Out of the many different kinds of herbs that one can grow from the comfort of their own home, one of the most beloved ones is going to be lemongrass. This type of plant is known for having a massive variety of uses ranging from flavoring foods to having its own homeopathic remedies.
No matter what you are planning on using the lemongrass for, if you are planning on growing it for the sake of harvesting it, you are probably going to want to have a good idea of when you will be able to harvest it.
As with many other types of plants that you eventually harvest, there are going to be several periods that the lemongrass goes through before you can effectively harvest it. Of course, there are ways that you can influence the speed of this process so that you can prolong the life of the lemongrass or harvest it the moment that it will be beneficial for your needs. Lemongrass is one of the easiest herbs to work with in terms of gardening and making sure that it matures quickly.
First things first, before you can go about planting the lemongrass in your yard, you are going to want to make sure that you know what factors will influence the growth of it. Making sure that you have everything that the lemongrass needs to grow is going to be important if you want it to be full of flavor and essential oils that you can harvest for later.
Making the Most Out of Your Lemongrass
To have the best conditions to grow your lemongrass at your desired speed, you are going to want to try and research what the grass needs to thrive. If you want to try and prolong how long the lemongrass takes to grow, there are ways to do this without skimping on some of the core materials the grass needs. Planting the grass in an environment that is unsuitable for the grass will only result in slow growth and a poor flavor, if the plant even survives.
Typically, this grass grows best in humid climates. In the United States, this plant generally requires a growing zone of 10 or more, although if you are planning for this perennial to be an annual growth, you can work with some of the colder climates. If you live in an area that tends to get a lot of frequent cold and dry weather, you may be better off growing the grass inside, where it can thrive throughout the year.
You will want to try and aim to plant the lemongrass in wet and fertile soil without any heavy clay in it. One of the things that lemongrass needs the most is a fast drainage system, so making sure that the soil you use doesn’t have any natural blockers (such as clay) is going to be crucial. If you want to give your lemongrass some good nutrients, you can consider focusing on adding a considerable amount of manure to the compost before planting the grass. The soil pH should sit somewhere between 5.0 and 8.0.
It needs frequent watering and even thrives in areas where it can get constant moisture. These plants can handle “overwatering” (though it isn’t possible to water the plant too much with a good drainage system) far better than they can handle dry climates, so if you are in doubt, you should always water your lemongrass. This will help it grow more quickly as well, since it will be getting the nutrients that it needs.
Harvesting the Grass
Now that you have a good idea of what lemongrass tends to need, you can focus on harvesting the grass and knowing when it will be ready for you. Because these herbs do not flower or otherwise indicate when they are ready to be harvested, you will want to pay close attention to the details to look for when you think it is about time that your lemongrass should be harvested.
You should aim to begin harvesting the lemongrass when the plants reach one foot in height and the base of the stalks are at least half an inch thick. This is considered the minimum time needed for these plants to properly mature so that you can make the most out of them. Even if you don’t use parts of the lemongrass, it is important to harvest all of it so that you can make room for the next lemongrass bulbs that you will want to plant.
There are a few different ways that you can influence the speed at which this grass tends to grow. However, it is known for being an herb that is relatively easy, inexpensive, and quick to harvest from. More often than not, you are going to be waiting on your lemongrass for the better part of 100 days. Other people may give you a range between four and eight months depending on where you are in the world, especially if your location tends to have cold and dry temperatures.
If you want to try and speed up the process of growth for the lemongrass, there are a few things you can try. You will first want to do everything that you can to recreate its natural habitat and requirements for temperature, sunlight, and water. This includes making sure to mist the leaves with a cool water solution if your yard has a tendency to get dry.
When a plant has more resources and energy stored inside of it, it becomes much easier for the plant to focus its resources on growing. After all, when there is excess energy, it has to go somewhere, and for lemongrass, this “somewhere” has a tendency to be toward the growth of the grass. If all goes well, you may even be able to harvest the plant after only three months rather than four months after you planted it.
The more sun lemongrass can get, the better it will be and the more likely it will mean that it will be able to have more energy to put toward growing so that you can harvest it. As a base, most gardeners recommend that, if it is possible, your lemongrass can get at least six hours of direct sunlight every day. This is the optimal amount of sunlight for lemongrass to grow at, although if you live in an area where the temperatures are on the cooler side, you can still grow some lemongrass.
While lemongrass does thrive under balmy temperatures, it can certainly find its way to survive in situations where the weather becomes much colder. You can expect that when it is colder, lemongrass is not going to have the same amount of energy in its plant veins, meaning that it is going to take notably slower to grow. If you are purposefully stalling for time when it comes to the growth of the lemongrass, keep in mind that it is going to need a minimum of three hours of sunlight if you want it to grow at all.
These are just some of the most important facts to know about lemongrass, what it needs to grow, how fast it can grow, and how much you can alter how fast your own lemongrass can take to grow. With this knowledge, you can rest assured knowing that you will be able to get your own helping of lemongrass as soon as possible after you have planted it.