Herbs

oct17-herb-main

Lovely lemon balm

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a hardy, perennial herb with sweet, lemon-scented leaves that can be used for flavouring drinks, soups, stews, roasts, teas and refreshing summer drinks. It’s reported to have a calming effect and there’s something wonderful about inhaling the scent of a few crushed lemon balm leaves as you wander through the garden or linger on your balcony or courtyard.

The first part of lemon balm’s botanic name, ‘Melissa’, is Latin for bee and lemon balm’s white flowers are a great bee attractor. They make a lovely fast growing border or container plant in a sunny or partly shaded spot. You can also grow lemon balm on a brightly lit windowsill.

Here are the easy how-to steps for growing Yates® Lemon Balm in a garden bed or pot:

  1. Sow seed 5 mm deep direct into soil or a pot filled with a quality potting mix like Yates® Premium Potting Mix, firm down and keep moist.
  2. Seedlings will emerge in 5 – 10 days. Keep the soil or pot well watered and and feed every week with a liquid fertiliser like Yates Thrive® Vegie & Herb Liquid Plant Food once the seedlings are established.
  3. From 8 weeks after sowing, harvest leaves regularly to help promote a continuous supply of deliciously scented leaves.
  4. Lemon balm can be pruned back hard in early spring. Pull out any unwanted seedlings as lemon balm can spread themselves through the garden.

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