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In the same family as mint, lemon balm forms clumps of delicious lemon-scented leaves that are perfect for herb teas or in cooking


Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is tolerant of a lot of different soils but will not do well in soil that is very heavy and prone to waterlogging, especially in winter. That said, it also likes a moist soil but one that is free draining, so keep watered in summer months to encourage lots of soft growth to harvest.


You can sow lemon balm in spring in small pots but keep the seed uncovered or just a light sprinkling of compost or vermiculite and then plant out when the plants are big enough. If you know someone who has a clump, it can be divided; otherwise, buy a small plant from a nursery or garden centre. You can plant it in a pot (30cm/12in diameter) if you have heavy clay soil, otherwise it will do fine in the ground in a sheltered part of the garden. It could be grown in the flower border or in the herb garden.

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Kitchen Garden Magazine - 259 - April 2019
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About Kitchen Garden Magazine

Welcome to Kitchen Garden Magazine In this issue: A Joy of Summer Veg expert Rob Smith has some top tips for success with courgettes every time Brilliant Brassicas! Former head gardener Sue Stickland explores our changing attitudes to brassicas and the many exciting new varieties available Flights of Fancy Gardener and nature enthusiast Ben Vanheems encourages us all to make room for butterflies on our plots And much more!