CARING FOR MINT IN YOUR GARDEN
Here we have another new aromatic plant to incorporate into our garden or orchard of aromatic plants . It is sure that you know it, but perhaps you have not yet dared to cultivate it. We highly recommend it, even to combine it with vegetables in your organic garden, due to its pest repellent properties. Today, at Gardenprue, we talk about mint care.
THE CULTIVATION OF MINT
The properties of mint have been known for a long time and it has been intensively cultivated in Europe for 4 centuries. Peppermint is used as an active ingredient in essential oils, pain relievers, and as an aid to relieve cold symptoms. We can achieve all this within a stone’s throw if we go out to our garden and collect the leaves of our mint.
CLIMATE AND SOIL SUITABLE FOR THE CARE OF MINT
The climate where mint grows is typical of a temperate climate and conditions of semi-shade or shady areas, since the direct sun burns the leaves and reduces humidity, an important requirement in the cultivation of mint.
Most aromatic plants, such as mint, adapt to a wide variety of soils . However, for the perfect mint care, a soil with good drainage and a good content of organic matter is chosen or transformed.
In this way the soil will have a good moisture content, which is also part of a requirement of this aromatic plant. If we had to choose a soil structure, we would say that clay soil is the most suitable for this crop.
THE SUBSCRIBER. AN IMPORTANT REQUIREMENT IN MINT CARE
If we defined two key concepts in the cultivation of mint, one would be the fertilizer that is added and the moisture content , related to the frequency and amount of irrigation that is applied (and that we will see later).
It is an especially demanding plant in organic or mineral fertilizer. The soil where it is going to be cultivated is prepared with a mixture of soil and compost or manure. Generally, these two ways of paying are enough.
It may present some mineral deficiencies such as chlorosis (look at the leaves) if the soil is very poor. In that case you will have to provide some mineral fertilizer of the many that we mentioned.
If you have conventional fertilizers on hand, you can opt for the 1-1-1 balance that provides triple 15 or triple 20.
The amounts to be contributed, at the garden level, we can do by distributing a little compost around each plant. The water that we contribute with the irrigation or the rain itself will solubilize and release the fertilizer, providing nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium to the mint.
In this way, the production of leaves will increase, the accumulation of essential oils will increase and the color of the plant will improve.
HOW TO WATER IDEALLY
This is the crux of the matter in mint care. It needs abundant watering , constant humidity. With these conditions, a continued growth of the plant and a rapid development and expansion of the crop are ensured (mint grows very quickly).
Although, before we have mentioned the choice of soil with good drainage to avoid, while watering, waterlogging and the formation of fungi. In summer, irrigation must be very continuous , although you can also use some tricks such as mulching to more efficiently accumulate moisture in the soil.
If you carry out the irrigation as we have commented, the mint will expand its space to the point that it can become invasive. We control this through pruning, limiting the space where we want it to develop.
When this happens, it is that of course you are doing things very well. A poorly developed plant will worry about surviving in the poor conditions in which it grows, before wanting to expand and “conquer” ground.
Mint reproduces successfully by cuttings or stolons . If it is done by cuttings, you have a period from the end of winter (watch out for frost) until the beginning of spring. And by stolons in autumn or spring.
And for seeds? Yes, it can also be done. It is a slower process that requires about 1 month of germination in seedling or indoor conditions. The drawback is that by seeds the genetics of the mother plant are no longer obtained and hybridizations of unsuitable plants can occur.
OTHER TYPES OF MINTS
Not all of the bush is… mint. Within the genus Mentha there are others among which we have two very famous: