Annual plant that is covered with beautiful pinkish purple colored flowers.Acts as a natural wasp repellant - many people plant wormwood as a garden border.
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Plant grows to about 18" tall.
These flowers are also great at attracting bees and hummingbirds perfect for pollinating the other plants in your garden!
Health Benefits: In skin care, Lemon Mint leaves can be rubbed directly on the skin to fight off mosquitoes. The dried leaves can also be infused in oil made into lotions for soothing the skin.
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By Victoria Lee Blackstone Updated October 30, 2019 With their unmistakable taste of peppermint, candy canes herald the winter holiday season, but peppermint is also used to flavor many other food and beverage items, including tea. Because of this herb’s prolific growing habit, you’ll have a never-ending supply of leaves to brew your own tea if you grow peppermint (Mentha x piperita), which has a perennial range across U.S.
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Instead of setting out transplants, growing peppermint from seeds offers many gardeners even more satisfaction as they watch the entire transformation from seed to harvest. You can start peppermint seeds inside your home or greenhouse or outdoors in your garden. If you want to set out transplants in spring, start peppermint seeds indoors in late winter.
However, if you want to sow peppermint seeds directly in your garden, wait until spring to start them outside. Regardless of when you start peppermint seeds, their Keep the small seedlings and young plants well watered during their first growth year to help their root systems develop, and you’ll see a big growth spurt beginning in the second year.
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In late spring, fill seed trays or small pots with a and make sure the containers have drainage holes. If you use garden soil, it may be too heavy for the tiny seedling roots to penetrate. If you use a potting mix that contains fertilizer, the chemicals in the fertilizer may burn the seedlings and their roots.
Thoroughly water the medium until the excess water runs freely from the drainage holes. Sow peppermint seeds on the surface and lightly press them into the mix. Seedlings germinate best when , so don’t cover them with the mix. Keep the growing medium moist by misting it each day - Read more. Peppermint seedlings typically at room temperature.
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You may want to cover the bed with floating row covers, which you can easily remove to make sure the medium stays moist, to prevent wildlife from interfering with your newly sown seeds or to protect it from strong rains. Its robust growth and easy-care nature make peppermint an easy plant to grow, but this same quality can also be a drawback.
Two solutions to this challenge are using vertical barriers, which you can find at your local garden center, and planting peppermint in containers. If you use you must drive them into the ground to a depth of 12 inches to control the spread of peppermint by its underground rhizomes. Even if you use these barriers, the stems may root wherever they touch the ground outside the barriers.
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Use a large container to give this plant room to spread and cut any trailing stems that may touch the ground below the pot to prevent your plant from rooting where it touches and spreading along the ground (Seeds).
Stand back! Mint (Mentha) produces quickly and can take over in ideal conditions. As a result, many home gardeners prefer growing mint in containers to keep it… well, contained. Fragrant plants are easy to propagate from seed and perfect for beginning gardeners.One of the most popular of all herbs, mint — spearmint and peppermint — is known by its square stems, aromatic leaves and refreshing flavor.
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The US produces 70% of the world’s peppermint and spearmint supply with almost half of the mint oil production being used for flavoring chewing gum. — not the sort you’ll find in box stores — have been passed down through the generations and are cherished for their outstanding characteristics, such as superior flavor, vibrant color, adaptability and hardiness (vegetable).
It’s not fussy about soil or light, but ample water is mandatory for success. To prepare planting sites, dig in plenty of rich organic compost (see our article on Preparing Garden Soil to learn more). Avoid using animal manures with potential weed seeds since weeding becomes difficult in an established mint patch.Sow mint seeds indoors (4-6 weeks before last frost) just beneath the soil surface.
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Leaves are best when picked early in the morning just before the dew evaporates. To dry plants, cut the stalks just above the first set of leaves, as soon as the flower buds appear. Hang upside down in bundles in a dark well-ventilated room for at least two weeks (watch How to Dry Herbs — video).Several garden pests are common on mint including aphids, cabbage loopers, flea beetles and spider mites.
Plants are also susceptible to fungal diseases, such as rust and anthracnose. Hand prune infected leaves and apply organic fungicides — copper or sulphur — at first sign - Seeds.Seeds are ready to harvest when the blooms begin to turn brown and dry. When the heads are completely dry, gently crush them between your hands and then carefully winnow away the chaff..
The mint family is vast and cross pollination is difficult to control, so many sources suggest that mint will not come true from seed. Our mint seeds are grown in isolation and bred with care in a greenhouse setting. vegetable. Follow this handy How to Grow Mint for seeds guide and grow some flavour.
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Seeds should sprout in 10-16 days. Bottom heat will speed germination. Sow seeds no more than 5mm (¼”) deep in moist soil. Space plants 45-60cm (18-24″) apart. Mint spreads in the garden with gusto via a vigorous root system, so it may be preferable to confine it to planters on the balcony.
Bring some inside to grow in a small container over winter if you have a brightly lit windowsill. Clip leaves or branches as needed throughout the year. Mint is so hardy and tough that it will grow right back. Dry the leaves and flowers for peppermint tea, or use them fresh.
Mint attracts earthworms, hoverflies and predatory wasps, and repels cabbage moths, aphids, and flea beetles. Mint is invasive, so it may be better to use cut mint as a mulch around Brassicas, or to restrain it in containers around the vegetable garden. Avoid planting near parsley. More on .
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It prefers well-drained, fertile soil in light shade where the roots will stay moist but never become waterlogged. Most mints are invasive, so you may want to restrict their root run by planting in a bottomless bucket sunk into the ground - Click here. Or growing them in a container in free-draining, soil-based compost.
Dividing congested mint grown in a pot For the best flavour, keep cutting mint to stimulate new leafy growth. After flowering is over in late summer, cut back plants to just above soil level and feed with a high-nitrogen fertiliser to encourage a fresh flush of leaves for autumn picking.
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Lift a clump and chop it into pieces using a spade. Discard the old centre and replant the vigorous outer edges. Divide congested pot-grown mint in autumn. Sit containers on pot feet to avoid waterlogging over winter. Mint, like most herbs, is best used fresh when the volatile oils are at their most intense.
Nipping out the tips of the stems will encourage the plant to bush out. Freezing mint is the next best thing to using it fresh. Wash and shake mint leaves dry, then finely chop. Fill an ice-cube tray with the chopped mint (there’s no need to add water). When frozen, pop the cubes into freezer bags and seal.
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Steep a handful of leaves in boiling water, with sugar added to taste, for a soothing mint tea. Watch this quick 20-second video demonstration from our friends at olive magazine on how to chop fresh mint. Check plants regularly for mint rust. Look for swollen stems with orange spots on the leaves.
Mint rust remains in the soil for at least three years, so don’t plant other mints, tarragon or chives in that spot after infection. Take root cuttings from a mature plant and press them down firmly into a pot of damp compost. Cover with more compost and leave on a warm, bright windowsill to sprout.
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Best for making mint sauce ‘Chocolate’ – produces brown leaves that taste like after-dinner mints. It’s non-invasive ‘Lime’ – lime flavoured, dark green/purple leaves and mauve flowers. Non-invasive ‘Tashkent’ – spearminty, crinkled leaves and purple flowers ‘Variegata’ – or pineapple mint has cream-green leaves with pineapple scent. Non-invasive .
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Before you get into the intricacies of growing mint indoors or outside, it is important to decide whether you want to start your mint from seeds or from nursery starts. Started plants are much preferred to seed for a couple of reasons: Mint seed can be difficult to start, with a low germination rate, and the plants themselves may not be uniform. Read more.
The other reason to buy starts over seeds is that as you’re browsing mint plants, you can get a better idea of what the flavor will be like. Obviously, you don’t want to damage the nursery’s plants, but if there is a mint flavor that catches your eye, give the plant a sniff (or simply rub your fingers on a leaf and then smell your fingers) to see if it smells like mint you’d like to use in the kitchen.
Most varieties of mint grow as a perennial in zones 3 through 8. In warmer zones, you can still grow this plant as either an outdoor annual or an indoor plant. Mint is a creeping plant that sends out shoots underground. Because of this, mint tends to spread rapidly, so wherever you plant it, be prepared for the mint to take over.
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If you want to keep mint contained, then the easiest way to do it is to plant it, container and all, right in the garden - vegetable. Make sure the container is at least 12 to 15 inches deep so that the roots have plenty of room to grow, and also make sure to cut off the bottom of the container so that the roots can spread downwards.
When you pick a planting spot, remember that mint prefers cool, part-shade areas that are moist. In cooler climates, mint will grow in full sun, but if you live in the southern part of the United States, you’ll definitely want to keep your mint in a part-shade location. If you’re planting more than one mint plant, then make sure to space each plant 15-inches apart — and don’t worry about the empty space, the mint will fill in your garden in no time! To grow mint indoors, you’ll either need a very sunny southern window (even the sunniest of windows are still considered to be part shade) or a supplemental grow light.
You can either cut sprigs as you need them, or harvest the entire plant so that you can dry the leaves. Just make sure to cut the plant no shorter than one inch so that the mint can regrow.
Posted on: April 14, 2019 Bright green and leafy, mint is one of our favorite herbs to fill a planter with and have on hand all summer long. Fantastic in drinks, marinades, salads and more, this easy-to-grow perennial comes in nearly 600 varieties and loves the heat – as long as you can keep it well watered.
We recommend that casual home gardeners simply buy a seedling, or take a cutting from an already established plant. To plant a cutting, place the stem in a glass of water until it sprouts roots, and then plant as you would a seedling. You may even be able to do this with fresh mint that you purchase at the grocery store.
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Mint will spread uncontrollably if you don’t set firm barriers, ultimately choking its neighbors. Since your mint plants may also have to be shielded during the hottest part of the day, we recommend growing them in a container that can be easily moved around from spot to spot in the yard.
If you want to grow mint outside a container, we recommend a solid barrier, like a walkway or garden bed. Since mint spreads by roots and underground runners, a piece of garden trim sunk at least a foot into the soil surround the plants can help keep it confined. Mint grows best in full sun, but will benefit from partial shade during the hottest part of the day.
Also be sure to water close to the roots to avoid sunburn on the plant’s leaves. The aggressive nature of mint makes it an ideal herb to be planted in its own container, but will require thinning and dividing every other year or so. A 12-inch pot is the perfect size for a single plant.
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Plucking leaves from the top, especially, will encourage the plant to grow out instead of up, giving you a larger harvest. Once every two or three years, divide the plant and transplant or discard the extras - Read more. Failing to do this will cause the plant to become rootbound, which will stunt its growth or even lead to the plant’s demise.
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Aphids, spider mites and whiteflies are all small insects that sometimes trouble mint, but a strong stream of plain water can wash them off every few days, or you can use an insecticidal soap spray if extra help is needed. Harvesting mint is as simple as picking off a few fresh leaves when you need them.
If you need more mint, consider harvesting leaves from multiple plants instead of stripping one bare. If you find that your plants are overproducing the amount of mint that you need, don’t be afraid to trim them back. Overgrown mint plants will produce leaves with inferior flavor. Make sure you finish harvesting mint before temperatures drop.
You can also add a layer of mulch for additional protection from the cold (Seeds). Fresh mint leaves can be kept in the fridge for 3-5 days before they start to wilt. Longer storage requires dehydration, which can be done with a food dryer, an oven set on low, or even hanging bundles in a warm well-ventilated room.
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As mentioned earlier, there are over 600 varieties of mint. Each has its own flavor or scent, though some may be similar. Be sure the type you choose is not only best suited to your growing region, but also its intended purpose. Some are perfect for culinary uses while others are medicinal or simply aesthetically pleasing.
Not as invasive as some of its relatives, peppermint still has a tendency to spread and is best suited to a container. If planted in the ground, these plants should be relocated every three or four years to prevent them from becoming spindly. Peppermint is good for indigestion and bloating by helping relax the muscles that keep gases trapped in the stomach and intestines.
Spearmint grows best in partial shade with well-draining, rich, moist soil. Spearmint, once planted, will grow and spread quickly if not contained. If you plant it in the ground, bury a 5-gallon bucket with the bottom cut out to surround the plants and prevent runners from spreading. Spearmint is the mint variety most commonly used in culinary applications.
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Also known as “woolly” or “fuzzy” mint, this variety can be highly invasive and quickly take over large areas if not contained. It prefers full to partial shade, and requires regular watering until the plants are established. After that, provide extra water only during times of drought or extended high temperatures.
Before winter, mow or cut everything to the ground and cover with a 2-inch layer of mulch. Both European and American pennyroyal have a fresh, minty smell, but only European pennyroyal is actually in the mint family. The stems will grow to about a foot tall and add beautiful reddish purple and lilac colors to your garden when it blooms.
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As a container plant, pennyroyal is a beautiful trailing addition to any hanging pot. Pennyroyal thrives even in harsh conditions, and is popular for ground cover or erosion control in vegetation-free zones. Often called “slender” or “scotch” mint, ginger plants have beautiful bright yellow stripes on their leaves. Ginger mint is not picky about the soil in grows in, and will do well even in heavy soils full of clay.
Catmint and catnip share several of the same characteristics, but catmint is more visually appealing and far less likely to encourage the neighborhood cats from lounging in your backyard. Catmint is ideal as an insect deterrent, especially if you have challenges with aphids and Japanese beetles. It prefers sun or partial shade with well-draining soil - Click here.
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Chocolate mint is a popular variety with endless culinary uses, so growing it in a container that can be carried between the outdoors and the kitchen is a popular option. While outside, the plant prefers full to partial sun and regular watering and fertilizer. In the mid to late summer, the plant has attractive pink blooms.
Orange mint prefers rich, moist and clay-like soils that are a little acidic, which means it can grow in those places where other plants have a hard time holding on - gardening. It loves full sun, but will do well in partial shade as well. Plant it along walkways and popular traffic areas so that the scent is released as the leaves are brushed.
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The greenery will spread across the water, adding fragrance and color to the space. Experts suggest planting the roots directly at the edge, or even slightly into, the water so that moisture constantly flows around the roots. Watermint has few pest or disease problems, and acts as a natural pesticide.
This summer, why not follow up an afternoon in the garden with a little cocktail chemistry? These are our favorite mint-based recipes to help you use what you grow. 3 oz Bourbon .5 oz Simple Syrup Mint Crushed Ice Muddle six mint leaves with syrup in a chilled julep cup (or an Old Fashioned glass if you don’t have one).
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Stir briskly and add more ice until glass is chilled through. Garnish with mint leaves. 2 oz White Rum .75 oz Simple Syrup .75 oz Lime Juice Club Soda Mint In a shaker, muddle eight mint leaves and simple syrup (growfoodguide.com). Add the rum and lime juice and shake with ice.
Garnish with mint leaves. 2 oz Gin 1 oz Simple Syrup 1 oz Lime Juice 1 Mint Sprig Muddle the mint sprig in a shaker. Add the remaining ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with mint leaf. 2 oz Rye Whiskey .5 oz Simple Syrup .75 oz Lemon Juice Mint Muddle the lemon juice, simple syrup and six mint leaves.
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Strain into a rocks glass over crushed ice and add more ice to fill glass. Garnish with a mint sprig. Whether you’re starting a garden from scratch, expanding your current selection of plants or looking to add a new variety to your kitchen windowsill, let the garden experts at SummerWinds help you decide what to bring home next.
SummerWinds Garden Centers is a leading high-end retailer of garden and nursery products. Headquartered in Boise, Idaho, SummerWinds operates retail nurseries in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area, and in Silicon Valley, California, making it one of the largest independent retail nursery companies in the west. SummerWinds appeals to both the serious and casual gardeners, with a broad selection of premium gardening products and a friendly and knowledgeable staff.
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The smell of mint is often enough to make your mouth water. It’s an herb that pairs well with many dishes and adds some flavor to tea, lemonade, and other beverages. Even if you don’t ingest it, you can use the plant to make your home smell fresher than ever.
It won’t be long before you’re cutting fresh sprigs from your plant and enjoying the herb. As with most herbs, mint is as easy to grow as it is useful. You don’t need too many materials or any experience to grow it. Although you can grow it in an outdoor garden, you can just as easily grow mint inside your home.
For one,the herb is easily accessible when you do your cooking. It also decreases the chance of pests or disease affecting your plant. Mint also tends to be extremely invasive, so it often takes over outdoor garden beds. This tutorial will teach you how to grow the herb indoors, but the process is similar for both growing methods.
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Before you get started, head to the store and buy the following: Mint seeds Peat pots Seed starter Medium pot Potting soil These steps will get you on your way to growing mint: Before you can get started, you need to choose what type of mint you want to grow - growfoodguide.com.
Pro Tip: Head to a local farm or grocery store and try out each type of mint before you make a decision. To get started, take out your peat pots and starter soil. Even if you only want one mint plant, you should start off with two or three peat pots.
Fill the pots with the soil, almost filling them to the top. Once your pots are ready, place two or three seeds in each pot. Push them into the dirt and cover them with a little soil. If you want the seeds to germinate, place them on a sunny windowsill.
They need space to spread out, and a small container won’t work well. The box needs to go in a windowsill that gets plenty of sunlight. The room should never get below 60 degrees, or the conditions will be too cold for the plant. Pro Tip: Clay pots take moisture away from the soil.
Once your seeds have sprouted and you can see an inch or two of green, it’s time to transplant them to your container. A peat pot makes this easier than ever because you don’t need to disrupt the roots. Simply dig a small hole in the soil of your large pot.
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You don’t need to completely cover the pot, but you should make sure it’s covered enough that the soil surrounds the peat pot. Even if you have multiple peat pots, avoid putting more than one in each container. Each plant will spread quickly. In only a few weeks, your mint plant should be thriving.
Just be sure to cut from the stem tips. Whether you plan on using your mint for cooking or drinking, this is also how you should harvest your plant. Flower buds will slow down the growth of your plant. Therefore, you should get in the habit of cutting off flower buds as they grow.
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Typically, a well-maintained plant will last for approximately three years. If you want more mint plants, you can easily grow them from your existing plant. Cuttings from mint start to root when they are placed in water. To get started, take a three inch mint stem cutting and remove all of the lower leaves.
When roots start to grow, you can move your mint to the soil of a container. You can also place cuttings directly in soil before roots develop, but first they need to be dipped in rooting hormone. Growing your own mint comes with many benefits, including some health benefits. By growing it in your home, you have all-day access to the plant.
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Does growing your own mint sound appealing to you? If so, it’s time to get started. Feel free to comment below about your own experiences with mint, or share your thoughts on this article - gardening. Then, share this article with your friends and family.
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Mint is an extremely versatile herb that is easy to grow and look after in the garden. It’s best planted in containers as it does have a tendency to take over when planted in the ground. As well as the classic mint flavours, there are a whole host of different varieties that you can grow – a great activity for younger gardeners.
A good garden centre will also have a number of different varieties to try to suit a number of dishes or drinks that you would like to create. Compost and pots. And seeds of course (if you want to grow them this way). Mint is best grown in containers because it has a tendency to grow extremely fast and take over in the area in which is is growing.
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Whilst mint can grow in the ground, it has a tendency to grow extremely fast and take over in the area in which it is growing. If you want to make sure this doesn’t happen, growing in a container is your best method of planting. However, if you have a space with nothing else growing in it and want to fill it with mint, it will certainly survive.
It will enjoy a temperate of around 18 to 21 C and you will need to ensure that it gets a few hours of sunlight each and every day. Mint enjoys well drained soil and will favour a slightly shady position. Keep the soil moist and certainly don’t let it get waterlogged.
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Keeping the soil moist and also maintaining a level of moist/humidity will keep the plant nice and healthy. Mint is an easy herb to grow - gardening. Keep it in containers as otherwise Mint can be picked from spring right up until about September/October or when he first frost hit. There is no science to harvesting mint, it’s more of a pick as you need it herb.
Mint is a great herb for children to grow. It is extremely easy and because it can be grown in pots, it means that you can really get creative with how you grow it. Why not use some old wellies and create a funky herb garden? We’d certainly advise planting mint in pots to prevent it taking over the garden.
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Simply pick the mint from the plant once it is established and it will keep on growing. In the summer months, children can pick the leaves to make a nice cool mint drink or towards the end of the growing season make some mint sauce. If you are interested in growing other herbs indoors, check out our article on .
Miscellaneous ● Any average, well drained soil where mint's wandering tendencies can be kept in check. Full sun to partial afternoon shade. Hardy even in cold climates. If desired, small plants can be potted up in fall and grown through winter indoors. Not generally needed. Peas, Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Persimmon, Kale, Kohlrabi, Tomato and Eggplant.
Mint is also easy to root from stem tip cuttings stuck into moist potting soil. Some strains are propagated only from cuttings rather than seeds.Our Garden Planner can produce a personalized calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area. Frequent pinching back helps to keep plants bushy and full, and it delays flowering.
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Gather sprigs as needed in the kitchen. Gather stems for drying in early summer, just before the plants bloom. Often becomes invasive. If possible, grow near walkways, driveways, or other hard surfaces, or in containers buried halfway in the ground - growfoodguide.
Mint is one of the few herbs that grows well in both sunny and shady areas. It’s happy to grow in pots and containers as well as the garden and as long as it’s in moist soil it will thrive. Choose a mint variety that suits your tastes and needs.
Peppermint and Spearmint. Like building a house a good foundation is the key to success in your garden. The better the soil, the better your plants will grow. If you are starting with an existing garden bed dig in organic matter like Tui Sheep Pellets and Tui Compost to your soil.
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If planting in pots and containers, fill with Tui Herb Mix. If you’re a first time gardener you may find it easier to grow from seedlings, rather than seeds, although seeds are a more economical option. Mint can be grown from seed in spring, but the quickest way to grow is from cuttings.
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Add a layer of Tui Herb Mix to the planting area. Dig a hole, approximately twice the size of the root ball of your plant. Gently loosen the root ball of your plant and position the plant in the centre of the hole. Fill in with Tui Herb Mix - Click here. Press soil gently around the base of the plant.
If your container has no drainage holes, add stones to the bottom of the container to act as drainage. Soak your seedlings in a bucket of Tui Organic Seaweed Plant Tonic before planting and allow to drain. This will help prevent transplant shock and give your herbs a healthy start.
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Gently take the plant from the current container, loosen the root ball and remove any loose or dead plant material and roots. Position the plant in the centre of the new container and fill with Tui Herb Mix up to 3cm from the top. Gently firm mix around the base of the plant.
Water your plant well and continue to water regularly. Feed your herb and they will feed you. Plants use nutrients from the soil as they grow, so replenishing the nutrients ensures your plants grow to their full potential. Feed your mint with Tui NovaTec Premium fertiliser. Well watered, well nourished herbs will have a better chance of keeping insect pests and diseases at bay.
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Pick fresh leaves and stems as required. Leaf stems will keep well in a glass of water for a week or more. Mint grows too well in some gardens (like a weed!) and can be a challenge to control once established, so if you'd prefer it contained, make sure you plant it in pots and prune regularly.
Have you ever tried mint tea or had a refreshing bowl of mint ice cream? Chances are that you have if you want to grow your own mint. Growing your own mint is a fabulous source of continual minty goodness and helps save money too. Learning how to grow mint is one of the easiest things you will ever do with gardening.
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All plants in this botanical family have squared off stems with leaves arranged in pairs opposite each other. But first, let us look at where the long history of mints began… Throughout the centuries, mint has been one of the most widely used plants. As herbs of the ancients, mints were revered.
Both the Greeks and Romans made wide use of these species. They used it for flavoring wines and sauces. They decorated their dining tables with sprigs of peppermint and even wore garlands of this mint during feasts (growfoodguide). Roman women used it as a breath freshener. Spearmint enjoyed similar popularity, for it was one of the tithes paid to the Pharisees.
The Latin name for the mint group, , comes from the Greek, which means sweet-scented. Prior to modern times when personal hygiene was skimpy at best and houses weren’t as clean as they are now, strewing herbs were widely used to deodorize ill-smelling households. This was also the reason for using potpourri and herb-scented pillows.
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Mint, like some other herbs, has insect-repelling qualities. During the Middle Ages, mint was a major culinary herb since it could add immense flavor to an otherwise dull, uninspiring winter diet. Mint was so beloved it was mentioned in Shakespeare’s time in literature and appeared in Chaucer’s writings. Shakespeare mentioned it in “The Winter’s Tale (growfoodguide).” It was grown in the typical Saxon monastic garden during the ninth century.
An increasing interest for mint and herbs is arising in the field of aromatherapy, in which fragrant plants or oils are used for various purposes. For example, peppermint is said to have a stimulating effect, which could serve as an antidepressant. The most difficult thing about mint, in fact, just maybe choosing which mint to buy.
How about pineapple, lemon, ginger, banana, pear, grapefruit, orange, apple and lime mints? Chocolate mint adds a special flavor to baked desserts or hot beverages. For ethnic flavor, there are Swiss, Austrian, English and Vietnamese mints, among others. Hillary’s Sweet Lemon Mint is a patented apple-and-citrus flavored cultivar named after Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Hard-to-find varieties, such as Julia’s Sweet Citrus, may be obtained from specialty growers who sell plants by mail order and over the Internet. Some of my favorites are: – Light green leaves and a light apple fragrance. – Very similar to apple mint but with a white edging to the leaves.
– Mentha x piperita -This sterile hybrid has square stems tinted reddish-purple with dark green leaves and purple flowers - Click here. This plant is said to repel aphids, flea beetles, and cabbage pests. Grow near roses to deter aphids. -Melissa officinalis-This plant has hairy, square, stems and lemon-scented leaves. The fruit is a smooth nutlet.
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– Nepeta cataria – The serrated gray-green leaves are covered with soft fuzz. Bees and butterflies are attracted to catnip, so plant it where pollination is needed. – Mentha suaveolens (Lamiaceae family) – Leaves have a sweet scent. With its attractive foliage and flowers, it makes a nice container plant.
Peppermint is highly regarded as a carminative. It helps relax intestinal muscles, relieves flatulence, stimulates digestive juices, and soothes nausea. Peppermint tea is also sometimes taken to relieve menstrual cramps, and to relieve stress-headaches. Externally, (because of a high menthol content) it can be used to relieve itching and inflammations, to relax tense muscles, and help clear nasal congestion.
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There are three options to starting to learn how to grow mint: starting from seeds, growing from cuttings, and planting mature mint plants. Each way is pretty easy, it just depends on who you know and what time of the year it is (growfoodguide). If you have a friend that already has an established mint plant you will have a much easier time getting a cutting or two from them than you would be starting from seed.
Mint plants are very hardy plants. As long as you give them a bit of water now and again, it will be around for a long time. If you live in zones 1 or 2, you will need to bring the plants inside during the winter. For those in hotter zones all the way down to zone 11, mint will thrive for you.
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Most mints are hardy to zone 5. Many types can be started from seed. One exception is peppermint, which is sterile. If you do not have access to adult plants or cuttings from a friend, growing mint from seed is the only option. Don’t worry, it isn’t hard at all, it just takes a bit more time than the other options.
You will have better results with a freshly prepared area. Mint also likes to have compost in its soil, so if you have some, go ahead and add it into the garden area. You will want to wait until the ground has warmed before you plant the mint seeds. Once warm, sow the seeds by scattering them across the prepared garden area and then cover them lightly with ¼” of soil. Read more.
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When learning how to grow mint, it is best to give yourself every leg up. Being successful the first time is important. Moisten the soil by spraying a fine mist, just make sure that you don’t wash away the seeds. It is very important to keep the area moist but not soggy.
Pull out the new plants until they are about 1 foot apart. You will be amazed at how quickly the mint plants cover all of this area (gardening). If you have access to a plant, it is much easier to pull up a runner with some roots already on it and plant that.
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My favorite way to start mint plants is from cuttings from a friend. If they have a mint plant that has sprigs 6” or longer it is a breeze. This method is best used during the summer months because that is when the plants are in full swing of growing.
For best results, take several just in case one doesn’t take. Strip off some of the leaves at the bottom of the sprig and then place it in a cup of water. Once you start seeing small roots form, you can place the rooting sprig into potting soil and keep moist.
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If the leaves show any sign of rot or fungus, leave it and find a different plant. Place the adult plants in ideal conditions, partial shade and slightly acid soil. If you don’t have an area that is perfect you don’t need to worry. Mint plants will grow in nearly anything, but it will grow like crazy if you give it ideal conditions (growfoodguide.com).
This will give the plants more opportunities to settle in before the hot weather sets in. If you are starting during the summer months, just make sure it keep it well watered. Everyone that has grown mint before knows that it spreads like wildfire. Mint actually spreads by sending out underground runners.
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This is the natural way of spreading for mint plants. The way to keep it in place is to sink the garden strip at least a foot into the soil. This may not keep every bit from spreading, but it will slow it down to keep it manageable while learning how to grow mint.
Check often for the runners or stolons. Dig around the plants about an inch deep and pull them up. Confine it. Plant it in pots, window boxes, half-barrels, or a long piece of clay pipe sunk into the ground. Even when using confinement or barrier, you still must keep checking for runners.
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Because it is so invasive, we strongly recommend container gardening when growing mint. It’s far easier to control in containers. (For more information: container gardening.) Mix a little sand in with a good food-friendly potting soil (be sure to read the fine print on the bag of potting soil before you purchase.
Some, for those same reasons, will plant the entire pot or container in the ground. If you do this, you will want to leave a couple of inches of the pot sticking out of the ground. Also, keep a careful eye on the mint, and keep its stems trimmed well.
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It may die back a little at first, but it should come back shortly. When mint is coming into flower and has its highest oil content, that is the best time to harvest this and many other herbs. growfoodguide. Just before you harvest mint, spray it with water to wash off any dust or debris.
Clip the branches down to about three inches. Peppermint and spearmint are best fresh; cut as needed. They can be frozen in ice cube trays with a little water. Catnip: Harvest young leaves and flowering tops when fully open, before they turn brown. Both blooms and foliage shrink at least 50 percent.
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The fresh, woodsy fragrance remains after drying. Lemon Balm: Harvest before the plant flowers. Dry quickly or the leaves will turn black. Store in an airtight container Mint is best dried by laying the stems flat on a screen tray. If you have no screen tray, use a flat surface covered with paper towels or cheesecloth.
If you cannot do this, rotate the stems daily to prevent the lower layers from rotting. This rotation also encourages the drying process. Or you can try the paper bag method - grow organic vegetables. Get a large, clean paper bag and place the mint stems in the bag very loosely. Check the bag daily, and move the stems around to encourage a little air circulation.
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Make sure the leaves are completely dry, or they will not keep when putting in containers. It is best to use glass jars with tight-fitting lids. Mint has many commercial and private uses. While commercial companies extract the oil from the leaf, this is a process requiring a large amount of machinery and is thus not doable from home.
Besides its more common use as an herb in cooking, there are many health benefits to owning a spearmint plant, and for the budding gardener, it is a cost-effective and easy-to-maintain plant. One of the most obvious qualities of a spearmint plant is its strong aroma when the leaf is either cut or bruised.
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An amount small enough to hold between the index finger and thumb can be enough to make an aromatic tea. The leaves are useful in a number of recipes ranging from soups and salads to main courses to desserts and are often used in rubs for various kinds of meats.