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 Post subject: Lemon Balm
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:53 am 
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Location: Perth hills, Western Australia
Hey hey - this is the first post in the Herb section - can't believe someone hasn't beaten me to it.

Anyway, I thought I'd start a thread on one of the more obscure herbs I'm growing up in my orchard - Lemon Balm Melissa officinalis.

I mainly use it for flavouring drinks, particularly fruit punches for the kids. I have cooked with a it a few times, but if you are using it fresh it needs to be added very late in the process or the flavour simply cooks off. Favourite use is putting it in white pasta sauces, particularly for seafood pastas, and in risottos as it is lemony in flavour without being at all acidic.

Apologies for the second photo - the howling easterly was making it hard to squat and remain stable and I was in a hurry - will get a better one up soon.

Anybody else out there using it ?


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File comment: My Lemon Balm under my Tahitian Lime
Lemon-Balm-Far.JPG
Lemon-Balm-Far.JPG [ 166.39 KiB | Viewed 4794 times ]
File comment: Bit fuzzy but you get the idea
Lemon-Balm-Near.JPG
Lemon-Balm-Near.JPG [ 128.52 KiB | Viewed 4794 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Lemon Balm
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:21 pm 
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Location: Western Australia, Perth, mediterranean climate
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Lemon Balm is one of those herbs I have always passed over, seems I have always had a few other lemon flavours in the garden, lemon grass, lemon thyme, lemon trees.

I tend to use a lemon tree leaf in drinks, very citrus flavour without the bite.

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 Post subject: Re: Lemon Balm
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:55 pm 
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Yeah, I know what you mean, especially now that I have four lime varieties, a lemon tree, and lemon grass.

However, I've always grown it in other places where I didn't have most of the others above so I just planted some more when I started getting the orchard going.

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 Post subject: Re: Lemon Balm
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:45 pm 
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Location: here and there, near Townsville, dry tropics
Location: that should do
okay, so what are the best growing conditions for it? it doesn't seem to like it here :(

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 Post subject: Re: Lemon Balm
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 10:59 am 
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Jaymie wrote:
okay, so what are the best growing conditions for it? it doesn't seem to like it here :(

Oh, that's a bit odd. It likes the warmth so thought it would do well up there in Jaymie & Axl country. Dies back in the winter down here and Perth never even really gets to 0 Celsius. It likes full sun but does OK in some shade, particularly if it doesn't get much water.

Not sure on the soil chemistry requirements. Will investigate.

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 Post subject: Re: Lemon Balm
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:07 pm 
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mine was in a pot but it died in the heatwave. Then again - watering is not my strong point, so I can't really blame the poor plant!

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 Post subject: Re: Lemon Balm
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:41 pm 
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Yes, it's not the toughest of herbs that I have experience with - not by a long shot.

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 Post subject: Re: Lemon Balm
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 11:47 pm 
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chillidude wrote:
Anyway, I thought I'd start a thread on one of the more obscure herbs I'm growing up in my orchard - Lemon Balm Melissa officinalis.
Anybody else out there using it ?
Quite often for a tea together with few leaves of lemon verbena or bergamot if too late at night to have cup of coffee.

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 Post subject: Re: Lemon Balm
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:02 am 
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Yeah Steve, the missus does the same thing on occasion.

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 Post subject: Re: Lemon Balm
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:21 pm 
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I've got Lemon Balm growing in two hanging pots, originally got it to add to drinks. Can't say I've used any of it so far. The hot weather doesn't help my slack watering regime.

Really should pick some it and try it out this weekend.

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 Post subject: Re: Lemon Balm
PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:29 pm 
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I love it in tea and drink it nearly every day. I have it in pots which haven't been fed or had new soil added for quite a long time. Last year I let the seeds develop and now I have it coming up everywhere, even in cracks in the concrete!


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