From a refreshing tea to a classic sauce for roast lamb and new potatoes, mint is one of the most useful culinary herbs. It’s also one of the best herbs for attracting beneficial insects into the garden, such as hoverflies, lacewings and butterflies.
How to grow mint
It seems like these hardy perennials want to take over the world. Mins plants spread so fast and can become nuisance if you leave them unchecked. Make sure to plant them in areas where it’s fine to take over. Mints can be grown in confined areas or containers as well.
There are a lot of different varieties of mint such as: peppermint, spearmint, bergamot, apple mint, pineapple mint, orange mint and meadow tea. You must have heard for peppermint since probably this is the most common variety and you can identify it by its purple leaves. Since mint stems are square, it makes their plants easy to be identified, which can grow from 1 to 3 ft tall.
Mints can grow in different soil types, yet these plants prefer loose, fertile soil where they can be easily spread. These plants can grow closely to the surface and they send out runners which are also known as stolons. These runners grow underground but also on the surface. You can grow mints throughout the growing season.
Mint plants, which will developed in both sunny and shady territories, are difficult to discover. Since they are so productive, any individual who develops mints will be so happy to give you a bunch to plant. Cultivate stores more often than not convey no less than maybe a couple assortments of mint plants. Seeds are additionally simple to discover. Mint seeds can be sown specifically in the ground outside after the risk of ice is past. Keep the dirt clammy until the seeds grow. Seeds can be begun inside eight to 10 weeks before the last ice.
You can propagate mints from cuttings as well. Just take a 3 or 4 inch cutting of stem from some other mature plant. Now, take out the bottom leaves and put the stem in a container of water and place it on a windowsill. It will take about a week for the new plant to establish roots.
Growing mint plants doesn’t require much work once you do it right. The hardest task would be the profilic plants from taking over the garden. Routine slicing of the plants to use in your most loved formulas will keep it from spreading to undesirable territories.
You can harvest mints anytime you want. They poke through the soil after the danger of frost is over and they grow until frost temporarily kills off the growth.
How to care for mint
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.
In autumn, divide to make new plants. 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.
Common Pests & Plant Diseases
Mint is generally not bothered by pests or diseases. But it can sometimes get rust, which appears as small orange spots on the undersides of leaves. Use a fungicide, and try to allow plants to dry between waterings. Stressed plants also can be bothered by common garden pests, including whiteflies, spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs. Sometimes fixing the problem can be as easy as correcting the growing conditions.