lemon balm seeds
- Position: full sun
- Soil: poor, well-drained soil
- Flowering period: June to August
- Hardiness: fully hardy
Claimed to have antiviral and antibacterial properties, the leaves of this bushy, perennial herb will release a strong lemon fragrance when they are bruised. They are useful for creating calming teas, lemon balm pesto or flavouring drinks (like Pimms) fruit or fish dishes. The crushed leaves are also said to help keep mosquitoes at bay when they are rubbed onto the skin, while the nectar-rich flowers, which appear in summer, are a firm favourite of bees.
- Garden care: Surface-sow from late spring to late summer in seed trays and keep at around 20°C. Alternatively sow directly into a well-prepared border after all risk of frost has passed. Water regularly without waterlogging and thin out to 35cm intervals when large enough to handle. It self-seeds freely, so it is best cut down after flowering if you don’t want it to get out of hand.
- Sow: May - August
- Harvest: July - November
- Approximate quantity: approximately 500 seeds