Description of the strawberry mint variety, recommendations for growing and care
Strawberry mint has a pleasant, delicate aroma of ripe berries, while the plant does not have a sharp cold aftertaste. Due to its compactness and richness of smell, this variety is becoming more and more popular among Russian gardeners. Garden culture is unpretentious in care and cultivation, so it will not be difficult to grow it even for novice gardeners.
Features of the variety
Strawberry mint leaves have an unusual strawberry smell and do not have the harsh aftertaste of traditional varieties. Thanks to these qualities, the plant is ideal as an ingredient for desserts, sweet dishes, and drinks. The herb is used only in the field of cooking, as it does not have a bactericidal and analgesic effect.
The plant is compact, the average height of the bushes varies from 30 to 40 cm. In warm climatic conditions, it can grow up to 60 cm. Due to its unpretentiousness and ability to survive at low temperatures, it takes root well even in the northern Russian regions.
Mint is considered a plant that does not reproduce well by seeds. Planting material is best purchased in specialized stores. At the same time, it is recommended to purchase several bags, since in most cases gardeners are faced with germination problems.
Self-collection of seeds is often impossible or laborious. Often, after planting such material, a completely different plant eventually grows, not similar to the parent variety. The seeds are buried in the ground no more than 0.5 cm, the first shoots appear in 2 or 3 weeks. For better growth, a temperature regime of 20 to 25 C is required.
Choosing a landing site
Mint is a moisture-loving and light-loving plant that is demanding on the soil. In connection with such features, a sunny place with the presence of sandy loam or loamy soil is chosen for planting. The best precursors for growing a plant are:
The soil for planting should be loose, the acidity level should be in the range of 6 to 7 PH. In wetlands, mint is not able to take root.
Mint has good cold resistance, so planting can be done from spring to autumn. Sowing with seeds is carried out in early spring, as they freeze out in winter. The summer period is considered possible, but not recommended for planting, since in this case the plant does not have time to get stronger and form a strong root system.
Reproduction by dividing bushes or rooting cuttings is carried out in late spring. For this, tall, healthy shoots are chosen.Mint transplant work can be carried out until the end of August. A later time is not recommended, since the bushes are not able to take root in a short time.
The plant is undemanding to care and growing conditions. For good growth, it is necessary to provide timely watering and enrich the soil with humus. In the presence of sufficient heat, light and moisture, shoots develop quickly. To save energy for watering the soil, it is recommended to mulch.
For a better formation of greenery, it is necessary to feed the plant with organic, nitrogen, phosphorus fertilizers at intervals of 1 to 2 times a month.
Mint is capable of growing in a short time and occupying a large area, so the growth process must be controlled, periodically removing plants from unnecessary places. It is possible to radically remove mint plantings only by deep digging of the soil. To facilitate this process, experienced gardeners are advised to dig a sheet of slate or metal into the ground, thus protecting the area and preventing the roots of the plant from growing outside the area limited by the barrier.
The need for shelter for the winter is determined depending on the climate of a particular region. At low temperatures and a small amount of snow, the plant is capable of freezing out, therefore, in such conditions, the plant needs shelter. For insulation, you can use peat or sawdust.
Harvesting and storage
To further storage mint harvested at the very beginning of flowering. During this period, the leaves of the plant are young and contain the maximum amount of essential oils. There are two ways to collect:
- stem cut;
- plucking or cutting off individual leaves.
In the first method, you can dry the plant in its entirety. In this case, small bundles are formed from the stems and tied at the base. Further, the mint in this form is hung in a place where direct sunlight does not fall. Such a tool creates a subtle aroma in the room, while the natural fragrance is natural and absolutely safe for humans.
The collected fresh grass for drying is laid out on a flat surface and allowed to dry completely. Some growers leave the dried plant in its original form, while others seek to create a uniform mixture by grinding the grass. Store the mint in a tightly closed container in a place that is well protected from light and moisture. The tightness of the vessel allows the plant to retain its berry aroma. Dry mint is often used as an ingredient in teas and teas.
Mint for adding aroma to items stored in a closet or wardrobe. To do this, the dry mixture is laid out in linen bags, which are placed in the required place. Peppermint can be used as a solo ingredient or used as an additional ingredient in conjunction with other aromatic herbs.
To use mint for culinary purposes, I use the freezing method. To do this, the greens are thoroughly washed, dried and placed in a bag in the freezer. For use in drinks such as mojitos, ice cubes containing finely chopped mint are made using special molds.