Lemongrass An Exotic Herb
Easy To Grow And Use
Lemongrass had always seemed like a bit of an exotic herb to me.
I would find it in Thai dishes and as a dried scary stalk in the greengrocers. A British garden magazine suggested that it was actually quite easy to grow. I tried it. It grew easily and prolifically.
What Did I Do With It? Since I had an unlimited supply, I started to try it in more of my cooking. It added a wonderful taste to my Salmon marinated and poached in white wine and lime juice. At the end of the season I threw a bunch in my
and it added a wonderful new dimension to that old favourite. Common names are often regional and confusing so Lemongrass is botanically Cymbopogon citratus now don’t you feel smarter.
How Do I Start It?
You can buy seeds and I did one year with pitiful results. It’s absolutely simple to go to the greengrocers in early spring and buy 2 or 3 of those brownish, lifeless looking stalks. Stick them in soil or a glass of water and amazingly they come back to life and root quite readily.
What’s It Do In The Garden?
It grew quite happily in its pot whether I started it there or rooted it in water and then transplanted it. In mid May I simply transplanted my little pots of rooted Lemongrass directly into the herb garden.(picture below) They received the same shot of 10 52 10, liquid transplanting fertilizer that almost everything gets when I move it. Then I just stood back and watched it grow.
How Do I Harvest It?
By midsummer the single stalk that I had put into the garden had produced several similar stalks as offsets.(top picture) I simply pulled one or two of these out of the ground, disturbing the others as little as possible and carried it to the kitchen. In late fall I dug up most of it, removed the leafy parts and cleaned it. They are stored in a plastic bag in the vegetable crisper. Surely they have to be as good as the dried bits at the greengrocers. When I’m writing this, it is mid-November and we have had only the lightest of frosts, the one plant I left in the ground is still doing quite nicely.
It may have an exotic taste and reputation but its simplicity in the garden has earned it a regular spot on my list of herbs. I will continue to experiment with it in the kitchen.
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