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Planting,Growing and Maintaining the Mint plants

Planting,Growing and Maintaining the Mint plants

 A complete guideline to planting, growing and maintaining the mint plants in the garden

Introduction

Mint is one of the most widely grown herbs all over the world. It is an easy to grow herb in your garden and is used specifically to add flavor and taste to daily meals. In agronomic terms, it is a perennial herb with fragrant leaves and flowers of varying colors. 

Flowers of mint vary from pink to purple to white. Demand for fresh mint is always high in the marketplace due to its fresh, fruity, and dazzling smell or aroma. A total of 13 to 24 mint varieties exist. Each mint variety has a specific taste and aroma. 

Following is the list of most widely grown mint varieties:

  • Peppermint
  • Pennyroyal 
  • Spearmint 
  • Apple mint 
  • Orange mint 
  • Chocolate mint 
  • Pineapple mint 

The aforementioned mint varieties are crucial as kitchen companions due to their fragrant smell and aroma. Additionally, mint oil is obtained from mint which is used in different industries like toothpaste, beauty products candy, and gums. 

Similarly, the herb has proven to be beneficial for boosting brain memory. Mint contains a blast of green energy. This herb is a versatile, safe, effective and easy to grow herb. 

The first section of this article is related to “How to grow mint in the garden and major pests and diseases. The second section elucidates the factors affecting the growth and productivity of the mint plant and the last section is predefined for frequently asked questions. 

How to grow the mint in your garden?

  • Mint grows profusely in light soils that are high draining.
  • Most mint varieties are winter hardy so they can be grown in cool regions. 
  • Both indoor and outdoor gardening is possible in mint.
  • Unlike other herbs, mint can grow exquisitely in little sunshine and sandy or stony places.
  • While considering growing mint in the garden use nursery plants that are fresh and without any contamination. 
  • In the kitchen or outdoor garden keep in mind to maintain 2 feet row to row distance to avoid issues like overcrowding.
  • Consider growing mint in well-draining, sandy soils with medium fertilizers. 
  • Mint is known for overgrowth and space consumption. It is a good gardening practice to always check for overgrowth and overcrowding. Both overcrowding and overgrowth lead to the development of various diseases, infections, and infestations.
  • Like most herbs, mint adores growing in moist soils. So, a constant supply of water will be very beneficial for the righteous growth and development of the herb.
  • It is healthier to avoid growing mint herbs in soggy or humid soils.
  • It is vital to water the mint when the soil is dry enough. The herb cannot withstand drought conditions. Grow the mint in such a spot in your garden where water is easily accessible.
  • A constant supply of sunlight is another big factor for the bona fide growth and development of mint. It is vital to grow the herb in such a spot where there is lots and lots of sunshine. Time and rate of sunlight is directly correlated with better growth and development.
  • If your garden does not receive 6 to 8 hours of daily sunlight. Do not worry the herb will do fine; it grows admirably in shady places as well.  
  • 16N:16P:16K granular fertilizer is without exception recommended by gardeners and farmers. In any event, apply granular fertilizers close to the root section and circumvent applying the fertilizer to the foliage section.
  • Always look for overcrowding and overgrowth. Both of these factors lead to the development of insecticidal and fungal diseases.
  • To avoid overcrowding and overgrowth, pruning is considered one of the best practices to maintain good and attractive mint foliage in your garden.
  • Always check for insects such as aphids, cutworms, mint root borers, and spider mites. These insects attack your mint during the spring and summer seasons. 
  • Established management of mint is required for bona fide growth and development. First follow all the cultural practices such as pruning, handpicking, etc. for removing and dealing with infected mint. If the disease and infections are out of control then use insecticides for dealing with insects and fungicides for dealing and killing any forms of fungal diseases. 

Growing mint plants in your garden

A garden without mint is half empty. Growing mint in the garden provides a way of supplying fresh mint to your kitchen for consumption. What are the most common methods of growing mint in the garden?

The first method of growing mint is through seed and the other way is through root cuttings. 

  • Seed
  • Root cuttings

Seeds: Except peppermint, all other mint varieties can be grown in the garden with the help of seeds. You may ask why not peppermint? It is because peppermint cannot produce viable seeds. 

One cannot grow peppermint from the seeds in the garden. All other important mint types such as spearmint, orange mint, chocolate mint, and apple mint can be easily grown in the garden to get the whole plant. 

Stem or cuttings: The other most viable option for growing mint in the garden is through pruned stems or cuttings. This is one of the fast and easiest methods of growing mint in the garden. 

 Cut a rooted piece of a growing mint from the parent plant and then pot in the well-draining soil to get a whole mint plant. All varieties of mint can be propagated in this way. 

Both indoor and outdoor gardening is possible in mint production and cultivation.

If you want to grow a mint plant with the help of a vigorous mint seed simply dip the seed 1 to 2 inches down into the soil. Keep proper care for elements such as water supply, fertilizers and cultural practices to grow a vigorous high-performing mint plant.

If you choose to grow mint with stem or cuttings then sink the cuttings or stems into the soil leaving the tip sticking out an inch or so. 

Remember to keep and maintain a proper row to row and column to column distance of 2 feet among each mint plant to avoid overcrowding. The 2 feet distance among mint plants limits the chances of fungal infections and insects attack on the leaves.   

Major pests and diseases of mint in the garden and its management

The major diseases of the mint are as follow:

  • Mint rust
  • Powdery mildew 
  • Black stem rot 
  • Verticillium wilt 
  • Anthracnose

Mint Rust: It is the common disease of the mint her. The rust-causing agent is fungus where it makes fresh green leaves turn dusty orange with orange, black and yellow spots on leaves. This type of rust targets the foliage section.

How to save your mint from mint rust? 

  • Thinning and pruning are considered one of the best practices to limit the chances and occurrence of rust infection. This method allows the herb a better flow of fresh air in the foliage section.
  • The second top-notch practice to limit the chances for the spread of the fungus is by watering at the base of the mint Watering the foliage section causes mint rust to spread and in return disaster for the herb. 
  • Always water the herb in the morning time and avoid watering at noon and evening.
  • With the help of loppers and pruning shears cut off or prune rust-infected leaves.

In this way, you can save your mint from contracting a fungal infection. If contracted you can limit the chances of spreading by apply fungicides that are available in the market.

Powdery mildew: The second most common disease in mint is powdery mildew. This fungal infection infects the leaves, stems and petioles of the mint. White to grey spots are formed on herb foliage and shoot section. 

How to save your mint in the garden from powdery mildew?

  • Remove all the powdery infected leaves with pruning shears or loppers and throw them away.
  • Keep your mint in sunlight with proper aeration.
  • If powdery mildew is uncontrollable then consider applying a mixture of 1 tablespoon of baking soda with half tablespoon of non-detergent soap mixed in one gallon of water.
  • Spray the mixture on the plant. 
  • If the powdery mildew infection is too severe then use a fungicide to limit the spread of the disease.

In this way, you can save your mint in the garden from powdery mildew.

Black Stem Rot: The causing agent of black stem rot is Thielaviopsis basicola. It is easily identifiable in mint with large black spots. This disease left behind black spots on leaves and stems.

How to deal with black stem rot in the garden?

In this scenario consider using cultural practices such as:

Pruning and cutting dead, diseased and decolorized leaves and stems from the main stem of the mint.

Keep the mint in the pot in such a place where it receives lots and lots of sunshine with good airflow.

If the infestation of fungus is too high or too severe then consider applying fungicides such as benzimidazole group-MOA3.

In this way, you can deal with black stem rot in the mint garden.

Verticillium Wilt: Verticillium wilt is among the top 5 fungal infections seen infecting the mint in the garden. This disease is caused by Verticillium fungi. It damages the mint in such a way that the plant will lose its upstanding position and eventually die. 

How to treat Verticillium wilt? 

Sadly, there is no effective treatment as of now for Verticillium wilt. The aforementioned cultural practices can save the herb from contracting the diseases. 

 Mint Anthracnose: It is also known as a leopard spot. This fungus infects the lower section of leaves and stems. Mint Anthracnose becomes too severe under wet conditions. This infection can be easily identified with the presence of small and sunken brown spots on lower leaves and stem parts.

How to treat mint anthracnose in the garden? 

  • First and foremost, treat the infected section such as the lower sides of the leaves and stem with hot water. The water temperature should be around 127 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes. 
  • Secondly, use the bleach solution to kill the spores of the fungus. The bleach solution is prepared with 1 part of bleach to 10 parts of the water. 

In this way, you can save your mint in the garden area. 

Is mint safe for use?

Undoubtedly, herbs are in the top tier when we talk about their usefulness in the plant kingdom. They play a vital role in maintaining our health and physique. Like all other herbs, mint is one of the most useful herbs concerning its usefulness and nutrition. 

Historically, many doctors have used mint as a medicine for treating many diseases and ailments. 

Following are some of the best benefits of using and consuming mint in our daily diet:

  • According to the Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics report by Burmo P. Chumptzai mint is very useful in reducing various gastrointestinal problems and ailments such as children suffering from stomach pain, IBS, indigestion and stomach sickness. 
  • According to their report and scientific research mints were seen killing harmful bacteria and other microbes in the gut section and regulating muscle relaxation etc. 
  • Mints work very well for asthma patients. According to the study conducted by F. Shakeri et al. 2019 on rats concluded that rosemarinic acid available in mint contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents and thus providing a way out for asthma patients. 
  • It relieves common cold conditions. It is estimated that mint soothes common cold problems. The leaves of the mint contain methanol which works for soothing and fighting the common cold.
  • A blast of green energy. Mint consumption is beneficial for improving the memory functions of the brain. The herb works as a brain tonner.
  • The mint contains a variety of vitamins, minerals and proteins in its leaves. They all are very important for maintaining a good and balanced life. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Mint

Does mint need full sun?

Mint adores lots and lots of sunshine to grow and thrive. Additionally, it grows profusely in shady places as well.

What conditions does mint-like to grow in?

Mint is a perennial plant that adores growing in such areas where it receives plenty of sunshine during the daytime. Additionally, it grows very well in well-draining soft soils. Mint always avoids dry areas like arid climates. It is a good agronomic practice to water when soil is seen getting dry. 

Avoid planting mint near herbs like sage, thyme, rosemary, etc. because mint-like wet and well-draining soils while aforementioned herbs love to grow in dry soils that is well-draining. 

Apply 16N:16P:16K granular fertilizers each year for proper growth and development of the mint plant. 

 

How often does a mint plant need to be watered?  

Water the mint every week during hot and dry weather with 1 to 2 inches of water while water the mint every 2 to 3 weeks during the cool season. Mint loves water but avoids soggy soils and wet feet. 

What temperature does mint grow in?

Temperature is another big factor for the mint to properly grow and develop. It thrives better in 55 to 70 degrees F (13-21 degree C) temperatures. 

Why is my mint dying?

There may be several reasons which are responsible for the mint to die. The following are the main causes:

  • Not watering properly: Water the mint in the garden every week during hot and dry weather and every 2 to 3 weeks during the cool rainy season to keep the mint fresh and recover from dying. 
  • Planting the mint in small pots: In the case of indoor gardening using small pots will lead to the death of the mint. In small pots, the roots of the herb will not grow properly thus limiting plant growth and development and eventually the mint will die. 
  • Limited nutrient supply: An economical supply of fertilizers is always recommended by gardeners and horticulturists for mint proper growth and development. A little to no nutrients will make the mint die.

Can mint be grown in pots?

The answer is yes. You can grow several varieties of mint in each pot. But consider always using big pots to grow the mint. Small pots make the plant dry and die eventually. Among all pots, strawberry pots are considered a prominent choice to grow a wide array of mint in the garden. 

You can grow chocolate mint, peppermint, ginger mint, orange mint and apple mint in the garden pots. 

Why is mint not growing?

To grow mint in the garden requires well-draining wet soils with an efficient supply of nitrogenous fertilizer supply. These factors if not available make the mint stunted. Arrange these things for the mint to grow properly in the garden. 

Can you revive a dead mint plant?

Yes, you can revive a dead mint plant. Consider the following points to revive the dead mint plant:

  • Cut off or prune all the dead and dried leaves and throw them away.
  • Check out the root section. If most of the roots are dry and dead then consider pruning some foliage section. 
  • Prune all the dead stems.
  • Pruning the dead stems back to the green section will promote the growth of new shoots the next season.
  • Properly water your mint and apply the granular fertilizers. 

 

 

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