“Mint is a lover, of steadfast heart
From whom, you can never, be apart”
Mint is a leafing plant that is used as a herb or seasoning. There are many varieties of mint including spearmint and peppermint.
SEASONS: Mint is a perennial plant. It is extremely hardy and can grow easily in tropical and temperate zones. It can be sown and grown in Mumbai all year round.
PROPAGATING: This plant is very easily propagated from seed or cuttings. It is easy to propagate through seed, and extremely difficult to fail with cuttings!
GERMINATING: Mint seeds are best germinated in germination dishes/seeding baskets prepared with a mixture of compost and peat moss. Seeds can be shown in shallow, 1/4 inch deep holes or scattered on the surface with a sprinkling of soil above. Place in semi-shade and spray water evenly. Spray your sown seeds daily until seedlings emerge in 5-7 days
PLANTING OUT: Transplant your mint saplings after about 2 weeks of growth, or when stems seem sturdier. If you are propagating through cutting, which is recommended because it is far simpler, then use fresh, un-refrigerated and sturdy mint stalks for re-planting. Choose acidic, well-drained and heavily manured/composted soil in direct sunlight. Plant your saplings/cuttings in OBLIQUE furrows that are 4-6 inches deep. This is because mint grows obliquely most naturally, and by following that inclination you will be increasing the chances of your mint stalks (now more exposed to soil) to catch root. Mint will grow anywhere, and very easily. It is also an invasive grower, and will quickly colonize space if paired with any other plant. It will then compete aggressively for resources, and in all likelihood, win! For that reason, please ensure that you grow your mint singly, and in containers only.
NURTURING: Mint is extremely easy to grow and requires very little nurturing besides regular watering. Ensure that it is in direct sunlight (this is important) as this will keep it free from most types of disease. Add compost if you feel the quality of its leaf is declining. Also, harvest your plant frequently to prevent bunching, proneness to fungus and insect attacks. During the monsoons, you may want to shelter your mint in a sunny indoor space as excessive direct rainfall (or even watering for that matter) will make its stems black and stringy, causing root rot and the ultimate death of your plant.
HARVESTING: Harvest mint stems as the plant grows. Mint will grow speedily and you will soon have lots to share with friends and family. After a year’s harvest, or when stems turn blackish, replenish your soil and keep growing mint. Do note that it will be difficult to grow almost anything else in that container ever again, as your mint will never completely die out and will be reborn again and again despite your best efforts!
Fresh and fragrant, mint is a delight to grow. Just keep it contained!
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