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How to grow mint: instructions forgrowing mint in potsor in the garden. Advice on the care to be dedicated to the plant, the varieties and cultivation.
There mint it is a perennial plant that is grown above all for its aromatic properties: the leaves give off a very pleasant intense smell and for this reason they are used both for delicious recipes and for the preparation of infusions and healing herbal teas. In addition, you can prepare an excellent tea flavored with mint or use the leaves in many cocktails, the first of all is the famous Mojito.
Variety of mint
There are many variety of mint, among the best known we find the peppermint, a hybrid between the aquatic mint species and the viridis mint. Mentha spicata is the species that is most cultivated even if many prefer the species with rounded leaves, that is, Mentha rotundifolia.
When it comes tomint plants, do not confuse themint and mintwhich are not different cultivars but real different plants!
With the term mint all the plants of the genus Mentha are identified, among other species of mint, we have already mentioned the Menta spicata but there is also the wild mint (mentha arvensis), mint with elongated leaves (mentha longifolia), with rolled leaves (Mentha rotundifolia) ... By crossing these species, a large number ofvariety of mint, these are botanically selected cultivars for certain characteristics. Among the most popular cultivars is the hierba buena mint, a South American variety famous for being the "mint for mojito“.
Another very popular variety is thecat mintiscat mint. Cat mint has a fast growth, reaches a height of 80-100 cm, can be easily grown in the garden or in pots.
With the termmint, on the other hand, the species Clinopodium nepeta is identified, this is also an aromatic plant of the Lamiaceae but this time the genus to which it belongs is not that of the “Mentha” but Clinopodium.
We will show you below how to grow mint following some indications.
How to grow mint
The cultivation of mint does not require special knowledge. Just follow a few simple rules:
- Location: Grow mint in full sun or light shade.
- Soil: prefer fertile and fresh soils, clayey or too humid soils favor the appearance of fungal diseases.
- Mint in the garden: rotate the plants to prevent them from being on the same ground before 6-7 years.
- Irrigation: water regularly, avoiding stagnation of water: it is sufficient for the soil to be moist.
- Fertilization: proceed with fertilization in spring, at least once every 2-3 years.
- Drastic pruning: for a second harvest in autumn it is necessary to cut the plant low to the ground in June.
When to plant mint
Planting takes place in autumn or spring. The seedlings can be purchased in the nursery but you can also just get some roots maybe from a neighbor.
There propagation of mintit is very simple: it is sufficient to divide the rhizomes into two or more parts and replant them to obtain single plants. Mint is a very prosperous, almost invasive plant, it propagates through the rhizomatous roots in a very simple way.
If you want to startgrowing mint from seed, theperiodbest falls in autumn or between late winter and early spring.
The germination times of themint seedsthey vary from species to species but above all according to temperatures. On average, within 7 days ofsowingyou should find some already strong shoots.
How to sow mint
You cansowthe mint on soft soil, in a seedbed, wait until the plant has produced 4 - 5 leaves and then place it in the permanent home. Alternatively you can continue with thesowing in pots, use sifted universal soil, sow and keep the soil slightly moist.
Mint has a very fast growth therefore thecultivationstarting from the seed is recommended. Keep in mind that by sowing in early spring you can get the first harvests already in the second half of the same season.
Where to buy mint seeds? Everywhere! In garden centers, nurseries, agricultural consortia or on the web. On "this Amazon page", for example, you can find the seeds of the "cat's mint" variety with a particular aromatic scent. Also on Amazon there is the classic peppermint or mojito mint which we will talk about later. Cat mint is perfect from grow in pots or in the garden.
Growing mint in the garden
To prevent the mint plant invades the whole ground, you have to dig a groove 30 or 40 centimeters deep around the space dedicated to it or bury wooden planks all around the perimeter in order to contain the rhizomes.
Peppermint grows quickly reaching a height of 30-45 centimeters, cat mint reaches a height of 80 - 100 cm. Once the plant has grown sturdy enough, you can peel off the leaves for your needs.
Mint can also be enjoyed out of season, just dry it or freeze its leaves. You can growing mint in pots even at home, so as to increase the harvesting period.
How to grow mint in pots
Here are some practical tips for the cultivation of mint in pots.
- Choose a pot with a diameter of 45 cm
- Theremintprefers a rich, moist soil with a slightly acidic pH between 6.5 and 7. If the soil in which you start thecultivation of mintit's a little poor, add some organic fertilizer.
- Since mint prefers acidic soil, avoid irrigating potted mint with tap water if it is very hard. Flush the potted mint with distilled water, rainwater, or water from the conditioner.
- If you don't pick up themintwith a certain frequency, this will begin to propagate and grow in an immeasurable way compared to the container offered, the mint in pots must be collected often or you will have to proceed with periodic thinning pruning.
For all the care to devote to the plant: potted mint
How to grow mint for mojito
The mojito is a Cuban drink and in its homeland, the species of mint cultivated and used for the mojito is Mentha nemorosa. This mint, in our climate, would have some difficulty in thriving. If you want to grow mojito mint (Mentha nemorosa) in addition togrow mint in potsyou will also have to grow it at home.
Mojito mint also differs in the darker colored shoots of classic peppermint.Where to buy a mojito mint plant? In specialized nurseries or by taking advantage of online sales. At “this Amazon address” a mint plant for mojito (it can be recognized by the shape of the leaves, the callosity of the leaves to the touch, the particular scent and the darker color of the shoots) can be bought for about 16 euros.