Grow Your Own Mulch! (and enjoy a cup of tea)

Lemongrass is a perennial clumping grass to 100cm.

There are several types of lemon grass:

  • Citronella grass (Cymbopogon nardusand Cymbopogon winterianus) grow to about 2 metres and have magenta-colored base stems. These species are used for the production of citronella oil
  • East Indian lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus), is native to Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, India, Sri Lanka, Burma, and Thailand
  • West Indian lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) is native to Malaysia
  • While both can be used interchangeably, West Indian lemongrass is more suitable for cooking.
  • Propagation: is by the division of the bulbous base with roots in spring, summer and autumn.
  • Drought tolerant
  • Dislikes frost

Uses in the Garden

  • Mulch: chop and drop (lower dependence on outside resources)
  • Living fence: plant on garden edge, dense roots act as a weed barrier and inhibit grass sneaking into garden beds; planted densely, a protective buffer from bush turkeys
  • Erosion control: slows water and stabilizes slopping land
  • Insect repellent: crush the plant to release the oils in the garden
  • See Morag Gamble’s youtube video for some great ideas https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1U5So30eqdU

Uses in the Kitchen

  • Tea: simmer leaves and stalks in water for 15mins. Sweeten to taste. You can also add mint, ginger, or rosella.
  • Flavour curries, stews, and soups: It is firm and fibrous. The softer, fleshier part of the lemongrass (which is what you want to use in your cooking) is located under the tough outer leaves. Peel away these layers and discard them. What you will uncover is a pale yellow stalk that is softer and easier to slice. Slice off the bulb. Starting from the lower end (where the bulb was), make thin slices of up to two-thirds of the stalk. https://www.thespruceeats.com/what-is-lemongrass-3217517