Tuesday, 2 September 2014

GROW your own MINT

Mint is an essential herb to have growing near the kitchen. It is also a perennial, which means you plant it once and it grows every year if you look after it, but in reality it doesn't take much, just make sure you keep it well watered. Mint favours moist soil and does best in sun, but it will also take some shade. Mint is in season from March to October each year. For cooking, mint is used in sweet and savoury dishes, to flavour and garnish.

Everybody has a windowsill, whether you live in a city or the country. This is a very simple and quick way of growing your mint. Supermarkets sell potted herbs for use in the kitchen. So if you want to avoid the wait for home-sown and would like to extend the life of your shop-bought mint, this is how to do it.

First of all, as soon as you bring potted mint home from the supermarket, take off the cellophane wrapper and give it a good watering if the soil feels dry. Also feel free to use the mint in a recipe first, I stripped the plant of a lot of leaves before potting it on.

Take as large a plant pot as you have to hand, any pot is good as long as it is larger than the existing tiny pot the mint was bought in. Put several handfuls of multi-purpose compost in the base of the new pot, take the herb out of the old pot, and place on top of the compost in the new pot. Add several handfuls of multi-purpose compost all around the plant, gently firming it in, making sure that the plant is sitting just below the surface of the new pot, to a similar soil level as it was in the old pot.  Water the soil all around the plant - and don't forget to check daily to see if more water is needed.

I keep my mint growing in a pot near the kitchen as it is a very invasive plant, if you just put it in your garden it will spring up every where and quickly get out of control. After just a couple of weeks, as you can see below, I have a very healthy pot of mint to enjoy.

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