For a few years now we've been growing our prized tea bush here in New Zealand and this spring was earmarked to be our first year harvesting tea off of it.
In anticipation of the first harvest I'd visit Mr Tea Plant every day or so to see how his fresh new spring buds (see above) were coming along. One day however, I was excited to find that He had dropped a few dozen of these little tea seeds:
I was a bit sceptical because last year I found about half a dozen or so of these seeds, but they were all empty — quite a disappointment.
But this year, after some research, I discovered that if you soak the seeds in a bowl of water for around 24 hours, the seeds that sink are good, and the seeds that are still floating are empty and useless.
This year about 95% of the seeds floated, so we were all set to get planting!
Inside the hard exterior shell you'll find a fresh, white inside which looks quite similar to a macadamia nut.
I had to pick up all the seeds pretty quick because once the hens caught wind of what I was up to, rummaging around the base of Mr Tea Plant, they were keen to snatch up as many seeds as they could too!
After soaking the seeds for about a day, I planted them with about 1cm of planting mix covering each seed, placed my plater trays in the green house and waited... patiently...
About a month later... success! The first sprouts of Informal Tea's new tea plants emerged from the soil!
Now we just have to wait another 2-3 years before they will be ready to harvest!