Types & Cultivation

Mints

Mint


Also known as Water Mint and Wild Mint. It is available in fresh or dried leaves. Dried leaves will keep for 6 months to 1 year in a cool, dark, dry place.

 

Mint is an herb that comes in many varieties such as peppermint, spearmint, apple mint, lemon mint and even chocolate mint. Mint came to the New World with colonists, who used it in tea for medicinal purposes.

 

Mint is used for seasoning lamb, vegetable such as carrots, bell pepper, and tomatoes, in yogurt dressings, and breads. It is also used in the Middle East for salads, tabouli and marinated vegetables.

 

Mint is good in soups, salads, sauces, plain meat, fish and poultry, stews, sweet or savory recipes, extremely good with chocolate or lemon based desserts. Add near the end of cooking for a better flavor.

 

Cultivation of Mint

Site: Likes moist, well drained, alkaline soil rich in nutrients. Does not do well in well manured soils. Does well in full sun or partial shade. Water frequently, but it will not die if it goes dry.

Propagation: The easiest way to propagate mint, and to know exactly what you're getting, is to take root cuttings from established plantings. Don't even attempt to grow from seed. In fact with all the hundreds and hundreds of hybridized varieties, just let your nose choose the mint you want instead of relying on a name.

Growing: Plant pieces of root 2 inches deep and 9 inches apart in autumn or spring. Top dress with compost in autumn if the plants are not lifted annually. Thin or transplant plants to 12 inches apart into large pots or polyethene bags to restrain invasive roots. Mint can easily take over your herb garden. (If rust appears, the plant must be dug up and burned.) Don't be afraid to cut and prune, even right down to the soil. This can be a couple of times a year, to keep it from going woody.

Harvesting: Pick leaves of this herb plant just before flowering. The best leaves to use are the top bud and first two leaves; pinch out the growing tip rather than cut a whole stem.

Culinary Uses: Peppermint's sweet, strong mint flavor is good for many candies. Spearmint's flavor is stronger but less sweet than peppermint and and along with Bowles mint is the variety used to make traditional mint sauce for lamb. Corsican Mint which is mat-forming ground cover that can be walked upon, releasing its creme de menthe fragrance is often used to flavor liqueurs, along with peppermint. Fresh leaves of mint may be added to tea for a refreshing drink or to brighten potatoes, peas and fruit salads.

 

 

Types of Herbs