Lemongrass which is also known as Cymbopogon citratus could be a culinary and medicinal herb. It…
If you wish to use the lemongrass herb (Cymbopogon citratus) in your tea, soup and seafood dishes. You will found that it is not always readily available in your local grocery. You will even have wondered the way to grow lemongrass on your own. In fact, growing lemongrass is not at all that difficult and you do not should have a good strength to achieve success. Let us tale a glance at the way to grow lemongrass.
The plant has long leaves that are the same as those of seagrasses. While an estimated 55 species of lemongrass exist, only the archipelago and American varieties are suitable to be used in cooking. It is an herb with a lemony scent. The culinary herb is produced from the stalk of the lemongrass plant. This plant grows in many tropical climates, most notably in a geographical area. It is a typical ingredient in Thai cooking.
Fresh vs dried leaves:
Fresh lemongrass is preferred because it gives a higher mixture of bright and sophisticated flavors. Dried lemongrass has more of a woody flavor. Stir-fries need finely diced fresh lemongrass because the dried form will simply dry out more. But dried lemongrass will be utilized in soups and other long-simmered dishes where it is time to rehydrate.
Taste of herb:
Lemongrass imparts a flavor of lemon along with hints of ginger. It is an identical volatile oil like lemon and it is often utilized in herbal teas to grant a lemon flavor. Fresh lemongrass can have a floral and minty scent along with it.
Lemongrass could be tall tropical grass. The fresh stalk and leaves have a clean lemon-like odor because they contain an important oil, which is additionally present in lemon rind. Lemongrass could be a long thick grass with leaves at the highest and a solid portion several inches long at the foundation end. The lower portion is sliced or pounded and employed in cooking. As a spice, fresh lemongrass is preferred for its vibrant flavor but is additionally sold in dried form. The dried spice is on the market in several forms, just chopped in slices, cut and shifted, as a powdered or as the oil will be extracted from the plant. Propagation is by dividing the foundation clump. The plants last 3- 4 years and are harvested by every three to five months.
Which part of plant use?
Two parts of the lemongrass plant are used for culinary purposes.
- The thick bases of the stalk are the foremost prized a part of the plant. This part has a fantastic flavor.
- The sharp, papery leaves above the stalks are often chopped to create into tea. They do not have the maximum amount of flavor because of the stalks.
How does it grow?
Lemongrass has red base stems and might develop to 10 feet in its favored habitat. The best time of growth for lemongrass is during the summer in moist, rich soil. If you are thinking of planting lemongrass, just remember its roots which tend to acquire over in every garden, so physical barriers should be put up whenever planting the grass near other plants.
Each stalk of lemongrass has several layers, each growing tightly wrapped around its core. The upper to layers are tough and green sort of a cornhusk outer layer. When you peeled away, you may find the familiar inner white core of the lemongrass stalk which is best for cooking.
Cultivation of lemongrass:
There are certain steps to follow while cultivating lemongrass.
Make proper planning:
To start anything, first, you should make a proper plane to cultivate lemongrass. When it comes to planning you should have complete knowledge about when to grow and where to grow. In when to grow you should have knowledge about the appropriate environmental conditions and a proper layout according to the spacing required for each plant for efficient growth.
Selection of site:
It will perform best under full sunshine. At maturity lemongrass plants can reach up to 6’ tall and 5’ wide so always select the site according to the plant covering space.
Lemongrass can thrive best in a wide range of soil which ranging from rich loamy to poor laterite soil. The sandy loam soil and red soils having good drainage and organic matter are best suited for cultivation. Waterlogged soil could not be good for lemongrass cultivation because they cause suffocation for the root system. Amend the soil where you plant your lemongrass with good compost or worm castings. Then the plant then lemongrass, therefore, the top of the basic base is about 1” below the soil surface. We recommend putting a 3” deep layer of wood chips or mulch over the soil surface to guard the soil and help to maintain even soil temps and moisture. Just make certain to not pile the mulch directly against the lemongrass stems otherwise you could rot the plants.
The seed rate for lemongrass farming is 2.5 kg per hectare. And you can calculate the seed rate according to your required area.
In late summer, lemongrass plants are growing under ideal conditions like good soil, full sun, and adequate water and reach up to the height of 5-6’ tall and 5’ wide. So prepare your land according to the designed requirement. If you want to grow them in close proximity, then space them at least about 5’ apart.
Always maintain distance between single plants should be 2’3” which is about 70cm apart from each other. Also, maintain distance between two adjacent plants while growing on rows should be 1’11” which is about 60 cm and distance between two adjacent rows should be 2’11” which is about 90cm apart from each other.
Selection of propagation method:
You can propagate lemongrass in two ways.
Through seeds: You can grow lemongrass from seed, but I do not recommend this method personally for small areas growing, because it is not a cost-effective method. For large scale up to good acres then it cost minimal. Lemongrass is a small tricky to grow from seed and requires extra attention to ensure germination. In cold climates, lemongrass should be started indoor to make sure that it is time to mature in an exceedingly short season. The matter is, they also require high humidity and a soil temperature of roughly 70oC to thrive.
Through stalk: Once you have got your lemongrass stalk, you will either:
- Put the lemongrass stalks into a glass of water during a sunny window for 3 weeks until they grow roots.
- Fill the small container with damp potting soil and stick the lemongrass stalk within the potting soil, with the foundation base about 1” below the soil line. Place container at a place which is under the sunshine window for 3 weeks, keeping the soil slightly damp but not wet.
Through starter: you can propagate the lemongrass by using starter plants.
Sow and Plant:
Start with a purchased plant in spring, and grow it in a very pot until the soil warms in early summer. You will also root a stalk from the produce market in water. Plant lemongrass in a very warm, sunny spot that is convenient to water.
If you would like to root your own lemongrass from stalks bought during a store or at a farmer’s market, simply place them during a jar with an in, or two of water and allow them to sit until the roots begin to grow. Make a certain to vary out the water every few days. Once you start to determine new leaves growing, you will know that the lemongrass has enough roots and you will be able to plant them during a pot.
Lemongrass will germinate within every week or two weeks, and if your experience is typical, then you should choose a seed with a high germination rate. Keep the seeds moist and in an exceedingly warm spot until they germinate. Transplant them into a pot when they are about six inches tall, spacing them about 2-3 inches apart and ensuring they will have many spaces permanently root growth.
Lemongrass could be a tropical plant that freezes to death where winter temperatures drop below 15F (-9oC). In all climates, potted plants are easy to stay through winter indoors. Therefore, you must only plant or transplant your lemongrass outdoor after your last frost date of spring.
They required a warm humid climatic condition full of sunshine and rainfall which ranges from 200 to 250cm and well distributed throughout the year. Lemongrass can be grown in a place where rainfall is less provided and which can be replaced by an irrigation system.
Care of plant:
Only the very hottest region of the US can grow lemongrass outdoors. For the rest of the region of the world, they mostly grow indoors for the winter. As it comes indoor for the spring and falls here within the frozen north too. You only have 2-3 months of the year where the temperature does not dip below 50 at the hours of darkness.
Lemongrass plant requires good moisture and well-drained soil. Ensure the water not often stay in the soil it should be a dump but no soggy. They are mostly green grassy material and are high nitrogen feeders. Always top dress with compost in every few weeks especially since they will likely be during a pot and unable to send their roots scavenging elsewhere. Fertilizers like worm casting and alfalfa meal will ensure vigorous growth.
At the peak of the season, when the outdoor temperature is approaching 50oF, it is time to shift your plants to indoor mode. Cut the stalks back, leaving them about 6-8 inches tall and move the pots indoors to a well ventilated sunny spot that stays consistently warm through the winter months. Reduce feeding and watering just barely keeping the soil moist.
Plants may rot in poorly drained clay soil. When lemongrass is grown in containers, shift the plants to larger pots as needed. When the roots become crowded, they will cause clay pots to crack.
The required nitrogen feeding for its better vegetative growth. On average they required 10 tons of farmyard manure per hectare for its optimum growth, while in synthetic fertilizer they require 450 kg nitrogen, 100kg P and 125 kg K to attain the best growth.
The plant should be watered on alternate days for about 4 weeks and then once in a week depending upon weather and soil type. In rainy seasons, irrigation is not needed and the soil should have proper drainage.
The main field is kept weed-free for the first 3-4 months after planting lemongrass. The weed cum hoeing is done up to 4 weeks after each harvest. Normally 2-3-time weeding is required per year.
Harvesting of the herb:
Always prefer to cut off the lower bulb and remove tough outer leaves. The main stalk which is yellow in color is mostly used for cooking. Here there is two option for cooking. You Can cut the yellow stalk into 2-3 inch lengths and then bruise these sections by bending them several times. In addition, create superficial cuts along these sections with your knife, which will help you to release the lemon flavor. Add these bruised stalks to your soup or curry. When serving remove the lemongrass pieces aside as they eat.
Preservation of lemongrass:
There is a certain way to store lemongrass.
You can store good quality lemongrass within the refrigerator, which is tightly wrapped and they can last for up to 2 weeks. Lemongrass freezes well. A number of the aroma and freshness could also be lost when it has frozen for a long period of your time, but the unique flavor will remain and also the grass is easier to chop.
I mostly used rice vinegar to preserve lemongrass for use all in winter. Small pieces of lemongrass are quickly pickled in the rice vinegar and they can be stored in the refrigerator for months at a time. The main benefit of this method is that the lemongrass infuses into the vinegar and rice vinegar is used in many of the recipes that call for lemongrass.
Lemongrass stalks maybe dig small pieces and dried. These dried pieces should be stored in airtight jars then used as it or also ground into powder before incorporating into a dish.
There are many benefits of lemongrass which are not only refreshing but also had a healthy effect on human health.
Several types of research have an interest within the health and medicinal benefits of drinking lemongrass tea, take a glance at a number of the health benefits this tea may offer and consider the evidence supporting the claims.
Doctors admit that tea can help fight against free radicals, thus reducing the incidence of inflammation within the body. Lemongrass contains the inflammation-fighting compounds chlorogenic acid, isoorientin, and swertiajaponin.
Inflammation may be considering having many adverse health conditions, including pain and cardiovascular disease. As such lemongrass tea might be a beneficial drink for people to include in their diet.
Here are several additional health benefits that you can attain by the consumption of lemongrass.
Reliving anxiety: Many people find sipping hot tea to be relaxing, but lemongrass tea plays a vital role in further anxiety-reducing properties. Some people already inhale lemongrass oil to alleviate stress and anxiety.
Lowering Cholesterol: The research indicates that a high dose of lemongrass plays a vital role in lower the amount of cholesterol in the blood.
Preventing infection: The herb seems to cut back the incidence of the thrush, a mycosis fungal that commonly affects people with a weakened immune system who are affected by HIV.
Improve Oral health: The lemongrass plant is native to the region, where people will take the lemongrass stalk and chew on them as some way to boost dental health and keep the mouth feeling clean.
Relieving Pain: Lemongrass is also used to block pain. It also suggests that drinking lemongrass tea could potentially help to forestall someone from sensing pain.
Enhance the level of Red blood cell: Drinking the lemongrass tea daily for 30 days also enhance the concentration of hemoglobin, packed cell volume and red somatic cell count within the body.
Relieving bloating: Drinking lemongrass tea can have diuretic effects, which suggests that it stimulates the kidneys to release more urine than usual. This diuretic effect on the body will be beneficial in cases where water retention ends up in bloating. This can be a standard symptom of Pre-menstrual syndrome.
Rheumatoid arthritis: Early research suggests that applying lemongrass oil to the skin can decrease pain in adults with RA. However, more research is required to understand if this is often over just an issue.
Antioxidant properties: Lemongrass contains several antioxidants, which might help scavenge free radicals in your body that will cause disease. Antioxidants of note are chlorogenic acid, isoorientin, and swertiajaponin. These antioxidants may help in preventing the dysfunction of cells inside your coronary arteries.
Cancer reducing: The citral in lemongrass is additionally thought to possess potent anticancer abilities against some neoplastic cell lines. Several components of lemongrass help in fighting against cancer. This happens either by causing death directly or boosting your system so your body is healthier and able to fight off cancer on its own. It also used as an adjuvant therapy during chemotherapy and radiation. It should only be used under the guidance of an oncologist.
Heals Cold and Flu: Lemongrass has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that facilitate you to cope with cold, cough and flu. Side by side it is loaded with a water-soluble vitamin that strengthens your immunity. Just steam boil some fresh lemongrass together with some clove, a pinch of turmeric and tea leaves. This easy concoction is effective for breaking down mucus and phlegm build-up caused by congestion. A hot mixture of lemongrass, tulsi leaves, and cardamom is additionally a standard Ayurvedic cure for the cold.
Side by side it also helps in reducing stomach and intestinal cramp, stomach, High blood pressure, vomiting, cough, Achy joints, Fever, common cold, Diabetes, Exhaustion, and headache.
Lemongrass oil is mostly obtaining through the distillation of leaves and flowering tops. The oil has a strong lemon scent due to the high concentration of citral. The citral smell of oil makes its use in herbal products, detergents, scented soaps, and insect repellent. The major use of lemongrass oil is as a source of citral which will be used in perfumery, cosmetics, and beverages.
In food and beverages, lemongrass is employed as a flavoring as an example, lemongrass leaves are commonly used as a lemon flavoring in herbal teas. In Manufacturing, lemongrass is employed as a fragrance in deodorants, soap, and cosmetics. Lemongrass is additionally utilized in making axerophthol and natural citral.
Reducing dandruff: Every research suggests that applying a lemongrass oil solution to the hair reduces dandruff in some people.
For natural hair and skin: Lemongrass may be a great source of Vitamin A and ascorbic acid which are essential nutrients for beautiful skin and hair. By improving the blood circulation, it clears up your skin, treats oily textures and also works on treating eruptions like acne, pimples, and eczema.
Cooking with lemongrass: If you want to stay lemongrass within the food when eaten, you will be able to slice the yellow section of the lemongrass stalk into thin slices with a pointy knife. Then place these in an exceeding kitchen appliance and process well.
Dried lemongrass is added during cooking when the dish has enough fluid to permit it to rehydrate and release its flavor. It is often removed before the dish is eaten or strained from beverages. Lemongrass powder is added at any point in cooking.
The lemongrass is extremely fibrous and a bit stringy, then ensure to cook your dish thoroughly. If you are making a soup, then boil the lemongrass for a minimum of 5- 10 minutes within the broth so as for it to melt adequately.
Insect repellent: It is incredibly closely associated with citronella grass. These plants are accustomed to making citronella oil, spray and various insect repellant products. it is effective to repel insects relies on using the concentrated oil from the plants, not the plant itself. If you surround your porch with lemongrass you may not have mosquitos hunkering down in your plants, but they are still likely to fly to your porch from other locations.
while growing lemongrass you have to take care of certain things. Lemongrass has the growth habit of giant grass. In fact, its growth habit looks a lot like a pampas grass which would be our least favorite plant on earth, if it is not for poison ivy. Like pampas grass, lemongrass also has very sharp leaf blades that can impart quite a paper cut if you slide your hand along their edges. Always keep in mind, if you have young children or pets that might go bounding into the plant in your garden.
Hopefully, you get a complete guideline about growing lemongrass and enjoy its best flavor at home.
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