Video: So Different Mint
One incident made me take a pen and write this note. Sometimes I brought some of the fruits of my labor from my summer cottage to the market. Once I decided to grab the mint, as it grew quite violently with me. To my surprise, she was in great demand. Only once a woman, passing by, dissuaded my buyer, saying that I was selling a catnip.
It took a long time to explain that my mint is not peppermint, which is most often grown in garden plots, but green or spike mint (m. Spicata), it blooms extremely profusely. Its young leaves are very fragrant and are used for teas.
To be more "savvy" in this matter, I decided to look through some literature and read about mint. Some moments turned out to be very interesting, and I wanted to share them with the readers of my favorite magazine.
Mint belongs to the herbaceous plants of the lamb family (labiate). It is well known all over the world, and it is widely used for medicinal purposes and as a seasoning, as well as in the perfumery, alcoholic beverage, tobacco industry. I will not expand on this, since its useful properties have long been known to everyone. Rather, I would like to say that most species of mint have beautiful and pleasantly smelling leaves, and flowers attract bees and bumblebees. So mint can be deservedly grown as an ornamental plant, it grows well in large containers, and on balconies, and on terraces, as it is a very unpretentious plant.
It is also very interesting that various species, varieties and varieties of mint cross quite easily with each other. Therefore, enthusiastic gardeners can experiment and come up with something unexpected. Although, it turns out, new varieties of mint have appeared with amazing smells: basil, pineapple, orange, lemon, ginger, etc. The intensity of the mint smell depends on the concentration of essential oils in the plant juice. A very strong aroma is possessed by: spear mint, pepper and its varieties.
In fact, according to various encyclopedic sources, there are 20-25 species of mint … Mint has been cultivated for a long time in Europe, and in Russia they began to cultivate it at the end of the last century in order to obtain mint oil, which was very expensive - 25 rubles per pound. Small factories were built, mint plantations were sown. But the breeders were not always able to get the oil of the desired smell and color, since they did not know that English peppermint of the "white" varieties grown near the city of Cambridge is best suited for this. Even worse, they tried to propagate the mint by seed. But you need to know that not all mint and not all conditions can give good seeds. When purchasing seeds and sowing, they sometimes got a lot of different-sized offspring, not like the parent. It was difficult for the gardeners to understand the secrets of this complex kind, but that is why it is interesting.
I will introduce you to some of the types of mint that I managed to find.
In the first place, of course, peppermint (menthe piperita), the most widespread and aromatic. Grown as a result of crossing water mint and spearmint.
Apple mint, or fragrant, is also found in our gardens. Differs in graceful, more rounded and velvety leaves, but inferior in intensity of aroma.
Lemon mint is a type of peppermint. With a characteristic lemon aroma.
Green mint, or spikelet, is a rather powerful, abundantly flowering plant with a strong aroma.
Mint "Iokka" is a little-known variety with a specific oriental flavor.
Pineapple mint (fragrant) - has two-colored very beautiful leaves with a white border. Can decorate any garden bed and flower arrangement.
Thuringian mint is a type of peppermint, prized for its high menthol content.
Corsican mint - may well be used in gardening, as the plant is only a few centimeters high with very small leaves forms a solid carpet that blooms with light purple flowers.
Ginger mint (thin) - is also a garden decoration due to the beautiful variegated (yellow-green) leaf color.
Curly mint - can also be found in our gardens, it is very similar to spearmint. Has a pleasant aroma.
Bergamot mint - has a complex aroma, it is widely used in perfumery.
English mint is a green mint variety. Its pounded leaves smell like gum.
In my opinion, this plant can give us any surprises.
Weeding weeds and removing field mint, I did not know that it contains 75-90% menthol, which is so necessary for the production of validol. And I also learned that mint can cure bees from the parasite mite varratoa. He does not tolerate the smell of mint. It also repels other pests. The mint pot can be rearranged to different beds. I'll have to experiment.
In the old days, mint was added to cattle feed to improve appetite. However, one should not forget that overdose can irritate the stomach.
And mint is very good at helping against nausea, so pregnant women and those who do not tolerate any kind of transport should stock up on mint leaves. Another attraction in this plant is that mint is not demanding to care for and, most importantly, is very suitable for our Leningrad lands, as it loves moist soils with a close standing of groundwater. I have it growing along the drainage ditch. It can grow both in the sun and in the shade. On more fertile soils, plants will be more vigorous. One drawback is that it grows strongly, and so that it does not cause you a lot of trouble, immediately protect it by burying iron, plastic, slate strips to the depth of the rhizomes. You can plant it in old metal and wooden containers, then you will be able to move it around the garden.
Mint is easily propagated by rhizome cuttings. But, as I already noted, if you want to surprise yourself with something, try sowing with seeds. To obtain more green mass in the spring, carry out a strong pruning as it grows, the mint will bush.
You need to cut the mint at the beginning of flowering. Some try to do two cuts. This is not recommended; the plant should not be weakened. Although mint is a cold-resistant plant, in the past centuries, with this approach to agricultural technology in England, whole plantations froze out.