Herb of the Day for April 9th
Width: 18 to 24 inches (45 – 60cm). However plants will spread much further.
Days to Harvest:
USDA Hardiness Zones:
- Mentha piperita , Peppermint – The best for mint flavoring. (USDA Zones 5 – 11)
- M. piperita citrata cv., Orange Mint – One of the tangiest of the fruit flavored mints. (USDA Zones 4 – 11)
- Mentha suaveoloens , Apple Mint – Apple. Mint. What’s not to like? (USDA Zones 5 – 11)
- Mentha suaveolens variegata, Pineapple Mint – Variegated offshoot of apple mint. (USDA Zones 6 – 11)
Mint prefers a rich, moist soil with a slightly acidic pH between 6.5 and 7.0. If the soil is somewhat lean, top dress yearly with organic matter and apply an organic fertilizer mid-season, after shearing.
To contain the roots and limit spreading, you can grow mint in containers, above or sunk into the ground. Be careful to keep container mints from flopping over and touching the ground. Stems will root quickly, if given the chance.
Harvesting: Snip sprigs and leaves as needed.
If you don’t harvest your mint regularly, it will benefit greatly from a shearing mid-season. At some point, you will probably notice the stems getting longer and the leaves getting shorter. That’s the time to cut the plants back by 1/3 to ½ and get them sending out fresh new foliage again. You can do small patches at a time, if you have a lot of mint, and prolong the harvest season. All cuttings can be used, dried or frozen for later use. You can use, dry or freeze the cuttings.
Pests & Problems: Sometimes gets rust, which appears like small orange spots on the undersides of leaves. Use an organic fungicide and try to allow plants to dry between waterings.
Stressed plants may also be bothered by whitefly, spider mites, aphids, mealybugs
Recipe Suggestions for Enjoying Your Fresh Mint
- Make a Mint Julep Video
- Kentucky Derby Mint Julep Cake Recipe
- Pea and Mint Soup Recipe
- Chocolate Mint Syrup
- Mint Tea Recipe – Mint Tea with Lemon and Orange Juice
- Fennel and Orange Salad With Mint
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