In our Research Centre; one of the happy smiling, growing plants is the Mint. Today we share with you the easiest way of growing a delicious, rewarding, humble kitchen ingredient- Mint.
Mint- as we know is a cool and refreshing herb for a kitchen garden, It can be grown effortlessly in soil and soilless media. It is an aromatic herb of temperate region. The primary aroma of mint is of ‘Menthol,’ have cooling and gastro-stimulant properties. It is mostly used for food flavoring, confectioneries, cosmetics, preparations, beverages and in pharmaceuticals due to its above-said properties.
We have different types of mints, Japanese mint (Mentha arvensis var. piperascens), spear mint (Mentha spicata), pepper mint (Mentha piperata) and bergamot/lemon mint (Mentha citrata).
It is a perennial plant, mostly spreads horizontally. The plant will grow up to 30 cm and up to 1 m when grown in fertile soils with good care
Both seeds and cuttings can be used to raise it. Commercially, fresh juicy stolons are used to propagate them. We can also use stem cuttings to propagate them.
Growing from Stolons vs seeds:
Stolons are stems, which develops from the lower branches of the stem. These new stem/stolons when touches the soil, they will produce new adventitious roots and grow as an individual plant.
Seeds also give good results, but the drawback is we must wait for the seeds to germinate and then do the transplants. Wherein stolon propagation, we can use the plant which comes from old part or stem cutting directly. This saves the time.
Growing Mint in City Green’s Urban Gardening Research center
Our mint journey started with seed sowing around April 2018. As far as possible we try to start from the seed stage to be better able to understand the dynamics of the plant growth. We sowed them in coco peat and clay pellet mixture.
It took around 15-20 days for the seeds to germination. They were growing well in coco peat. While growing them in cocopeat, we ensured that the plants were provided with sufficient (no overdose) nutrients. We used our Greens range of Nutrient for Mint. We also provided plain water so that there is no accumulation of salts in the cocopeat bed. Since we also wanted to try growing them in DWC system; we transplanted the almost a month-old plants to our DWC system. In DWC, we sued both, CG NPK and CG Greens solution. From cocopeat to DWC the plants adapted easily and did not show any signs of transplant shock. In fact, they seemed to be happy in their new environment.
We ensured efficient oxygenation to the plants. No external foliar spray was provided.
Mint is generally ready for harvesting once plants reach a 10-15 cm height. You can harvest only leaves or stems or cut the stem leaving about 1 inch at the base.
As on date, the mint in our DWC system looks all ready to be harvested. And we are happy to share that those living around our vicinity will be able to taste this delicious the humble ingredient from farm to fork! You could also book your crop with us … So for all those in and around Bangalore. We will grow the crop for you, and you can choose to collect it at a stipulated time that we could mutually decide (as we do have to wait for the plants to grow! )
Green…. Fresh…. Juicy….. Mint is now ready for the Harvesting!!
With mint, there wasn’t any pest and disease in our research center. But the probable pests that can impact mint are aphids, thrips, mites, and cutworms. Also, look out for fungal rust and wilt diseases, if the plants are overwatered (in soil), and densely grown. Remove the infected plants at an early stage to avoid the spread of the disease and ensure safe control methods!
We are getting new stolons from the plants in our DWC. These we will use to transplant for the next cycle of the crop after harvesting!! Can’t get more natural than this!
Please do go minty!! Happy Gardening!
Sushma completed her B. Sc. from College of Horticulture, Hiriyur and M. Sc. from College of Horticulture, Bengaluru. She is an avid gardener with expertise across soil based and soilless gardening techniques using substrates.