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Help, my lemon balm is turning black!

Hi everyone, I'm new to this forum. I got some really great lemon balm plants from a matriarch who lives on a self-sustaining farm. These things are tough! They were planted in pretty crappy sandy soil in a raised bed, but have done really well anyway. Yesterday, I got a yard of compost from winterhill farm. It is definitely rich in nitrogen, and still smells like ammonia! But it is composted. I added about 2-3 inches on the top of the sandy soil in the raised bed. When I checked on the plants this evening, the leaves on the bottom were turning black. What should I do? Should I just leave the plants in there to adjust? Remove the compost from the raised bed? Or should I just removed the plants? I don't want these to die! thanks for any and all help you can provide.

K Smiler
 
Hi, hummingbird and welcome to OG.Smiler I think you kinda answered your own question.

I have lemon balm also. One whole new plant volunteered about two feet away from the "mother". It's on the very edge of a bed which gets minimal amount of compost because it's an herb and like other herbs in that area, prefers crappy soil. Or at least my native sandy soil and soil that's not as amended w/compost and certainly w/nothing that's high nitrogen. Sandy, neglected soil is prime condition for many (not all mind you) but many herbs.

Your lemon balm is trying to tell you it's been overfed w/too much good stuff. Or, if you sensed a strong ammonia aroma, then it may not be all that good after all.

Regardless, I'd remove the compost. Good thing you didn't incorporate it. Pick off the blackened leaves. Give the soil under it a good rinse and then let it be. Don't over water and don't give it any more compost. Good, bad or otherwise. Smiler
 
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Thanks for the warm welcome!

Ok, well I moved the lemon balm to a new spot. I have both Chamomile and thyme in this bed. The thyme was starting to get some black on the bottom leaves as well. So I incorporated the sandy soil in with the smelly compost, and hopefully it will be ok. Thanks for the advice. Smiler
 
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that strong smell meant your compost was hot or hadn't cooked long enough. Can burn all kinds of plants. Some are more tolerant.
 
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