Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bee Balm

Two posts in one night, crazy, I know! But it snowed again last night... so what's a girl to do!?

I was reading an old gardening magazine I had lying around from Better Homes and Gardens. I bought it at a gas station somewhere around Fosston for more than I wanted to spend. (A whopping $7, but it's a magazine!)  I don't buy the smutty gossip, tabloid type magazines so this was really the only option.

Tonight, while re-reading my "Garden Ideas and Outdoor Living" for what might be the 20th time, I came across an article about Bee Balm. I'm assuming I looked over this article thinking it was something else but as I read the little article I decided to do some research on this little Bee Balm. From what I've read tonight, Bee Balm is not just a cute little flower but also an herb... a tea herb! I am a 4+ cup-daily-tea drinker. This fun fact made me find more and more articles. None were very long, but pretty much to the point.  I'm hoping at some point to add this to either my outdoor garden or indoor herb garden... then try the tea making!

Bee Balm (Dotted Mint or the scientific name: Monarda puctata)
Bee Balm was originally used to protest tea taxes by the original colonists. They drank Bee Balm tea!
It is native to the eastern U.S. 
Has unique flowers in shades of red, pink and white.
Is used as cut flowers in many wildflower gardens.

Flower Type: Perennial
Bloom Type: Summer
Height: 3'
Exposure: Full sun, light shade in hot climates.
When to Sow Outside: Spring, two weeks before last frost or late summer/early fall at least 2 months before first frost.
When to Sow Inside: 8-10 weeks before last frost.
Seed Depth: 1/8" to 1/16"
Seed Spacing: 1"
Days to Emerge: 5-10
Thinning: 12" apart

Gardening Tips:
If any area of the plant is drying out, add compost to soil.
Some types have been bred for a high tolerance to mildew and drought.
Clean up plant debris in the fall to get rid of any mildew.

(photos not taken by me)

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