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A fragrant and useful herb - lemon balm. When to harvest a plant for the winter and how to store it correctly?

 A fragrant and useful herb - lemon balm. When to harvest a plant for the winter and how to store it correctly?


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In the summer, you can find a huge amount of aromatic and healthy herbs. I would like to enjoy them both in winter and summer, and in spring and autumn. For this they came up with the storage of herbs. One of the most common herbs grown in the garden is lemon balm.

It contains a wide variety of essential oils that can be felt by rubbing a leaf between your fingers. When storing such a herb, it is important to know all the intricacies of the method so as not to lose important vitamins, trace elements and minerals. How is this herb harvested for the winter and at what time is it best to start doing it, and is it possible to freeze a fragrant plant and how best to freeze it? You will learn these and other recommendations from our article.

Plant preparation

  1. First, the lemon balm must be rinsed under running water. Then spread lemon balm sprigs on a towel so that it absorbs excess water, or put in a colander.
  2. Next, transfer the lemon balm to a drier towel so that the remaining water is completely absorbed into it, otherwise it is likely that the grass will rot during drying.
  3. Separate and remove yellowed and damaged leaves.

Varieties are best for storing plants.:

  • Isidora.
  • Lemon flavor.
  • Tsaritsynskaya Semko.
  • Pearl.

How to store?

Fresh lemon balm is full of beneficial properties. This herb, fresh, will not be able to hold out for long. The maximum shelf life of fresh lemon balm is 1 week. But even this is enough to enjoy the pleasant aroma of fragrant herbs. The longer its shelf life, the less nutrients it contains.

Step-by-step instruction

1 way:

  1. Rinse the scented herb under water.
  2. Shake off extra drops of liquid.
  3. Pour water into a jar and put fresh lemon balm in it, and put a bag on top.
  4. Put the bouquet on the shelf in the refrigerator door. The temperature should not exceed 5-8 degrees.

2 way:

  1. Rinse lemon balm.
  2. Put it in a container and close the lid.

3 way:

Wrap the lemon balm sprigs in a bag and tie tightly to avoid excess air. If you do not want to lose the integrity of the leaves, it is better not to use the bag as plant storage.

In indoor conditions, the fragrant herb will last for about 1 day, since the temperature in the room exceeds 8 degrees.

How to properly harvest for the winter and when should you do it?

Dried lemon balm is stored for no more than two years... After a year, it begins to gradually lose its healing properties. It is better to start harvesting this fragrant herb in May, and finish in August. This is best done during the flowering period of the plant, since after flowering it loses its lemon scent and acquires an unpleasant odor. The morning time is good for this, but only when the dew has come off the plant.

A prerequisite is the absence of rain and dampness, otherwise everything will go to dust - the leaves will wither and begin to mold.

If you want to prepare lemon balm for the winter, then you will have to familiarize yourself with 4 different harvesting methods.

Freezing

This is the easiest way to prepare. His can be carried out both in vacuum and in ice cubes, about containers should be strictly forgotten, as in them the grass will suffocate, acquire an unpleasant odor.

  1. First, the plant must be washed, dried, then sorted and placed in containers (glass jars or linen bags).
  2. Then put in the freezer.

This fragrant herb is then used in the preparation of tea, as a spice for dishes, liqueur flavor, vinegar, in the preparation of various pickles, and will also give a pleasant aroma to kvass. It goes well with meat, cottage cheese, fish and eggs.

To prepare cold drinks, such as mojitos, various smoothies, use ice cube trays. To do this, it is necessary to fill each form with water, placing a lemon balm leaf in each cell beforehand, so that the edges of the leaves are in liquid. And then put it in the freezer.

Drying

For this bouquets of dried herb are hung upside down, or laid out on a flat surface in a well-ventilated area, where the sun's rays should not penetrate, and the temperature should exceed 35 degrees. To avoid mold, lemon balm should be stirred from time to time.

You can also do this using an oven: spread the leaves of the plant on a baking sheet and set the desired temperature regime (usually the lowest is used).

Dried lemon balm is a very delicate spice that is best added at the end of cooking.

The video tells about how to properly dry lemon balm:

Salting

Melissa is well used for salting dishes. For example, they make jam from it, add it when salting tomatoes and cucumbers, for example, when pickling cabbage, it is laid in layers. It is also added to vegetable dishes, canned meat.

Tincture

For the preparation of infusions, medicinal herbs are used exclusively with stems.... Sometimes alcohol is added to it so as not to drink a purchased tincture, but to make it ourselves. To prepare the usual infusion, take 2 tablespoons of crushed leaves, as well as flowers of these plants, and fill it with 2 cups of boiling water. Then they wrap it up and let it brew for 4-5 hours.

Helps with diseases of the cardiovascular system, gastrointestinal tract, metabolic disorders and colds.

Summing up, we can understand that the simplest and most useful method is freezing... At the same time, more aroma and useful properties are retained in herbs than during drying, where most of the vitamins are destroyed.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Storage Methods

Benefitsdisadvantages
freezing
  • Preserves the beneficial properties of lemon balm, is the easiest way to store it.
  • Diversifies the serving of various cold drinks.
Cannot be stored in containers.
drying
  • Drying time is minimal.
  • Melissa becomes very tender.
  • Suitable for long-term storage.
The beneficial properties of lemon balm disappear.
saltingThey are added to various dishes, used for salting.Not.
tinctureHelps with various diseases.Cannot be used dry.

If all the necessary requirements are met, lemon balm will retain its useful and medicinal properties for a year or even two. It is necessary to choose the correct method of storing this fragrant herb and use it in winter when preparing aromatic tea, gourmet dishes, or for various diseases.


Watch the video: Lemonbalm: How to grow, use and propagate with Morag Gamble (February 2023).