Growing your own vegetables and herbs can be a very pleasant pastime, which also has many positive benefits such as: healthier food (you know what chemicals, if any, have been used)
Although lemon grass is central to Asian cuisine, especially Thai, it works well in Western dishes, too. This mixing of flavours is sometimes called 'fusion'.
Also called citronella or sereh, it grows in dense clumps, from which the individual stems are cut. Lemongrass look a little like fat spring onions, with the same swollen base, but the stalk is woodier, and composed of tightly packed grey-green leaves. The fragrance and flavour is unique - lemony, but sweet - and is quite subtle until the stalk is cut or bashed.
Culinary Use: Use whole lemon grass in stews and curries (remember to fish it out before serving). Chop and use to make marinades and soups or add to stir-fries. Use as a flavouring for crème brulee or coctails. Widely use in Chinese and Thai dishes.
Nutritional Value: The lemongrass oil not only provides the lemon flavour to the products but also provides Vitamin A content for the consumer. Lemon grass is mildly diuretic and a stimulant tonic herb. When taken as a tea, or used in cooking the herb promotes digestion of fats. Moreover, it also helps in the healthy functioning of the digestive system as it helps in decreasing problems related to indigestion and gastroenteritis. This is because it helps in cutting down the levels of cholesterol, fat and toxins from one's body along with aiding in the stimulation of blood circulation in the body. As lemon grass can help in reducing blood pressure and cholesterol, it plays an important role in maintaining the health of one's heart. It has been found that lemon grass can prove to be beneficial for women as it helps in treating menstrual troubles and nausea. By mixing lemon grass with pepper, one can get rid of a majority of problems related to women's menstrual cycle.
Sowing: Sow inside all year round or ouside Feb - June. Sow seeds on the surface of compost, tamp down to ensure good seed-compost contact. Water carefully (best from the bottom in a water tray) & keep undercover at a temperature of 20°C. Germination is slow and takes 15-25 days. Pot on into soil based substrate when large enough to handle and then again either outside or into its final container when warmer. Space plants 30cm apart.