I started planting in April after the last frost. While my other beds were cleared, my herb bed had several perennials that I could work around which actually helped the bed look more full and not so “new.” It’s hard not to get overzealous and plant things closer together at first.
This year, I decided to add several varieties of the mint family to my garden. I included regular mint and peppermint to my already existing lemon balm. In case the name doesn’t give it away, lemon balm is a member of the mint family, too.
I had cut the lemon balm back during the winter (it’s a perennial here in Birmingham), and was a little worried it wouldn’t make it back this spring since I don’t have confidence yet that cutting back perennials won’t kill my plants…but I’m learning cutting back really does help the plant grow back stronger.
By the time I placed all my herbs in the bed, the lemon balm had already begun to grow. However, a week of year-end school parties for the kids, my husband’s 40th birthday celebration and a Memorial Day vacation added to the mix was a distraction to tending to my garden. Tuesday morning I headed down to the garden and there she stood…LEMON BALM GODZILLA. All the rain, warm weather and sun (along with my lack of attention) had helped the lemon balm grow so big that it towered over the parsley and basil and left them “in the dark.”
I bought some pots and am planning on taking some of the lemon balm out and giving it to several friends. Next, I am going to border it’s roots to see if I can contain it a bit to give my other herbs room to grow and a chance to get sun as well. In the future, I think I’ll stick to leaving the mint family herbs in pots.