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Common Lemon Balm Guide

Skip the snooze button on your snorer and get a sniff of the sweet citrus aroma Lemon Balm produces on a crisp morning. Prune the flower buds as they pop up to make a calming tea with fresh leaves or save the dried leaves for hot tea on a cold winter day to conjure memories of spring.

 

TO SOW

Lemon balm grows well in a wide range of temperatures between 55°F-80°F. They do great in containers and gardens. Bank on Seeds recommends transplanting.

If Direct Seeding

  • Direct seed outside 2-3 weeks after last frost date; or
  • Direct seed into a container 8-10 inches deep and wide anytime of the year. It can be placed outside when the temperature is between 55°F-80°F; or

If Transplanting

Begin the growing season early and start the lemon balm seeds indoors in trays or pods 6 weeks before the last frost date; germination is best between 55°F-90°F. It can be transplanted outside 8 weeks later.

Surface sow lemon balm seeds 12 inches apart by pressing them gently into well raked soil – no need to cover as they need light to germinate. If planting multiple rows, leave 12-24 inches in between. Germination will take 7-14 days.

TO GROW

Lemon balm likes well-drained, rich soil high in organic matter. They also like full sun but will tolerate partial shade. Water moderately and do not let the soil dry out for long.  Check the top 2-3 inches of soil and if it is dry, then water it.

No additional fertilizer is required but if you want, add aged compost to the top of the soil.

TO REAP

Lemon balm is full grown (mature) in 90 days. You can snip off portions of the plant or just the leaves as needed for lemony garnishes or tea. Cutting back lemon balm will encourage bushier growth.

PESTS/DISEASES

Aphids, spider mites – handpick off, neem oil

Powdery mildew- ensure air circulation and well-draining soil

*Plant lemon balm with other herbs, squash, tomatoes, cabbages, onions, and other leafy greens. *

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