Mint is a fragrant herb with very pleasant refreshing taste. It is usually grown for its leaves and it comes in many different varieties. The plant grows practically everywhere in the world which is the main reason why it can be found in almost every cuisine.
Mint is very easy to grow and it can retain its potency of flavor for many years. The most difficult part of growing it, is to find a way to keep it where it belongs. Here are some good advices and basic informations that can be really helpful when you decide to plant it.
1. Choose location
Mint grows well in both cool and warm climates. The herb loves sun but sometimes it is better to choose the location with a partial shade. It can dry out if being exposed to direct sunlight. Alternatively you can make sure you will keep the soil moist all of the time. Mint also performs well if planted indoor, just make sure to place it near a sunny window.
Sow seeds in late spring and make sure the soil will be moist. Plants should reach harvestable size in about 2 months. Cuttings of mint also root very easily. Mint thrives best in deep moist soil with a slightly acidic pH around 6.5. Cover the soil with a little mulch and in mid-season use an organic fertilizer if needed.
3. When to grow it
The best time to plant your mint is in the spring, or it could also be in the fall if you live in the environment free of frost. This fragrant herb is perennial and extremely resilient but it is still recommended to ensure optimal conditions while start growing it. Mint will be one of the first plant to arrive each season.
The only maintenance that Mint really needs is regular watering. You should keep the soil moist all of the time though be careful to not over water it. The hotter the climate and higher the amount of the sun the plant receives, more water it will need.
It takes approximately two months for Mint to matures. It is really easy to harvest it. You are actually encouraged to do it regularly. For the best aroma harvest just before the plant flowers when the potency of flavor will be at its peak. You can clip away just what you need or cut most of the plant at once.
6. Fast grower
Mint is incredibly invasive and it is actually pretty hard to kill the plant. If allowed to grow without restrictions it will probably compete with nearby plants for resources. The best solution when growing mint is to plant it in containers or find a way of restricting the growth of the roots. It is also advisable to regularly trim it which will prevent mint plants from becoming to wide.
7. Container growing
Containers are perfect for growing mint herb. You don’t need to worry about the roots spreading too far and suffocating other plants. If you really want to grow it in your garden you can limit spreading, by putting the container into the ground. Be careful though because if mint plant will flop over, the stems will root very quickly.
This versatile culinary herb with a nice refreshing taste is very commonly used as a tea. It is delicious both fresh and dried. It can spice up a dessert or a cocktail but it can also add nice taste to your lamb or fish dish. There are many different varieties of mint with completely different smell and they are not all good for culinary use so be careful which one to choose.
Pests are usually not a problem with mint. The strong minty scent serves as a pests repellent. There are Mint beetles though and their larvae that can severely damage the plant if presented in large numbers. Use an organic fungicide if that happens. The herb can also get rust. You will notice small orange spots on the undersides of leaves if that will be the case. Remove badly infected plants to prevent spreading.
10. Garden companions
The downside is definitely mints invasiveness but it can still be a good companion with certain vegetables. You can plant mint next to carrots, kale, tomatoes, cabbages, onions, and radishes.