Sunday, 8th December 2019
GARDEN Article
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This Month's Magazine
Marvellous mint

Marvellous mint

For cooking, aroma and interest, the humble garden mint is well worth cultivating

Mint is very tolerant of almost most conditions, but like all plants it will grow best in certain locations.

The soil should be well dug, fertile and water retentive, but not water logged. Whilst mint will grow well in full sun, it does not like dry conditions. Its preference is therefore for partial shade and it is well suited to a North facing wall. Mint has shallow, creeping roots which can be broken off and placed either directly in the ground or in pots containing potting compost.

Because mint is such a strong growing plant, it can easily kill nearby plants. The solution when planting outside is to sink a bottomless container, such as an old bucket, in the ground and plant the mint in this area. The roots might not be stopped 100%, but it will certainly help the roots creeping. Another alternative is to dig a hole to a depth of 30cm (1ft) and line it with black plastic (pierced with small holes for drainage). The soil is then replaced in the black plastic and the mint planted in that area.


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Mulching the soil will go a long way to keeping mint happy; it will achieve the all important job of keeping a moist root run which mint likes so much. A twice yearly feeding with bonemeal will keep it even happier. Remove the flowers by hand as soon as they appear because if left, they will reduce the amount of leaves. There is very little else to do except enjoy it.

Mint suffers from only one serious disease and that is rust, allow it to get a hold and it will kill all your mint plants. There are chemical sprays for rust, but they can often be only a part solution. The best method is to examine each plant carefully for signs of rust (orange blobs generally on the underside of the leaves) and remove any leaves affected. If however, this does not remove the infection, chop the plant down to ground level and burn it all. This may seem a little drastic, but it is the only cure in the late stages of rust infection. Mint is easy to grow and a useful as well as aromatic addition to the garden or containers and there can be no greater pleasure then the fantastic aroma mint brings to the garden 



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