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My very first pot of lemon balm that I have grown since end January is seeding. Amazing. Something that I have actually grown from seed is producing seeds and continuing the circle of life. Yes, we all know in school that plants are grown from seeds, etc, etc, blah, blah, blah, but when you grow something and see it for yourself, it’s just amazing. Makes you appreciate the gifts of nature even more.
And this is the second pot of lemon balm which I have grown since mid of February when I thought that nothing is going to come out of the first pot. Thriving very well too. Bless you guys.
I found it aptly amusing to only realise the difference between this two pots of lemon balm on April Fool’s Day. Have been looking at them daily for a significant period of time and the dim-witted light bulb only lighted up today. D’oh! Another Homer Simpson moment.
See any difference? Compare the shape of the leaves and the body of the plant. They look totally different from each other to me. In fact, the second pot looks more like lemon balm after I googled for more lemon balm images. They are supposedly sowed from the same pack of seeds and yes, I am very sure that I didn’t mix anything up.
Two species of lemon balm seeds in the same seed pack? Maybe. Or is there something that I should know, like this is a very common occurence? Then again, it doesn’t bother me much. No biggie.
I hope everyone gets a good laugh today.
When was the last time that you laughed until you cried?
Yes, I just watched The Bucket List and you should too 🙂
Have a good April Fool’s Day everyone!
Gardening books are a great help for beginners gardeners like me. Am going through this book recently – The Complete Book of Vegetables, Herbs & Fruit cos I thought it’ll be great to know more about what I am growing.
These are the interesting tidbits about Lemon Balm that I felt useful:
Species: Melissa Officinalis (Lemon Balm). Hardy perennial. Height 75cm, spread 45cm or more (oops, I think my pot is too small as usual).
History: This ancient herb was dedicated to the goddess, Diana, and used medicinally by the Greeks some 2,000 years ago. The generic name, Melissa, comes from the Greek word for bee and the Greek belief that if you put sprigs of balm in an empty hive, it would attract a swarm.
In the Middle Ages, lemon balm was used to soothe tension, to dress wounds, as a cure for toothache, mad dog bites, skin eruptions, crooked necks, and sickness during pregnancy. It was even said to prevent baldness, and ladies made linen or silk amulets filled with lemon balm as a lucky love charm. It has been acclaimed the world over for promoting long life.
Germination: Common lemon balm can be grown from seeds. Germination takes about 10-14 days.
Pests & Dieases: The only problem likely to affect lemon balm is a form of the rust virus, cut the plant back to the ground and dispose of all infected leaves.
Garden Cultivation: Lemon Balm will grow in almost any soil and in any position, but it does prefer a rich, moist soil in sunny position with some midday shade.
Culinary: Lemon balm is one of those herbs that smells delicious but tastes like school-boiled cabbage water when cooked. Add fresh leaves to vinegar. Add leaves to wine cups, teas and beers, or use chopped with fish and mushroom dishes. Mix freshly chopped with soft cheeses.
Medicinal: Lemon balm tea is said to relieve headches and tension and to restore memory. It is also good to drink after meals to ease digestion, flatulence and colic.
Other uses: This is a most useful plant to keep bees happy. The flower may look boring to you but it is sheer heaven to them. So plant lemon balm around beehives or orchards to attract pollinating bees.
My Lemon Balm Plant at 4 weeks old
* The Complete Book of Vegetables, Herbs & Fruit – The Definitive Sourcebook To Growing, Harvesting & Cooking
The snake beans plants have started to creep around their bamboo trellis about 5 days ago. I am so amazed at their instinctive ability to seek out the support and slowly creep its way upwards. For a city raised person who hasn’t grown anything before, this is a very interesting thing to observe. Pardon my gushing as this is such a trivial, common sight for gardeners. I promise to get a grip on myself.
My snake beans are almost touching the top of the balcony railings. The yellow arrows mark the height of each plant now. The blue line marks their average height 2 weeks ago.
The lone lemon balm seedling was joined by 6 other seedlings about 5 days ago. Guess it wasn’t a lone ranger like I thought, just an early starter.
Dill is coming along nicely, but looks abit overcrowded, doesn’t it? But I have no heart to pull any out. Could I just leave it as it is? Or will they be able to stand being transplanted to another container? Maybe I’ll try transplanting some.
Parsley is coming along nicely too.
Chives are a half-hearted dismal affair. Could it be the soil that I am using?
Out of the original 10 cherry tomato seedlings that sprouted, I have kept 5 of them. Transplanted 2 into their individual plastic bottle containers and kept 3 in the original pot for now. They are coming along nicely too.
After the mouldy Okra seed incident, one wonderful Okra seedling managed to germinate out of a batch of 8 seeds that I tried to sow again. I will try to germinate some again so that I could have at least 2 Okra plants. I love steamed Okra.
I give up on Coriander. There seems to be no sucess whatsoever, no matter how I try to germinate them. Will listen to advice and get new fresh seeds. My mom seems to be mocking me silently with the way she continues to grow her coriander that she bought from the market.
Sometimes I’ll wake up, brush my teeth groggily and dash out abruptly to the balcony to see what popped up overnight. It’s like suddenly recalling that I have plants! Then I will squat by each pot excitedly and inspect each of them while still brushing my teeth.
I guess this is the best part about waking up in the mornings now. Something new everyday. Guess it’s cos I’m growing stuff for the first time and seeing everything for the first time. Do gardeners get jaded with each batch of the same plant that they grow? I doubt so. We like watching our babies grow. (although I am hardly a gardener)
Lemon Balm has sprouted but strangely there’s only one sole survivor. The lone ranger. Just as well cos it saves me from the pain of deciding which seedling to pull out when overcrowding occurs. Nothing must happen to you.
Chives sprouted with about 70% successful germination rate. Parsley sprouted with about 70% successful germination rate as well. But the best thing is that after needless worrying, I have 10 Cherry Tomatoes Seedlings! Which translated into 80% germination rate. Not bad at all. Guess I was too impatient previously.
But as they grow, the dilemma would be which one to pull out in order to make space for sufficient growth. To me, it’s cruel to pull them out since they have been given life. But I can’t have 10 cherry tomato pots around in the balcony…. Sigh. It’s times like these when you envy those with gardens.
Note to self: Do not be greedy ever. Only germinate what you can grow.
Dill germinated on schedule 5 days ago and look at them now! I guess there will be overcrowding for sure right? But I’m damn happy to see a potful now so we’ll worry about it later.
My snake beans have also sprouted more leaves other than their very first pair. My mom commented that snake beans will grow faster once they have support. Determined to recycle as much as possible rather than buy wooden sticks, she found broken off branches that were lying around the estate.
After the supports are in, I swear that the seedlings seem to grow even faster. They are about 8 inches tall now, 5 inches taller in 5 days. Do they instinctively know that the supports are there to help them grow? Plants can feel right?
Maybe I am just imagining things.