Mint is the commonest aromatic herb in the world with several species and inherited from the eastern Mediterranean. Mint is the most used herb across the globe since it can be good for foods and drinks. It is because of the peppermint and menthol flavor that produces a lasting and refreshing feel.
Mint has been used in a lot of goods like candies, food and refreshments, and even non-food stuff like mouthwash, toothpaste, and others. Aside from these choices that you can make with mint, it would be fulfilling to harvest your own mint from your backyard. You can discover the right steps without jeopardizing your mint plant with vital information.
Growing And Caring For Your Mint
Mint is one of the quickest herbs to grow. Mint plants are easy to care for, fast-growing, and blossom year-round. Another great thing about a mint plant is that it comes with loads of breeds. In advance, you will encounter what sort of growing conditions you must make to grow a flourishing mint effectively.
Based on the breed you are growing, a mint plant can endure hot and cold weather. The mint plant is very flexible. For example, peppermint is ideal for growing in cold weather, while spearmint blossoms in hot weather. Overall, the mint plant can endure conditions within 55 and 70°.
2. Exposure To The Sun
Usually, the mint plant likes slight to full exposure to the sun. Therefore, you can plant your mint in the sunny and temperate part of your backyard. Six hours of exposure to the sun every day would be enough. You can also grow your mint plant indoors but make certain you put it in areas where light can continuously go through.
3. Soil Features
Mint plants grow favorably in rich, moist, and moderately acidic soil. If you have a minimal supply of rich soil, you can improve poor soil using organic fertilizer. It is also essential to maintain soil moisture, or else your mint plant will have a hard time surviving. You can cover the soil with a small amount of compost.
If you’re growing your mint plant in spots with absolute sun exposure, ensure that you maintain the soil moisture by watering it regularly. Mint plants are usually easy to care for, and the one thing that it often needs is enough water. Ideally, you can water your mint plant in the morning so the water can vie with heat till the afternoon.
If you have nearly a petite garden, you could limit your mint plant to one or two since it has a high tendency to expand for about four inches a month. It is advisable to plant mint at least 2 feet distant from each other by means of this.
As an alternative, if you want to impede it from too much scattering, you can choose to grow your mint plant in containers, either indoors or outdoors.
There are loads of herbs, vegetables, and plants that grow with your mint plant. For example, tomatoes, cabbage, and peas will enrich their flavor if planted nearby mint. Also, mint is favorable to beets, bell pepper, kale, broccoli, eggplant, and others. Mint is common as a helpful and natural insect repellent.
7. Liquid Fertilizer
You can nourish your mint plant with a proportional multipurpose liquid fertilizer before spring when a small stem comes out. You can fertilize every four to six weeks and afterward during the growing period. Nutrients are spilled out faster from potted plants that are often watered.
8. Growing Mint In Containers
To hold the roots and control spreading, you can grow a mint plant in containers above or beneath the ground. Make sure to keep the containers with mint from touching or lying around the ground. It is ideal for keeping them on decks or verandas since they will root and scatter each time they touch the ground.
Spider mites, mealybugs, and aphids can harm your mint plant. Spray it with an intense burst of water or spray with insect-killing soap.
Mints are vulnerable to mildew, mint rust, and verticillium wilt. Avoid elevated watering that can set off plants to fungal diseases. Take out infected or dead leaves and stems from the ground before winter. Relocate the roots in a different location.
Mint rust is a fungal disease where the lower leaves are dotted with orange. You can eliminate the affected leaves and relocate the roots to a different spot.
Harvesting Your Mint
Learning how to harvest mint shows that you can take full advantage of the hard work you put into planting, growing, caring, and maintaining your mint plants.
Here are a few of the useful tips that you can consider when harvesting your mint:
1. Begin Harvesting Anytime After The Spring Period
If you’re aspiring for some mint, it can be harvested if you have a crop of stems that are about 3-4 inches tall.
Harvesting some stems earlier will invigorate continued growth and thicker plants. You want to be certain that the mint plant has a lot of time to be enduring. However, mint will serve fully after pruning.
Mint is usually related to a weed that actively grows in the summer. It is impressive if you’re aiming for some fresh mint tea at the end of the month.
2. Harvest Your Mint Regularly
It’s essential to harvest your mint regularly all through summer, especially if you’re growing a considerable quantity or if you’re cutting some leaves for yourself. Mint will grow quickly with adequate water and sunlight. Excessive growth may cause the mint plant to produce more appealing flowers, but it can remove the aroma and flavor.
The flowers or the seeds are not an issue when you are harvesting mint. If the plant begins to spread, this is a clear sign that it must be harvested or cut.
3. Cutting The Mint Plant Enhances Growth
Cutting the mint plant will renew it to grow new and fresh stems. If you have a huge plot of mint, it can be cut down. Mint has continuous growth, and even if it has been cut down, new growth will come back in a few weeks.
4. Mint Can Be Cut In Any Length
Experts would recommend cutting the mint leaves for about 3 to 4 inches which bloom for simpler use. Apparently, mint leaves can be cut to any length. You can also cut the stem with the length that you prefer.
You can remove some leaves from the stem but doing this may not boost the growth of the plant.
5. Keeping Mint Leaves Fresh
After cutting, mint leaves will savor water. Water may keep mint fresh or even revitalize mint leaves that have withered.
You can put mint in a cup of water and place it on your fridge. You can also put it in a plastic bag and sprinkle it with water and place it on the fridge.
Propagating mint is a good way to gain plants for free that you can make use of in your garden as stuffing in containers or share it with your friends. There are a handful of approaches that you can use for propagating mint, and they are all simple. These approaches are propagation by seed, division, or root cutting.
Growing Mint From Cuttings
Growing mint from cuttings is very easy. With the right setting, it would only take a few days for the cutting to flourish roots. Mint will develop roots from the leaf node on the stems and be perennial in soil or water.
There’s a compromise for these two approaches for propagating mint, so take this into account when choosing which one to utilize. Mint plants rooted in soil are healthier and risk-free from perishing when relocating and potting them up. However, it is challenging to implant cutting with this approach.
On the contrary, it’s a lot easier to implant mint cuttings in water. However, the plants are usually more vulnerable. If rooted in water, mint plants are idler to recover from relocating and risky perishing.
Obtaining Mint Cuttings
The ideal time of the year for propagating is during late spring or before summer when the mint plant begins to grow bigger before they form flowers. Obtain cuttings about 3 to 5 inches long, aiming at the stem to grow more roots. Longer stems are quicker to propagate compared to shorter stems.
Mint cuttings can weaken quickly after removing them from the plant, and you don’t want them to wither before propagating. Prepare the soil or a pot of water before they begin to wither.
Propagating Mint Cuttings From Water
Propagating mint cuttings from water is very simple. All you should do is place them in a pot of water but double-check that not any leaves will touch the water because it will deteriorate. Be sure to keep the cuttings standing to avoid deterioration.
For better outcomes, allow every cutting to grow abundant roots. The heftier the roots, the better they can endure relocation. But don’t keep your mint stay for too long in the water so it won’t deteriorate.
Propagating Mint Cuttings From Soil
Mint propagation with this approach is challenging, but it could be attainable with the right setting. To implant mint cuttings in soil, the air must be humid. The setting outside during summer is perfect, especially if you live in a place with humid conditions.
Prepare the things you might need like propagation soil, pot, plant rooting hormone, and sharp pruners. Coat the cutting stem with rooting hormone as it helps the cutting to grow thick.
Create a hole in the soil using your finger, place the cutting in the hole, gently press down the soil, and cover the cutting. After planting the cuttings, you can water the soil but make sure there’s enough airflow to prevent mildew or deterioration of the cuttings.
FAQs About Mint
What Are The Most Popular Mint Varieties?
Not all mints have a lot in common. You can try growing a handful of varieties at once so you can differentiate their flavors to uncover your favorites.
Apple mint – it has a fruity flavor as expected from its name.
Spearmint – it has huge and succulent leaves with several hybrids.
Lemon mint – delivers a citrusy taste
Peppermint – it has a zesty flavor and comes in a different hybrid.
Chocolate mint – it has a tiny chocolaty taste and scent.
Is Mint Toxic?
It is an edible herb that is non-toxic to humans. But according to experts, the essential oils found in mint are toxic to cats, dogs, and horses. If loads are consumed, it can induce diarrhea or vomiting and even liver failure. Don’t apply mint oil on your pet’s skin or hair.
Is There A Need To Fertilize Mint?
Yes. Mint plant, especially if harvested regularly, requires added nourishment. You can use fertilizer during the spring if growth begins and check the recommended proportion on the label. When growth lessons in the summer, make sure that the soil is humid. You can cover the soil with organic fertilizer, especially if the soil is pebbly or fast to dry up.
How To Preserve Mint?
Mint adores water. Fresh mint must be placed in the fridge. You can cover the fresh mint in a damp cloth and wrap it in plastic. Keeping dried mint needs a sealed container and a place out of contact from light and humidity.
Mint is a cool and rejuvenating herb that grows abundantly. You encounter mint in foods, teas, beverages, body stuff, toothpaste, and many more. Mint is versatile and popular because of its uses and health benefits.
The mint plant is prevalent and liked by many gardeners since it’s easy to grow. It is highly rewarding to harvest your own mint from your backyard. There are several conventional approaches to do without jeopardizing the health of your mint plant. They are easy to care for, succulent, and quickly grow, so there’s no reason to grow your own mint.