Peppermint - Seeds
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Mint is a perennial with very fragrant, toothed leaves and tiny purple, pink, or white flowers. It has a fruity, aromatic taste.If mint is the perfect place to begin when learning to grow an herb garden, why then are there don ts about growing the plant?
Mint is not just easy to grow, but its roots, which are called "runners," are incredibly invasive: they quickly grow, sprouting new leaves and new plants as they go.Peppermint has a long tradition of medicinal use, with archaeological evidence placing its use at least as far back as ten thousand years ago.
Peppermint has a high menthol content, and is often used in tea and for flavouring ice cream, confectionery, chewing gum, and toothpaste.
Common name: Peppermint
Height: 1 to 2 feet tall.
Difficulty level: Easy
Planting & Care
Sunlight: Thrives best in full or partial sun.
Soil: Does best in rich, drained soil that is high in loam.In the ground, select a damp area in your garden in either full sun or part shade. Mint prefers fertile soil with a pH from 6.0 to 7.0. Mint is plenty vigorous on its own, but will appreciate a little fertilizer every few weeks, especially if you harvest a lot.
Water: Keep the soil moist and mulch around the plant to keep its roots moist. Add water-retaining polymer to the potting soil to be sure that it stays moist.
- Spacing & Location: Plant mint in the spring, or in the fall in frost-free climates, setting seedlings 18 to 24 inches apart.
- The most popular way to grow mint is in a pot where you can keep it in check and handy near the kitchen for a constant supply of sprigs.
- For growing outdoors, plant one or two purchased plants (or one or two cuttings from a friend) about 2 feet apart in moist soil.
- One or two plants will easily cover the ground.
- Mint should grow to be 1 or 2 feet tall.
- In the garden, plant mint near cabbage and tomatoes.
- If you don’t want an entire bed of mint, buy some plants or take some cuttings from a friend and plant them in containers filled with potting mix enriched with compost.
- Remember to keep the plants in a sunny spot.
Harvesting: Keep plants in check by harvesting the tips regularly and pulling up wayward runners. Mint’s small flowers bloom from June to September; trim these before the buds open to keep the plant compact. Although slightly frost tolerant, the top of mint will eventually die back in winter except in zones 8 and south, but the root are quite hardy. Lift and replant your mint every 3 to 4 years to keep your patch’s flavor and scent strong.Preservation: Can be dried and stored as any herb or spice in an air-tight container.
- Minimal care is needed for mint.
- For outdoor plants, use a light mulch.
- This will help keep the soil moist and keep the leaves clean.
- For indoor plants, be sure to water them regularly to keep the soil evenly moist.
- DoWhen choosing a location for your mint, find one where the plant will receive morning sun and partial afternoon shade.
- Plant on a patio, in a container.
- When planting the herb in a flower bed, first submerge a container (either a pot, a mesh bag or edging to at least 5 inches deep), leaving the rim above ground level when potted, so the mint s fast-growing root system will be contained.
- Otherwise, the herb will take over your garden and lawn in an annoying weed-like fashion.
- Harvest mint sprigs before the plant flowers.
- To extend the harvesting season, pinch off the flowering buds as they appear.
- If planting your mint in a garden bed, apply mulch to help keep it from spreading.
- Locate mint plants fifteen inches apart, and thin them regularly.
- If planting your mint indoors, locate your container where it will receive good morning light but where it will also be away from drying heating elements.
- Don tPlant mint in an open bed without first submerging a vessel that will contain the herb s wild-growing roots.
- If planting mint in a bed using a submerged pot, be sure it s not cracked.
- The "runners" will find their way out and continue to spread.
- Plant the herb in super moist conditions where it won t dry out.
Uses:Mice dislike the smell of peppermint. Spread it liberally where you suspect the critters. To relieve a tension headache, apply a compress of mint leaves to your forehead. Peppermint oil has a wide usage base. It is used for dental care as it is a powerful antiseptic. It treats bad breath and is useful for treating toothaches. It is also a good bronchodilator, helping to relieve nasal congestion, cold and cough. It provides relief from stress and mental exhaustion. It is also a good immunity-booster, blood circulator and cooling hair-tonic for dandruff and lice.
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