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Growing and Caring for Mint, Varieties of Mint, Trouble Shooting Mint Plants, Preparing and Preserving Mint Leaves.

Growing Mint

Mint

Mints are a pungent aromatic perennial herb. Most varieties of mint will spread rampantly. If left unchecked they form a lush ground cover and a net of underground stems. Mint sends out runners that spread above and just below the ground, quickly forming large, lush green fields of mint. They generally thrive in USDA Zones 3 to 8. Mint is somewhat frost tolerant, the top will eventually die back in cold weather.

Hydroponic Mint - There are over 500 types of mint, botanists define slightly less than 30 species with the remaining 400+ being hybrids of these primary species. Common characteristics of all mint plants is the volatile and essential oils that create their hallmark menthol aroma and flavor. Another common characteristics of Most mint plants is that they thrive under similar conditions, one of these conditions is moisture which makes them good candidates for hydroponic gardens.

Mint as a Companion Plant - Aromatic qualities derived from its pungent essential oils make it a good companion plant for some crops and not so good for others. Its invasive properties should also be taken into consideration when growing along with other plants in your garden.


Insect Pests of Mint Plants - Many insects, certainly not all, just many will steer clear of mint. It's pungent aroma and essential oils baffles their senses and leaves them searching for greener pastures. A few however are attracted to it and can become a real nuisance.



Mint Varieties

20 Mint Varieties to Try Out - Common characteristics of all mint plants is the volatile and essential oils that create their hallmark menthol aroma and flavor. Other oils and compounds within various plants create a medley of tastes and aroma unique to their individual cultivars. Apple mint for instance contains compounds which give a fruity taste and aroma, as does as the hybrid versions of apple mint pineapple mint and Golden apple mint.

Apple Mint

Banana Mint

Chocolate Mint

Egyptian Mint

Habek Mint

                                  Lavender Mint

                                  Macho Mint

                                  Morroccan Mint

                                  Orange Mint

                                  Peppermint

                                  Pineapple Mint




Preparing and Preserving Mint Leaves

Mint Extract. Mint extract is basically the bottled essence of the mint leaves. It is used as a flavoring agent in multiple mint recipes from drinks and desserts to candies or simply dripped into a cup of coffee. Most extract recipes call for the use of alcohol in one form or another as does this recipe. However if you are squeamish or have reservations about using alcohol you can also use vinegar for an alcohol free extract.

Mint Jelly - Traditionally Mint Jelly has been served by the English, Scots and Welsh along with their mutton or lamb, it is believed they inherited the tradition from the ancient Romans. Ancient Greeks were smothering steaks with mint jelly for centuries and they too probably got that from those decadent Romans. The mint Jelly tradition migrated along with the Brits to the New World. Other roasted meats also fare well when paired with Mint Jelly, I personally like to smear some on my pork chops.

Basil Mint Jelly - The taste of Basil is unique and there is nothing to really compare it to besides pesto and other Italian sauces. A Pesto Jelly sounds quite bizarre but when blended with a small amount of mint leaves and sugar such as in this recipe, the taste is titillating. Some have stated the amount of sugar makes it overly sweet, however the sugar to pectin ratio should be maintained in order for the Jelly to set properly. The jelly itself has very little coloration, so adding a few drops of green food coloring can't hurt.



Herbal Ice - Freezing is a very economical and efficient way to preserve summers bounty. Freezing herbs in some instances leeches away much of its flavor and essential oils. One method of freezing herbs that works exceptionally well is freezing herbs in ice cubes. Herbs can be frozen individually or in conjunction with other herbs that will compliment one another's flavors.