Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis), Mint (Menta x piperita), Penny Royal (Mentha pulegium) and Thai basil (Ocimum basilicum var. thyrsiflorum). The latter tastes of aniseed! Each and every one of these herbs makes a delicious tea.
|Latin name:||Melissa + Mentha + Ocimum Melissa officinalis + Mentha × piperita + Mentha pulegium + Ocimum basilicum var. thyrsiflorum|
|Guarantee:||1 year growth and flowering guarantee|
|Preferred location:||Sun, Half shadow|
|Leafs all year:||No|
|Harvesting:||June - October|
This herb seed requires no previous treatment but a 6 hour soak in lukewarm water should encourage germination.
How to Sow
Sowing under glass: March-April
Sowing in the garden: April-July
- You can sow under glass from February - April. Use a cold frame, or a small seed tray indoors. Fill the tray with fine, fertile seeding compost. Mix the seed with fine dry sand and spread evenly over the compost. Cover with a thin layer of seeding compost (0.5 cm max.). Press the compost lightly and sprinkle with water. Place a sheet of glass over the tray. Put the tray in a sunny spot at normal room temperature, or place the tray in the cold frame. Once the seed has germinated you can remove the sheet of glass.
- Sow outdoors in full sun from April through July. Loosen the soil with a fork up to at least 30 cm deep. Draw a straight furrow about 1 cm deep. Label your row and sprinkle the seed lightly along the row, mixed with some dry sand. Cover with a layer of soil, no more than 0.5 cm deep, press gently in and sprinkle the row with water. Extra rows should be 20 cm apart.
Don't let the soil around your herb plants completely dry out. Water and feed regularly for optimum growth.
To stimulate further growth, you can transplant the herbs into a larger pot - or plant them in amongst your perennials in the border. You can also divide your herb plants by splitting the root ball into a number of pieces and replanting them in different areas.
Harvest should be about 6-8 weeks after sowing. For as long as they grow you can keep snipping the leaves off.
Snip herbs regularly for using in your recipes. Don't snip off more than you need and leave the centre intact to allow the plant to continue growing. Regular snipping will encourage new shoots, more side stems and so more leaves for picking. If it all gets too woody, prune back the oldest wood - they're too tough to be used anyway.
If herbs are left to flower they generally take on a bitter taste. A timely snipping of any flower stems should prevent this.