Mint - Which One To Choose And How To Grow? Description Of Species, Agricultural Technology, Photo

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Mint - Which One To Choose And How To Grow? Description Of Species, Agricultural Technology, Photo
Mint - Which One To Choose And How To Grow? Description Of Species, Agricultural Technology, Photo

Video: Mint - Which One To Choose And How To Grow? Description Of Species, Agricultural Technology, Photo

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Video: 5 Tips How to Grow a Ton of Mint in one Container or Garden Bed 2023, February
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Mint, as a medicinal herb, was used as early as 1,500 years before our era. All plants, which we call mint, belong to the Lamb family (Lipoceae), but not all belong to the genus Mint. Almost all of them are distinguished by a strong aroma due to the high content of various essential oils with high volatility. Today mint is used in medicine, soap making, perfumery, cosmetology, winemaking, cooking, ornamental gardening, and the confectionery industry. In this article, we will consider the most interesting varieties of mint, and also talk about the features of growing this plant in the open field.

Mint - which one to choose and how to grow?
Mint - which one to choose and how to grow?

Content:

  • Biological features of mint
  • Garden species and varieties of mint for growing
  • Growing mint at their summer cottage
  • Disease and pest control
  • Harvesting mint and storage

Biological features of mint

In natural conditions, field mint (meadow) is most often found. Its distribution area covers temperate and warm regions of Russia and other countries. In the wild, mint prefers light or slightly shaded humid places along the banks of rivers, various bodies of water, in damp meadows. Under optimal conditions, mint captures free, little overgrown with herbs, areas, which is facilitated by a creeping rhizome.

Even without knowing "by sight" this perennial plant, it can be immediately identified by the specific, pronounced smell of menthol. The ground organs of the field mint contain more than 2.5% of essential oils in the leaves and up to 6% in the inflorescences, including menthol and terpenes, as well as other useful substances: organic acids, carotene, flavonoids, vitamins, glycosides, phytosterols, etc.

Field mint is distinguished by a branched tetrahedral stem covered (not always) with short bristles or softer hairs. Plant height from 10 to 100-130 cm. Leaves of medium size, opposite on short petioles. The leaf blade is ovate-elongated with a pointed apex and serrated edges.

Pollinators are attracted by the pronounced smell of flowers. The flowers themselves are small, pinkish with a lilac tint, collected in a false whorl in the axils of opposite leaves. Long bloom - from June to almost the end of September.

Garden varieties, their varieties and hybrids were obtained from wild mint by the selection method.

Garden species and varieties of mint for growing

Peppermint

Among the cultivated mint, the most famous is peppermint (a hybrid of water and spike mint). They called it peppery for a burning taste that causes a sensation of a "burn" on the tongue when chewing a green leaf.

Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
Peppermint (Mentha piperita)

Has a pronounced menthol aroma. Attracts bees and bumblebees. It is a good honey plant. In appearance, it resembles field mint, but more branched and taller.

At home, it is used in cooking in the preparation of confectionery products, sauces, as a flavoring for fruit drinks, compotes, other drinks and tinctures. It is widely used in folk medicine: a sedative for hypochondria and hysteria, for nervous and heart diseases, for rheumatism, as a mild choleretic, relieves toothache, etc.

Peppermint is used for the production of menthol and essential oil used in the medical, pharmaceutical, perfumery and cosmetic industries.

Menthol mint

It is a kind of pepper. The main distinguishing feature is even greater concentration of menthol than in peppermint, which gives the plants a sharp, persistent odor. The use is the same as for peppermint.

Menthol mint
Menthol mint

Menthol mint is also more resistant to pests and diseases. It tolerates autumn-winter temperature changes well.

On an industrial scale, menthol mint is grown for use in cooking and cosmetology. It is this mint that is usually used to make mojito. In medicine, it is in demand as a choleretic, anti-inflammatory, for the treatment of bronchitis.

Melissa

Melissa is often called lemon, honey mint or mead. But mint and lemon balm are plants of different genera, albeit of the same family. True, these plants are really very similar, so we could not help but include lemon balm in the list of mint, which we recommend to grow in the country.

Lemon Mint, or Melissa (Melissa officinalis)
Lemon Mint, or Melissa (Melissa officinalis)

Melissa has a pronounced lemon aroma with a pleasant refreshing aftertaste. Like peppermint, lemon balm is cultivated as a good honey plant. This is a favorite plant of bees, for which the name of the swarm or bee has taken root among the people.

For its high taste, aromatic and medicinal properties, lemon mint is considered one of the most valuable species of the family. At home, lemon mint is used for stomach atony, as a sedative. Broths are used for dizziness, nervous breakdowns, rheumatic attacks, as a mild choleretic.

The substances contained in the leaves and inflorescences of lemon balm provide antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory activity, have an antipyretic effect, normalize and maintain the normal function of the male sex glands (a kind of aphrodisiac).

In the household, in addition to medical and health-improving methods, it is used in seasonings, salads, soups. It is included in homemade liqueurs and is especially often used as a spicy addition to tea leaves.

Unlike plants of the genus Mint, the leaves of lemon balm, which belongs to the genus Melissa, are round-ovate, with marginal denticles, long-petiolized, bright green. They often grow in rounded perennial bushes. Melissa blooms in the summer (June-July).

Curly mint

Among the people, curly mint carries several names - curly, spike-shaped, spring, garden. It differs from other species by an unusually strong odor, but without a cooling menthol aftertaste.

Curly mint, or spicate (Mentha spicata)
Curly mint, or spicate (Mentha spicata)

Curly mint contains practically no menthol. It is rich in other essential oils (linalool, carvone), which in some industries are valued higher than menthol.

Curly mint is widely used in soap making, in the tobacco and confectionery industries. It finds its use in medicine and cooking.

Home mint, or Plectrantus

Another plant that belongs to a completely different genus is Shporotsvetnik, but to the same family - Lamiaceae. It has a lot in common with mint, which is why the people most often call room or home mint.

Home mint, or Plectrantus
Home mint, or Plectrantus

Under natural conditions, the distribution area is limited to the tropics and subtropics. In temperate regions it can only be grown as a houseplant. We included homemade mint on our list because it is really worth growing, even if not in the garden, but at home.

Plectrantus is also called molar tree. This plant does not like moths and mosquitoes. Indoor mint contains complex essential oils that give them a pleasant mint aroma. The room does not require a special humid microclimate. With proper care, it will decorate your kitchen window and dishes for at least 5 years.

Other types of mint

In addition to the above, in natural conditions and in the gardens of Russia and neighboring countries, cat, Korean, dog, marsh, chocolate, ginger and other plants of the extensive Yasnotkov family grow.

Mint may not have a pronounced mint smell, but it has a number of other valuable qualities and is used in a decorative landscape (shrub forms), for gardening flower beds.

Korean mint is used in North Asia as a medicinal plant with anti-aging properties, it has a positive effect on the healing of the liver, restoration of the immune system.

Dog mint, or ivy budra, is common in Eurasia. It is a good honey plant, providing bees and bumblebees with fragrant nectar in the first half of summer. It is widely used as a medicinal plant.

Catnip, or Catnip, has a distinctive aroma that attracts the feline family. It grows everywhere like a weed, but is used in perfumery, medicine, soap making, and confectionery. In folk medicine, catnip has found application for headaches, for cleansing the skin for skin diseases, for nervous exhaustion, and gastrointestinal diseases.

In general, whatever mint you choose, it is always healthy, fragrant and beautiful. Next, we will consider the features of growing mint in the open field.

Catnip, or Catnip (Nepeta cataria)
Catnip, or Catnip (Nepeta cataria)

Growing mint at their summer cottage

Seat selection

Mint is a very aggressive plant. Its root system is able to fill the garden in a short time. Having decided to grow mint in your garden, you need to take some measures to limit its spread.

It is better to protect the place reserved for mint with slate or other materials at a depth of at least 30-40 cm. Some gardeners advise growing mint in old vapors, buckets, pots, and basins.

Choose a sunny place. This promotes the formation of more essential oils. Mint does not tolerate flooding, it develops well on neutral soil (acidity 6-7 units).

The prepared site is dug up in the fall (it is possible in early spring), it is well leveled. If necessary, apply nitrogen-phosphorus fertilizers (any that are on the farm) at the rate of 1-2 tablespoons without top per square meter. m area. If the site is fertile, no fertilization is needed.

Mint propagation methods

Mint can be propagated in a variety of ways, of which the following are the most common:

  • seeds;
  • dividing the rhizome;
  • cuttings.

Experienced gardeners also use rooting of leaves or petioles. The last two methods cause certain difficulties for beginners, so we will focus on the first three methods.

When propagating by seeds, it must be borne in mind that mint seeds are very small. Seeds are sown in the upper 1 cm layer of prepared moist soil in the second half of April. Sown in summer and autumn, seedlings take root worse.

It is more practical to sow seeds for seedlings and then plant the seedlings in open ground. A high-quality seedling before planting should have a developed root system, 2-3 pairs of leaves and a plant height of at least 5 cm. Planting is carried out in an ordinary way, leaving 15-20 cm in a row between young seedlings and up to 30-35 cm between rows.

Reproduction by dividing the rhizome is most acceptable. Doesn't require special skills and time consuming. In May, the rhizome with the aboveground mass is carefully dug up. Divide the rhizome, depending on the size, into several parts so that each has at least 5-10 growth buds.

The prepared material is planted to a depth of 8-12 cm in an ordinary way. In a row, a distance of up to 15-20 cm is left, and in row spacings - 30-35 cm. Beforehand, humus or wood ash is introduced into each planting hole, which are immediately mixed with the soil. After planting, gently watered with warm water and mulch.

Propagation by cuttings is more often used in indoor cultivation of mint and in warm southern regions. In the northern regions, especially with late planting, cuttings do not have time to take root and may die with the onset of early cold weather.

Cuttings are cut from the upper part of adult plants 8-12 cm long. The cuttings are lowered 1/3 into the water and wait for the roots to appear. To make the roots appear faster, add "Kornevin" or "Heteroauxin" to the water.

Rooted plants are planted in flower pots of 3-5 pieces and exposed to diffused light (windows on the sunny side are covered with paper). The soil in the pot is kept moist (not wet). Mint does not need additional feeding if the soil for planting was well filled with fertilizers or planting was carried out in specially prepared soil (you can buy it in the store).

Mint can be successfully grown in a container
Mint can be successfully grown in a container

Features of caring for mint plantings

Peppermint does not need much maintenance. In the open field, the mint bed must be kept moist by watering through a fine sieve or spray bottle, especially while the plants are young with fragile stems.

Since watering is carried out at a small rate, it is necessary to mulch the soil with fine mulch (you can use sand, ash, mature compost or humus mixed with soil). With high humidity, mostly in shaded areas, mint is often affected by fungal diseases and has a less pronounced aroma.

It is enough to fertilize mint once a year, preferably in the fall, in minimal doses (for 1 sq. M. 1-2 tablespoons of nitroammophoska or other complete fertilizer).

Planting mint must be constantly weeded out. To make the bushes compact and more leafy, the tops of young plants are pinched. This technique stops the growth of mint in height and helps to increase the tillering of plants.

To prevent mint from growing, you need to thin out the beds in the fall, freeing up space for young sprouts and replanting to a new place after 3-4-5 years.

In spring, mint bushes are cut at the root (before the leaves bloom). After pruning, the bush rejuvenates, becomes more lush, more young leafy shoots appear.

Disease and pest control

On plantings of mint, the use of pesticides is strictly prohibited to protect against diseases and pests. Therefore, when growing mint, you need to comply with all the requirements of agricultural technology, carefully monitor the condition of the bushes during the growing season and take timely preventive measures.

Mint is susceptible to fungal diseases (powdery mildew, rust, etc.). To exclude the possibility of disease damage, it is necessary:

  • observe a rarefied landing mode;
  • carry out annual thinning of bushes;
  • loose planting in a timely manner and keep clean from weeds;
  • do not flood the bushes when watering, keep the soil moist (do not allow stagnant water).

If, during the inspection of the bushes, sick people are identified, they are immediately removed and burned.

Of the pests, mint is often attacked by aphids, spider mites, mint flea, leaf rollers, etc. The main activities are reduced to a systematic examination of the bushes and the removal of their damaged parts. If the entire bush is affected, the latter is removed and burned.

From preventive measures, mint can be sprinkled:

  • soapy water;
  • ash extract solution;
  • aphids do not tolerate apple cider vinegar (solution of 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar per 1 liter of water, mix and sprinkle plants in cloudy weather);
  • water infusion of horse sorrel roots or dandelion leaves (300-400 g of plant material per 10 liters of water, leave for 3 hours, drain).

The main condition for processing mint: the solution must be harmless to people and pets.

Cutting young stems with leaves can be carried out when the plants reach a height of 10-12 cm
Cutting young stems with leaves can be carried out when the plants reach a height of 10-12 cm

Harvesting mint and storage

Cutting young stems with leaves can be carried out when the plants reach a height of 10-12 cm. On adult plants, the foliage is removed before flowering. During this period, the leaves have the highest content of essential oils and other beneficial substances.

The cut is washed under running water, laid out in a thin layer on natural burlap or other moisture-absorbing material, you can use loose paper.

In order for the plants to retain their color, they are dried in a dark, well-ventilated area. The material is constantly agitated and turned over so that it does not become moldy.

When the leaves are well dried, the dried mint is stored for storage in a glass container with a ground cork or in bags made of natural fabric. Store in a dry, dark place.

Properly dried mint can be stored for 1-2 years and used as needed for making teas, drinks, as part of medicinal preparations, or as seasonings for first and second courses. To prolong the use of fresh leaves, they are frozen, stored for a while in the refrigerator and used when necessary.

Dear Readers! Mint is very easy to grow. She does not need complicated agricultural techniques. By planting mint in your garden, you will always have a fragrant spice and medicinal material for the prevention and treatment of many diseases.

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