Mint – A Garden Herb for Many

02/17/2013

Mint – A Garden Herb for Many

 

When considering which herbs to plant, the mint is probably one that come to mind. And why not? It can be used for many dishes in the kitchen – for soups (especially that with carrots, peas and potatoes), roast lamb and other meats, salads, etc.

But unlike other herbs, the flavorful mint has a tendency to seek garden domination. It is a rapid grower, and if not kept in check, it can choke and kill other plants grown with it.

Now before you decide to forget about planting it, I should tell you that you can still enjoy growing this as long as you observe certain precautions. And when you grow them properly, it can be rewarding to plant. The are easy to care for and can grow in any type of soil. Whether you put them under either full sunlight or full shade, it will still grow.

There are 3 types of mints usually grown by the herb gardener:

Pennyroyal mint – the most common.

Spearmint – traditionally the one used for cooking, with mint sauces.

Peppermint – with the usual peppermint flavor we associate with candies.

healthy-happy-herbs-mint

Mint can easily be grown from seeds or seedlings and should be planted a foot to 15 inches apart from one another. Although it can actually thrive under any type of soil, its all-time favorite would be a fertile, well-drained soil (just like most herbs in your garden).

It is advisable though, to plant it in a container or pot first, before transferring the pot into the ground. This would prevent the roots from spreading on to other herbs and plants and will lessen the likelihood of unconscious plant murder. As long as the roots are contained, it will never be able to grow beyond the pot and will stay so for as long as the pot holds it.

It takes to container growing well. Water it regularly (but not too much, even though they love moisture) and try to feed with organic liquid plant food (found in gardening stores in your area) at least once a month during growing season.

Like other plants, it can be affected by bugs and pests. Unfortunately, they are more prone to a particular plant disease called rust. Always check your leaves, especially the undersides. If there are orange, rust-colored blobs on the leaf itself, immediately cut it to avoid the disease from spreading.

However, if a lot of leaves have been affected, the best option is to cut the plant down and burn it to avoid the rust from spreading to not just it, but to other plants as well. Discard the soil and clean the pot or container with disinfectant before putting new soil in it and replanting.

When harvesting its leaves, don’t remove all the leaves at once – doing so will hamper its growth. Try to cut the leaves at the top of the plant (to encourage the leaves to grow at the sides). Cut only what you need, using a pair of scissors.

It is a pretty reliable herb once you get to know it. Mastering the ways of its containment is the key to completing your perfect home herb garden.

If you would like to learn more about growing mints and other herbs that are perfect for beginners, I recommend a guide like “Healthy Happy Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide To Herbs and Herb Gardening”. Following a comprehensive guide can make growing easier and more rewarding for you. It can help minimize mistakes when you have everything you need from just one source.

If you are serious about cultivating an organic herb garden, be sure to check out “Healthy Happy Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide To Herbs and Herb Gardening” by Jeannie Woods. It’s a book packed with all the information you need to be able to successful start and keep a thriving organic herb garden.

CLICK on the link below to learn more.

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