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MINT


  How To Grow Mint


PLANT TYPE: Perennial
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Mentha x piperita
ZONE / HARDINESS: 4 - 9
MATURE PLANT SIZE: 12 to 24 inches high x 12 to 24 inches wide
LIGHT: Partial Shade
FLOWERING PERIOD: July to August
SOIL TYPE: Rich, moist well-draining soil
pH RANGE: 6.5
KNOWN PESTS: Spider mites, loopers, flea beetles, root borers, grasshoppers, cutworms, root weevils.
KNOWN DISEASES: Verticillium wilt, mint rust, mint anthracnose


OVERVIEW:

Mint will take over your whole garden if left unattended. That natural vigor makes this hardy perennial a great herb for beginning gardeners - or for anyone who loves mint.

Young, tender leaves and stems are more flavorful than older ones. Best used fresh, as mint loses potency quickly.

Sow seeds in warm, rich, moist well-draining soil, 1/4 inch deep. Thrives in partly shady locations with plenty of moisture and spreads voraciously. Allow 12 to 18 inches between plants. Do not dress the soil with too much organic matter or fresh manure, as this will cause rust problems. Mint is a tough plant and can be harvested as soon as it comes up in the spring. Young, tender leaves and stems are more flavorful than older ones. Best used fresh, as mint loses potency quickly.


PROPAGATION / SOWING:

Cuttings or division. Sow seeds in warm, rich, moist well-draining soil, 1/4 inch deep.


COMPANION PLANTING:

Mint is said to repel aphids, flea beetles, and cabbage pests. Grow mint near roses to deter aphids.


CARE & GROWING:

Take cuttings in summer and place in a growth medium. Keep moist and transplant when the root system is well established. Mint spreads rather quickly by runners. Contain it in pots buried in the garden with the rim exposed or plant in a large area where it can spread. Frequent cuttings or mowing of large plots will keep mints at their prettiest. In late fall, cut plants to the ground and mulch where winters are severe.


HARVESTING:

Mint is a tough plant and can be harvested as soon as it comes up in the spring. Young, tender leaves and stems are more flavorful than older ones. Best used fresh, as mint loses potency quickly.


USAGE:

Aromatic, cosmetic, culinary, and medicinal. Fresh or dried leaves scent sachets and potpourris. They also are used in herbal water to refresh and cool skin, in facials to cleanse skin, and in lotions. Mint flavors candy, gum, teas, mint water, vinegars, jellies, and sauces. It is said to have some medicinal qualities.












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Left unchecked, mint can take over a garden. If you have fertile soil and plentiful rainfall, you may want to keep your mint confined in large planters or hanging baskets.






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