Friday, August 27, 2010

How to Plant Lemon Grass

Lemon grass is not really a staple in Filipino cooking but at home my mom would use it to stuff her chicken roast, stewed mung bean soup ( Monggo Soup ) & Filipino style Chicken Soup ( Chicken Tinola ). And when I cook these dishes now in my kitchen it would always seem that something is missing when I don't add lemon grass to it. I always buy some stalks but they would be expensive when I get it from my local grocery and getting it from my Asian grocer is not practical as well.

I would buy lemon grass in small amounts until a friend who is also a Filipina gave me some from her garden. I was curious how she got it. I was not able to ask her but my other friend said she buys hers from a nursery in the summer. It got me thinking that I should grow my own as well. I researched online and found out that you can grow the lemon grass from the stalks. Then last summer I decided to try it.

You will need the following to grow your lemongrass:

3 or more stalks of Lemon Grass
- this is mostly available in oriental groceries, choose a healthy fresh stalk
Glass with water

Place the stalks in in your glass of water and keep this in a sunny spot, I kept mine in my kitchen window. In about 2-3 weeks the roots will sprout and this will make it easier for you to replant it. Back home they would directly plant a fresh stalk and water the soil frequently to encourage sprouting but using the water-in-glass method is fool-proof for me so I use it each time. You can choose to separately plant each stalks when they're ready or plant them in in one spot.

This summer I have grown my lemon grass with less watering and still it was fine. I guess I only did once a week and even when there were times that temperature have gone up to the 90s. It's a great herb to grow considering it requires less maintenance.