Monday, March 11, 2013

Six Hundred Kinds of Mint

There are many things I love about horticulture. The variety of plants are far greater than what we find in the grocery store. This was something I discovered when looking for the right tomato plants to make pasta sauce.

I am looking for the right mint plant to make my extracts this year. While your local grocery store will sell you one kind of mint - online suppliers like Mountain Valley Growers sell over seventeen kinds of Mint. The Bruce Company offers pages of information discussing different varieties of vegetables. They offer some very useful information.

For example, I am interested in Banana Mint, the Bruce Company wrote: Banana Mint: Smells and tastes like banana candy. Smaller, low growing plant. Not as aggressive as some mints. Mint: 1-3' ht; prefers moist soil; full to part sun Hardy Perennial: Aggressive spreader, will take over an area if allowed to. Best grown in a pot, or contained area. Leaves can be dried, but are best fresh or frozen. Use in teas, jellies, vinegars, seasoning meat, fruit salads. Commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine.

Mint plants apparently grow rapidly and have a tendency to take over the garden. Growers suggest growing it in pots. If I have to grow my mint in pots, then I will grow them on my balcony instead of in my garden.

There are over six hundred kinds of mint, they fall into two categories. Spearmint and Peppermint. Spearmint varieties are used for cooking, peppermint varieties are dried.

Lavender Mint

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