How to Grow and Harvest Bee Balm
Bee balm, also known as Monarda is a plant you will most likely find in most butterfly and bee gardens. This plant, due to, its scent attracts most pollinating insects. Mostly, Monarda is grown in North America. Due to its medical benefits, most North American people are growing it more than ever. However, that does not mean that you only need to use it if you have a medical complication.
Not at all, you can as well use its leaves to make tea. Alternatively, you can add in salads. Without a doubt, there is every reason to grow the bee balm, right? So, how do you go about it?
How to Grow Bee Balm
Whether it is springtime or fall season, there is nothing to hold you back from growing bee balm. Why? Both conditions are favorable for this plant. So, let get a step by step guide.
Get rid of any weed in the garden. For your better option use a good lawnmower. You can follow the guide from tools diary. Next, prepare beds and add compost in the soil. To ensure that the plant doesn’t develop mildew, allow a spacing of 18-24” between the plants. It is of importance to plant it in rich soil with good draining capability.
If the soil is dry, don’t start planting before you thoroughly water it to make it moist. Additionally, after planting, ensure that your plant is moist by watering each time the soil gets dry. This way; you can be sure of getting a lavish harvest.
Care and Maintenance
There is little maintenance necessary for this bee balm. So, don’t worry about care. In July all the way to summer, the plant will begin to blossom.
If you notice that the plants are spreading too much and overlapping, carefully divide them as you pull out any new sprouts. However, overlapping mostly happens after growing the plant for 2 to 3 years.
If the plant is blooming during the fall season, hold its back and prune a few inches above the ground. Do this after you have noticed the first flowering. In the spring, get enough compost and apply half an inch of it to the bee balm bed. Do not forget to apply fertilizer, too. However, in winter, you should protect the roots of the plant from snow and cold by mulching it.
That way, you ensure that your plant won’t die. Nonetheless, if you use plant containers to plant it, moving it indoors would save you much trouble.
How to Harvest Bee Balm
If you want to get the best flavor from bee balm; wait until mid-morning when the morning dew will have evaporated completely then start harvesting. Start by plucking the petals and leaves from the bee balm stalks. Dry them naturally by spreading them on a screen under low temperature for about 1-2 weeks. However, that depends on the level of humidity.
Don’t dry them in a dusty area or expose them to direct sunlight. Alternatively, you can clip the base of the bee balm stalk to harvest. Always hold the stalks by the stem when tying their ends before finally hanging them out to dry.
You can confirm if they are completely dry by trying to crush them. If they are, they should crush effectively.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.