Mint

Mint, a fragrant perennial herb from the Lamiaceae family, is cultivated for its leaves. These leaves can be used in their fresh or dried form to create teas, jams, and desserts. Additionally, the leaves can be extracted to obtain essential oil, which is utilized as a flavoring agent.

Mint plants possess upright, branching stems and have elongated, oval, or lanceolate leaves that grow opposite each other on the stems. The leaves are often covered in small hairs and have a serrated edge.

These plants produce a flower spike at the end of their stems, and the flowers can vary in color, ranging from white to purple, depending on the specific variety.

Mint plants are known for their rapid growth and have the potential to spread extensively. Once established, they can reach heights of 60–90 cm and continue to grow for many years.

Mints serve multiple purposes, such as adding beauty to gardens, acting as ground covers, providing a fresh scent to the air, and serving as herbal remedies. They possess both aesthetic appeal and practical uses.

VARIETIES

  • Apple mint
  • Pineapple Mint
  • Corsican Mint
  • Pennyroyal
  • Peppermint
  • Citrus Mint
  • Spearmint

ECOLOGICAL REQUIREMENTS

Mint is a highly vigorous plant that thrives with minimal effort.

It flourishes when grown in areas that provide partial shade to full sun and demonstrates great resilience in various temperature conditions.

However, caution is necessary when cultivating variegated mint varieties, as they may suffer from sunburn when exposed to full sunlight.

Mint exhibits adaptability to different soil types, although it produces the most lush foliage when planted in well-drained soil that is rich in nutrients and moisture. Ideally, the soil should maintain a slightly acidic pH level ranging from 6 to 7.

Planting

Mint can be effortlessly propagated through various methods such as seeds, cuttings, or by dividing an existing plant.

However, the most recommended and simplest approach is to take cuttings from the desired mint plants. This involves dividing an established mint plant, where selected branches are taken along with a portion of the root for transplantation. These cuttings are then planted horizontally in the soil.

Alternatively, mint seeds can be sown at a depth of 6 mm and typically germinate within 10-15 days, given room temperature or slightly warmer conditions.

Once the mint seedlings have developed at least two sets of true leaves, they can be transplanted into the garden. It is advisable to space them 18-24 inches apart to ensure proper growth and development.

Thinning: Once the mint seedlings have emerged, it is necessary to thin them out, ensuring that the plants are adequately spaced between 45-60 cm apart.

Pinching: To promote compact and bushy growth, it is advisable to pinch back the stems of the mint plants. This practice should also extend to removing any flowers that appear.

Mulching: Applying a layer of mulch serves multiple purposes. It helps maintain soil moisture, keeps the mint leaves clean, and prevents the growth of weeds. Additionally, as the mulch decomposes, it releases valuable nutrients into the soil.

Weeding: It is crucial to keep the area surrounding the mint plants free from weeds. Weeds not only create an untidy appearance but also compete for growth factors, reducing yields and potentially affecting the flavor of the mint.

Pruning: Given its vigorous nature, regular pruning is essential to control the growth of mint plants. Unwanted runners or excessive growth should be promptly removed to maintain the desired shape and size.

Irrigation: Mint plants require consistent and regular watering to ensure the soil remains evenly moist. This helps sustain optimal growth and health of the plants.

Pests & Disease Control

Pests

Aphids: These pests are typically found in clusters on the tender new growth of mint plants, causing curling and distortion of the leaves. They also excrete honeydew, which promotes the growth of sooty mold.

To combat aphids, spray KINGCODE ELITE 50EC at a rate of 10ml per 20 liters of water, or LOYALTY 700WDG at a rate of 5g per 20 liters of water, or LEXUS 247SC at a rate of 8ml per 20 liters of water.

For eliminating sooty mold, spray JAMBO CLEAN at a rate of 100ml per 20 liters of water.

Spider Mites: These tiny, translucent pests reside on the undersides of mint leaves, often congregating on the top portions of new growth. They cause damage by piercing small holes in the leaf cells, resulting in speckled discoloration and leaving behind thin webbing.

To address spider mite infestations, spray ALONZE 50EC at a rate of 5ml per 20 liters of water, or BAZOOKA 18EC at a rate of 10ml per 20 liters of water.

Cutworms: These caterpillars reside in the soil and cut the stems of young mint plants at ground level.

To control cutworms, drench the soil with PENTAGON 50EC at a rate of 20ml per 20 liters of water, or PROFILE 440EC at a rate of 60ml per 20 liters of water.

Loopers: These caterpillars feed on mint foliage and vary in shades of green. They cause significant damage by consuming large portions of leaves and stems.

To combat loopers, spray LEXUS 247SC at a rate of 8ml per 20 liters of water, or KINGCODE ELITE 50EC at a rate of 10ml per 20 liters of water, or PENTAGON 50EC at a rate of 10ml per 20 liters of water.

Mint Beetles: Flea beetles that attack mint plants are easily noticeable as they jump from the leaves when disturbed. These small beetles create damage by chewing small holes in the leaves, often appearing in clusters.

To address mint beetle infestations, spray KINGCODE ELITE 50EC at a rate of 10ml per 20 liters of water, or LEXUS 247SC at a rate of 8ml per 20 liters of water, or LOYALTY 700WDG at a rate of 5g per 20 liters of water.

Capsid Bugs: Infestation by capsid bugs results in small brown spots that later develop into holes on the mint foliage. Young shoots may become distorted, and small leaflets may show severe crinkling.

To control capsid bugs, spray LOYALTY 700WDG at a rate of 5g per 20 liters of water, or EMERALD 200SL at a rate of 10ml per 20 liters of water, or LEXUS 247SC at a rate of 8ml per 20 liters of water.

Thrips: Infested mint leaves display coarse stippling, appear silvery, and may become distorted. The leaves may also be speckled with black feces.

To combat thrips, spray ALONZE 50EC at a rate of 5ml per 20 liters of water, or PROFILE 440EC at a rate of 30ml per 20 liters of water, or DEFENDER 25EC at a rate of 40ml per 20 liters of water.

Diseases

Mint Rust: The undersides of mint leaves develop small, dusty, bright orange, yellow, or brown pustules. In severe cases, new shoots may become pale and distorted, significant portions of leaf tissue may die, and leaves may drop from the plant.

To address mint rust, spray DUCASSE 250EC at a rate of 20ml per 20 liters of water, or ABSOLUTE 275SC at a rate of 10ml per 20 liters of water, or RANSOM 600WP at a rate of 15g per 20 liters of water.

Powdery Mildew: Infected plants exhibit distinct symptoms of white powdery spots on leaves and stems. The lower leaves are typically more affected, but the mildew can appear on any above-ground part of the plant. As the disease progresses, the spots enlarge and become denser, potentially spreading throughout the plant.

To combat powdery mildew, spray RANSOM 600WP at a rate of 15g per 20 liters of water, or DOMAIN 250EC at a rate of 10ml per 20 liters of water, or DUCASSE 250EC at a rate of 20ml per 20 liters of water.

Septoria Leaf Spots: Dark brown to black angular spots, constricted between leaf veins, characterize Septoria leaf spots. Occasionally, spore cases may be visible within the leaf spots on the underside of the leaf.

To manage Septoria leaf spots, spray RIMETA GOLD 300SC at a rate of 40ml per 20 liters of water, or MEGAPRODE LOCK 525WP at a rate of 25g per 20 liters of water, or JUPITER 125SC at a rate of 15ml per 20 liters of water.

Botrytis/Grey Mold: Greyish fungal growth typically initiates from a damaged area of the stem. Subsequently, other parts of the plant may become infected.

To address Botrytis or grey mold, spray MILESTONE 250SC at a rate of 10ml per 20 liters of water, or RIMETA GOLD 300SC at a rate of 40ml per 20 liters of water, or EXEMPO CURVE 250SC at a rate of 15ml per 20 liters of water.

Maturity, Harvesting & Post-Harvest Handling

Mint reaches maturity and becomes ready for harvesting approximately 60-90 days after sowing, depending on the specific variety and environmental factors. At this stage, the plants typically reach a height of 8-10 cm.

Harvesting is carried out using a sharp knife or scissors.

While young mint leaves offer more flavor compared to older ones, mint can be harvested as soon as it begins to sprout.

The stems should be cut before the plant starts flowering, leaving about 1 inch from the ground. Each mint plant can be harvested two or three times throughout the growing season.

Alternatively, individual leaves can be picked as needed.

It is important to remove and discard any damaged or withered leaves, ensuring they are not stored alongside the healthy ones.

Regular and frequent harvesting plays a crucial role in maintaining the vitality of mint plants.

Freshly harvested mint leaves can be frozen or air-dried in small bunches.

For air-drying, the mint stems are hung upside down in small bundles or spread loosely on a small tray. Once the stems and leaves become brittle, the leaves and flowers can be separated and stored in airtight containers.

Nutrition & Nutritional Deficiencies

Plants require a balanced combination of nutrients to maintain their health and well-being.

Macronutrients are essential nutrients needed in relatively large quantities by plants. They include Nitrogen, Potassium, Phosphorus, Calcium, Sulfur, and Magnesium.

In addition to macronutrients, there are micronutrients that are required for plant growth, albeit in smaller quantities. These micronutrients consist of Boron, Copper, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, and Zinc.

To ensure effective nutrient supply to crops, it is recommended to apply both basal and foliar fertilizers.

Basal fertilizers are absorbed by the plants through the roots and include common fertilizers such as DAP, CAN, NPK, UREA, among others. It is beneficial to mix them with HUMIPOWER at a ratio of 50:1. This mixture enhances nutrient uptake by the plants, stimulates growth, and provides other advantages.

On the other hand, foliar fertilizers are absorbed by the plants through their foliage and supply both macro and micronutrient elements. Examples of foliar fertilizers include OPTIMIZER, ZINC GOLD, LAVENDER, GOLDCHANCE RANGE, LEGENDARY, PORTEGE GOLD, VITABOR GOLD, among others.

Proper application of these fertilizers is crucial to prevent nutritional disorders and ensure healthy plant development.

Deficiencies

Plants may experience deficiencies when the growing conditions are unfavorable, leading to their inability to uptake nutrients available in the soil.

Factors such as extreme acidity or alkalinity, dry conditions, and waterlogging can pose challenges for plants in absorbing soil nutrients.

Nutrient deficiencies manifest through symptoms like leaf yellowing or browning, often exhibiting distinct patterns. Additionally, stunted growth and reduced flower production are common signs of nutrient deficiencies.

It is important to note that not all plant issues are solely caused by insects or diseases. Sometimes, an unhealthy plant may be suffering from a deficiency in specific nutrients or an excess of certain nutrients.

Nitrogen deficiency

The lower leaves of the plant, typically the older ones, exhibit a yellowing discoloration, while the remaining foliage tends to have a lighter green coloration. The stems may also show signs of yellowing and become weak and elongated. The overall growth of the plant is relatively slow.

To address this issue, apply either GOLDCHANCE SUPER GROWTH or LAVENDER.

Phosphorus deficiency

The smaller leaves of the plant may exhibit a reddish-purple hue, while the leaf tips appear scorched or burnt. Additionally, the older leaves may darken and appear almost black. Stunted growth is also observed.

The plant shows signs of slow growth, and the foliage appears dull and yellowish.

To address these issues, you can apply GOLDCHANCE SUPER START, LAVENDER, PLANT SOUL, LEGENDARY, DIMIPHITE, or GREENPHITE.

Potassium deficiency

The edges of the older leaves show signs of scorching or wilting. As the deficiency persists, interveinal chlorosis, characterized by yellowing between the leaf veins, starts to develop.

To address this issue, consider using GOLDCHANCE SUPER FLOWERS & FRUITS, DIMIPHITE, GREENPHITE, or LEGENDARY.

Calcium deficiency

The new leaves of the plant exhibit distortion or a hook-shaped appearance, and there may be instances where the growing tip dies.

To correct this issue, you can use FERRARI GOLD, SILVEDO GOLD, or BOND CHANCE.

Boron deficiency

These conditions result in inadequate stem and root growth, often accompanied by the death of terminal buds. Stunted growth becomes apparent.

To address these issues, applying VITABOR GOLD is recommended.

Iron deficiency

The primary symptom of iron deficiency typically begins as interveinal chlorosis in the youngest leaves, which later progresses to an overall chlorosis, eventually resulting in completely bleached leaves. The bleached areas may also develop necrotic spots.

To address this deficiency, consider using PORTEGE GOLD FE 6%, EURO GOLD PLUS, or MICRO GOLD 11% DTPA.

Copper deficiency

Iron deficiency leads to stunted growth in plants, accompanied by symptoms such as limp, curled, or dropped leaves, as well as limp and bent stalks.

To address this deficiency, consider using BIO DISTINCTION or COLISEUM.

Zinc deficiency

The deficiency results in interveinal chlorosis, characterized by yellowing between the veins of new growth. Terminal leaves may exhibit a rosette-like formation.

To correct this deficiency, consider using ZINC GOLD.

Important Note:

When conducting foliar sprays, it is advisable to mix the product (insecticide, fungicide, foliar fertilizer, or herbicide) with INTEGRA at a rate of 3ml per 20 liters. INTEGRA acts as a sticker, spreader, or wetter, enhancing the effectiveness of the respective product.
Rotating or alternating the use of different chemicals, particularly fungicides and insecticides, throughout the crop’s season is recommended to prevent the development of resistance by pests. Relying solely on a single chemical can lead to resistance build-up.
It is crucial to adhere strictly to the post-harvest interval (PHI) specified for the chemicals used.

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