Lemongrass is an interesting and useful addition to the herb garden especially if you like Thai or Vietnamese cuisine. The long, slender, pale green stems of the lemongrass have a unique fragrant lemony tang. Once germinated this quick growing herb can be used fresh, dried or frozen.
This very attractive plant looks great in a pot or in a mixed bed as an ornamental grass. This tender perennial must be grown in warm weather or inside a greenhouse and must not be exposed to frosts.
|When to Sow||January to March indoors or under glass.|
|Where to Sow||Sow on the surface of moist compost and cover with a very fine sprinkling of compost or vermiculite.|
|Place the seed tray in a propagator at a temperature of 20-25C (70-75F) or seal it inside a polythene bag.|
|Keep the compost moist but not wet.|
|Do not exclude light as this aids germination which can take from 21-40 days.|
|What to do Next||When seedlings are large enough to handle, transplant and grow them on in cooler conditions until large enough to plant outdoors.|
|Harden off over 7 to 10 days outdoors when lemon grass plants are well grown and all risk of frost has passed.|
|Plant lemon grass outdoors in a warm, sunny and sheltered spot at 30cm (12in) apart in moist, well drained soil.|
|Alternatively grow lemon grass plants permanently in 25-30cm (10-12in) containers in a warm greenhouse or conservatory.|
|Harvest||All year round once established.|
|Handy Tips||Keep lemon grass plants well watered throughout summer and provide an occasional liquid feed.|
|Harvest individual stems of lemongrass when required by snapping them off at the base of the plant.|
|To over winter, lift the plants in early autumn, pot up and grow through the winter in a greenhouse with a minimum winter temperature of 7C (45F). Keep the compost just moist throughout winter.|
|Companion Planting||Grow with tomatoes and peppers|
|Nutritional Information||A good source of the minerals Folate, Iron, Manganese and Potassium.|
|Serving Suggestion||Lemongrass is best known for its use in Asian cuisine, especially Thai and Vietnamese. It can be used in salad, sauces and stir fries.|
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