Growing Lemon Balm
The Lemon Balm is a relative of the common mint, and when growing should be treated the same way as it is just as invasive. It can be grown from seed, or purchased as a small plant from the garden centre, however it is very easy to propagate by dividing existing plants, so ask your allotment neighbours and if they are growing Lemon Balm you will probably find they are only too happy to give you some for free.
Lemon Balm is usually upright growing and usually reaches a height of between 30-60cm, and plants should be set between 25-30cm apart. Mix in plenty of well-rotted manure before planting, and if planting in pots as recommended it's also worth using some water retaining gel in the compost mixture.
To combat disease cut off shoots to ground level each autumn, and if it has cropped heavily add a top dressing of well rotted manure.
Lemon Balm can be grown from seed, divided, or propagated by root cuttings.
Using Lemon Balm
Fresh leaves can be added to teas, or used fresh in a number of dishes – Chopped Lemon Balm with a little grated garlic is excellent sprinkled over risotto before serving!
It is also used frequently in herbal remedies, and is said to reduce flatulence and used as a treatment against insomnia and depression.