First Harvest of the Season


You can’t beat an early spring harvest courtesy of cold-hardy perennials. I’ve barely done anything in the garden and I’m already raking in the food stuffs!

    Clockwise from top right: Onions, dandelion greens, garlic chives, chives, lemon balm.

These chives have been growing in a large galvanized wash basin on my rooftop deck for several years. They always survive whatever winter throws at them and are the first thing up in the spring. Buds are starting to show which means that chive blossoms aren’t far off.

This is only the beginning of lemon balm (aka lemon bomb!) season at the community garden. The trick of it is to catch it early and harvest the tender leaves before flowers make an appearance.


My French sorrel (another early riser) inexplicably disappeared this year so I walked over to the garden early this evening and popped a new one into the ground.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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10 thoughts on “First Harvest of the Season

  1. Lemon balm is good for tea. I bundled it up and have it hanging to dry. Davin steamed the dandelion greens for last night’s meal and we ate some of the chives and onions with perogies.

  2. Wow, I’ve got loads of lemon balm and thought it was just good for smelling. I’m going to try tea too. Do you mix it with anything?

  3. I don’t add anything to it but you certainly can. Lemon balm is very good for soothing an upset stomach and aiding digestion. Fresh chopped leaves taste good in fruit salad or as a garnish.

  4. My lemon is kicking a.. Was struggling for the past two months, but with the coming of May she is strutting her stuff.
    I lace my evening salads with lemon balm and spearmint. I add both to my homemade lemonade.

  5. Lemon Grass: my spearmint is not doing so good. This is the first time I’m grown it. It started out great, but now the leaves our green and the stems are kinda brown. It sits next to a big beautiful basil that keeps growing beautifully. Did I plant it in the wrong spot maybe?

  6. Irene: I would move your mint to a shadier spot. The basil should be in a sunny spot and the mint in a partial sun/partial shade location.

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