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Spearmint is a very famous mint that many of us know better under the name Spearmint. It is also a fertile, very easy to germinate and very easy to maintain natural form of mint, which is just fun in the garden and pot:
Peppermint, spearmint, curled mint - where is the difference?
The mints form a whole genus in the mint family, which includes 25 to 30 recognized species. "Recognized" because all of these species cross in natural locations, the results are no longer easily attributed. Which has led to many botanists giving the mints many names. Spearmint is also a cross between the ancient mints Mentha longifolia (Ross mint) and Mentha suaveolens (Round-leaved mint), a very old natural cross. In terms of name, the spearmint is the star: According to prevailing opinion or Carl Linnaeus she bears the botanical name Mentha spicata. From other botanists, this Mentha got epithets of atratabis walteriana, 84 names for a plant.
These unbelievably many Spearmint names impressively show three things: that this is a crossroads of considerable importance (otherwise not many botanists would have dealt with it), that botanists are probably a little vain (because they are always new at the expense of scientific confusion give your own name) and that shopping for botanical names does not necessarily lead to the goal of every plant safely and immediately (for example, if you need just the right strain for a famous recipe). Krause mint is simply another German name of the green mint, and the peppermint, Mentha × piperita, is the result of a tincture of green mint with the water mint (natural hybrid, Mentha spicata × Mentha aquatica). Of the Mentha spicata itself, there are then two subspecies, the M. spicata subsp. spicata (the most common spearmint) and Mentha spicata subsp. condensata (a southeastern variant), but more important to the gardener are the cultivars:
A mint, many flavors
From Mentha spicata there are in addition to the natural form some varieties that are quite different in aroma and / or stature height, color and shape of the leaves:
- Mentha spicata in its natural form is said to taste sweeter than peppermint and should not be so spicy because it contains less menthol
- Mentha spicata 'Black Spearmint', the real spearmint, has the well-known high content of the 'mint ingredient' Menthol and a very special aroma, strong scent, grows up to 80 cm high
- Mentha spicata 'Crispa', Krause mint, high menthol content and light caraway flavor, has Krause not only in the name, but also in the leaves: syringa-pflanzen.de/media/catalog/product/cache/2/image/ 650x / 040ec09b1e35df139433887a97daa66f / m / m / mentha_spicata.jpg
- Mentha spicata 'Lithuania', Memel-Mint, rather delicate mint with red stems, is said to develop a very soft and full peppermint flavor
- Mentha spicata 'Marroccan', Moroccan mint, likes sun locations, not as vigorous as other varieties, has a rather low menthol content and a sweet fresh aroma, which is known by Arabic teas
- Mentha spicata 'Nane', Turkish mint, distinct menthol taste with a slightly peppery note
- Mentha spicata "Swiss", Swiss mint, provides a kind of minty lemon flavor, which is well suited for cocktails and desserts
- Mentha spicata 'Ukraine', Ukrainian mint, a particularly menthol-containing mint variety
- Mentha spicata ssp. Hispanica, Spanish mint, the most common mint variety in Spain, North Africa and Portugal, fresh mint flavor for sweet and savory food
- Mentha x spicata v. crispa, English spearmint, vigorous mint with round leaves and intense aroma of jelly and typical English mint sauce
- Special cultivars should be implemented every two years, otherwise they could develop back to the original mint (which also tastes good)
Spearmint grows pretty much everywhere from Europe and the Caucasus region to the south, in all temperate climates, so it naturally feels comfortable with us. Therefore, it has no greater demands on the location, it just likes to grow in bright sunny and partially shaded places. However, when the mint gets a few hours of sun every day, the aroma of its leaves becomes more intense. The location should offer the mint enough space, it grows groundcovering or creeping and spreads, depending on the variety more or less strong. Spearmint is ideally suited to greening a little overgrown site over its entire surface, which it then vigorously plows through with its rhizomes.In a location with pretty neighbors, this is rather not desired, here are the following: You can keep the mint by competitive plants something in the bridle, but should bear in mind that such a competitive struggle force, which may be a bit at the expense of sheet formation and flavor ( at least if this competition is to keep the plant under control in the long term). If the mint can prevail against weak competitors, it will only be stronger...
Spearmint can tolerate a nutrient-rich soil and prefers to grow in loamy soils that contain much organic matter. The soil should be permeable and may be relatively moist, of course, without waterlogging. Very nutrient-poor or very sandy soils can be enriched with humus soil or compost. You can grow Mentha spicata from seeds, as well as all climatically appropriate, rather primitive plants they germinate well in our gardens. However, if you want to cultivate a specific breed of cultivar, it should be seeds from the (organic) trader and not the neighbor. Most cultivars do not produce varietal seeds, you would get a mint, but not necessarily the planned ones. How sowing works:
- It is best to mix fine mint seeds with sand in order to sow them more evenly
- You may prefer mint in seed trays in the house, cultivation as described below in "sowing and care in the pot"
- Direct sowing in the bed is also possible, but you have to expect that small animals nibble a few seeds
- Does not matter, you can sewn in these places, the mint is indeed perennial (or wait until the mint itself closes the gap)
- In the open, the mint should be sown only after the Eisheiligen in mid-May
- However, you can sow mint even later, until the winter, strong plants must be able to develop
- During the germination phase, the soil should not dry out, keep it evenly moist
- You can poke the seedlings if they have their second pair of leaves
- You can also let nature take its course, weak plants will eventually be eliminated
Care in the garden
You can hardly call it "care" in a mint:
- Keep wet until rooting, logical
- If you have not set the mint just in midsummer, just pour in two times after planting
- Maybe pour a little if it has not rained for days / weeks
- But you do not have to, as long as the mint thirsts not visible
- Until then, it only becomes more aromatic
- You could fertilize a bit if you want to harvest bumper crops
- But it does not necessarily have to be, mint grows everywhere and is used to grief
- If you want to fertilize: be careful with the fertilizer!
- Some synthetic fertilizers are later tasted very well in tea
- Some organic fertilizer (manure) but also...
If you know gardens where mint plants are not kept from unfolding in favorable locations by vigorous competitors, you may prefer to plant your mint right in a pot from which it can not spread. No problem, it's very simple:
- The best soil is garden soil with a little mixed sand
- Alternatively commercially available substrate, please without fertilizer
- Moisten the potting soil well
- Distribute seeds evenly, cover with about one centimeter of soil
- Place the seed pot in a bright place with temperatures around 20° C
- After just 2 weeks, the seedlings should be seen
- Keep warm and moist until the second pair of leaves comes, then pimp
- Loosen the root area with a toothpick and pull out some mini-plantlets so that the others have more space
- Further cultivation takes place in larger pots in normal soil with medium nutrient content
- The young plants should still be around 2 weeks in the house
- Then they can be planted on balcony / terrace or in the garden
Approximately620 Grain Organic Seed Spearmint Mentha spicata is also available on the Internet for € 1.60. A good herb nursery has all the above mentioned varieties and 30 other sorts of mint for you. You can pick up a little earth for cents (or free) at the next public compost, a box is found (even a real design model), you do not need LED lighting for mint if you do not live in a cave. Only occasionally some water and in the growing season a little organic liquid fertilizer for herbs, the pot survives in winter to -15° C (garden: -25° C) and must be poured on frost-free days.
Spearmint is a great herb that is available in a surprising variety. Once a mint has gained a foothold, it is easy to maintain, hardy and can even spread out in the garden.