How To Grow Lemon Balm
This plant likes a well drained soil that can be on the poor
side. Important is to plant it in a sunny spot as it likes full sun. Add
some compost once a year if you grow them in the ground. For pots use
an organic liquid fertilizer every two weeks for the growing season.
If the plants go tatty and tired looking during the summer don't
hesitate to cut them down to the ground. They will re-grow quickly with
Choose a big container if you plan to grow Lemon Balm on a patio
because the plants can grow quite large. It is also better to grow it on
its own in a
pot. It is probably not the most decorative herb but you will soon love
it for its delicate lemon scent that it releases in the sun.
Growing Lemon Balm plants are very hardy and can be overwintered outside. Just cut all the stems back to the ground and you are done.
Feeding: every 2 weeks
Cooking: add after cooking
Preserving: freeze or dry
Growing Lemon Balm Indoors
Lemon Balm plants are real sun lovers so put it on a south facing
window sill. You can harvest the lemon scented leaves from spring until
Overwintering Inside: The plant needs a rest period in the
winter. It will die down in the autumn. The best way to overwinter Lemon
Balm is to cut
it right back to the ground and store in a cool room until the spring.
You can keep it in a dark room. Water it a little bit maybe once a month
it from completely drying out.
Bring the plant to a bright place again in March and start watering
it regularly. It will start growing again soon. This is also the time to
pot it up
or split it. If it is a mature plant it would benefit from being split
because they can get pot-bound quickly.
Take it out of its pot and remove any loose soil. Cut it into several
pieces. A bread knife is great for this job. A mature plant can easily
be cut into
3 or 4 pieces. Replant the pieces into individual containers with organic
potting soil and water them in well.
Plant surplus pieces into the garden or give them to a neighbour or friend.
Cooking With Lemon Balm
The lemon scented leaves are used for teas or to flavour soups,
salads, herb sauces, fish and rice. It is best added after cooking.
Crush the leaves to release their entire aroma.
Or try a soothing Lemon Balm tea. Tastes really nice!
Harvesting And Preserving
Take the soft young leaves and shoots for cooking or teas. They can be picked from late spring until the autumn.
Use the fresh leaves whenever you can. Preserve them for the winter through drying or freezing.
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