The lovely mint. Mint grows like a weed in Tucson. This plant makes a lovely groundcover in bright shade. If you put in full shade, it won't perform as well. It grows quickly with regular watering and many Tucsonans love having this is their garden.....especially because this plant adds a lovely and important ingredient to the ice cold mojito during our hot and balmy monsoon nights. Put this plant in poor and hard soil and it won't do very well. Place in loose and moister soil and you've got a winner. I recommend placing mint in planters and or pots and especially with other plants. This particular herb needs a bit more water than the others. Rosemary and lavender less water while basil and mint regular watering. I'd put the basil and mint in the same location of a dripline that is near garden beds or pots. This is another fragrant plant. Here is some info on mint and recipe for the delicious mojitos......requiring legal age of course.:)
"Mints are aromatic, almost exclusively perennial, rarely annual, herbs. They have wide-spreading underground and overground stolons and erect, square, branched stems. The leaves are arranged in opposite pairs, from oblong to lanceolate, often downy, and with a serrate margin. Leaf colors range from dark green and gray-green to purple, blue, and sometimes pale yellow. The flowers are white to purple and produced in false whorls called verticillasters. The corolla is two-lipped with four subequal lobes, the upper lobe usually the largest. The fruit is a small, dry capsule containing one to four seeds. While the species that make up the Mentha genus are widely distributed and can be found in many environments, most Mentha grow best in wet environments and moist soils. Mints will grow 10–120 cm tall and can spread over an indeterminate area. Due to their tendency to spread unchecked, mints are considered invasive.:) All mints prefer, and thrive in, cool, moist spots in partial shade. In general, mints tolerate a wide range of conditions, and can also be grown in full sun(in Tucson or Phoenix....bright shade). They are fast growing, extending their reach along surfaces through a network of runners. Due to their speedy growth, one plant of each desired mint, along with a little care, will provide more than enough mint for home use. Some mint species are more invasive than others. Even with the less invasive mints, care should be taken when mixing any mint with any other plants, lest the mint take over. To control mints in an open environment, mints should be planted in deep, bottomless containers sunk in the ground, or planted above ground in tubs and barrels. Some mints can be propagated by seed. Growth from seed can be an unreliable method for raising mint for two reasons: mint seeds are highly variable - one might not end up with what one presupposed was planted; and some mint varieties are sterile. It is more effective to take and plant cuttings from the runners of healthy mints. The most common and popular mints for cultivation are peppermint (Mentha × piperita), spearmint (Mentha spicata), and (more recently) apple mint (Mentha suaveolens). Mints are supposed to make good companion plants, repelling pest insects and attracting beneficial ones. Mints are susceptible to whitefly and aphids.
Harvesting of mint leaves can be done at any time. Fresh mint leaves should be used immediately or stored up to a couple of days in plastic bags within a refrigerator. Optionally, mint can be frozen in ice cube trays. Dried mint leaves should be stored in an airtight container placed in a cool, dark, dry area."
End of article. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mentha
Recipe for a Mojito
6 ounces light rum
12 mint sprigs, or spearmint, 8 roughly broken apart
6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
4 tablespoons sugar
4 slices lime
Place ice in beverage shaker then add in the rum, 8 broken up mint sprigs, lime juice and sugar. Shake well and serve over ice in a high ball glass. Top off each glass with a splash of club soda.
Garnish each with a slice of lime and a sprig of mint.
If you haven't tried this beverage, you need to....especially on a hot summer day. Until tomorrow....