Garden Mint, Spearmint, Spear Mint, Lamb Mint.
Origins - Africa, Asia, Europe.
Type - Perennial (herbaceous).
Hardiness (see References, below.
Bloom - Summer.
Height - Approx. 1 ft (30 cm).
Loves Sun, and will tolerate wet, and dry conditions, and most soils. Easy to grow plant. It spreads through underground runners. Grow Mint in containers, if you do not want it to spread, too much. That said, Mint is susceptible to weeds such as pigweed, lambsquarter, and foxtail species, and if not controlled, they will take over and ruin your Mint. Watch out for pests such as rust, mites, and flea beetles, since they like it too.
By division (see Propagate Mint, in this month's issue), or cuttings. Many species of the Mentha genus cross pollinate. So if you wish to keep your Mint pure, don't plant it next to its other types.
Pleasantly fragrant, and refreshing in taste, Mint has long been favorite across the continents.
It's popular in home made remedies, particularly for internal conditions, such as colic, gas, indigestion, and also, its aroma is believed to be good for concentration.
All parts of Mint are edible, its oil has important application as a flavoring agent in food, and hygienic products. Many home made dishes, would not be complete without Mint. Roasted lamb just wouldn't be right without Mint Sauce. British like their new potatoes seasoned with freshly chopped Mint. Here, in the South, Mint makes one of the essential ingredients of Mint Julep. Further south, Cubans, and other good people of the region like to enjoy it in Mojito. Mint tea is nice, and peas go well with it, too. Greeks love Mint, and flavor cheeses, sauces, and meats with it, and so do people of the Middle East (see TC&G's recipe for Tabbouleh. ) Cheer up your salads by adding fresh Mint leaves, they will make it taste extra fresh. See T&CG's recipe for Gardeners' Salad Dressing, it too, uses Mint.
Mint leaves, just like these of Basil are fragile, and will go dark if bruised, or cooked, so if you like them looking pretty, use whole leaves in your fresh salads, and as a last minute garnish with cooked new potatoes, etc.
Mint, - good to grow, classic herb, useful anywhere, anytime!
Did you know that USA produces 70% of world's Mint?
-See more interesting Mint Fun Facts compiled by The Wisconsin Mint Industry
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References - Find more about: Hardiness Zones
Special Thanks to Town & Country Gardens Contributors:
About.com, blogger, bulabean, dive-angel (Karin), flickr, Jasmine&Roses, Rita Crane Photography. Rita Crane, daughter of LIFE magazine photographer Ralph Crane. Her work can be seen on Flickr at Rita Crane Photography or on her website., TMR Davies, The Wisconsin Mint Industry, Wikipedia, W.D. Williams