Peppermint

Peppermint

Features

One of the main varieties of mint is undoubtedly represented by peppermint, which differs from all other species simply by having a high degree of aromaticity.

Furthermore, going into more detail of the physical characteristics of the plant, peppermint can boast of leaves that are covered with a dense green colored hair: these are, however, rather simple leaves with a typically elongated shape that are kept on straight development stems and extremely swollen roots.

One of the main characteristics related to the peppermint plant is undoubtedly its height: it never exceeds seventy centimeters.

The flowers of this particular plant have the characteristic of being very small and of the typical white color, with a particular ability to bloom from the base upwards starting from summer until the end of the autumn season.


Exposure

As for all those continental climates, the need for peppermint plants is to be placed inside a place that is rather sunny, where they can enjoy at least a few hours of direct sunlight.

As for the winter seasons, peppermint plants are characterized by having an excellent predisposition to withstand frosts, so they can be left outdoors without particular problems.


Watering

The watering of this plant varies according to the climate in which it is grown: this explains why we will divide the irrigation according to the climate in which you are.

As regards all continental climates, the irrigations concerning this particular plant must always be particularly high and, specifically, must be carried out with good consistency.

The period in which it is necessary to carry out the greatest number of irrigations is undoubtedly summer: in this case, it is important to try never to let the soil dry completely, but to continue watering regularly and abundantly.

In any case, moving towards an alpine climate, therefore with particularly high altitudes, the soil must always be kept with a good level of humidity: attention must therefore be paid to constant and abundant watering, while during the more cold, such as autumn and winter, you can also decide to reduce the quantity of irrigations, making them more sporadic.

Regarding all those Mediterranean climates, regular watering is, without a shadow of a doubt, the main feature to be respected, since peppermint always needs an excellent amount of water and the soil must never be allowed to dry out. all.


Fertilizer

In order to obtain peppermint aromatic plants that denote an optimal and luxuriant development, it is essential to try to arrange the soil in such a way as to be able to enrich it with substances whenever there is a need.

For example, manure can be integrated, but slow release fertilizer can also be used, after which regular fertilizations must be used, using the common universal fertilizer, which must be added to the water contained in regular irrigation at intervals of about 15-20 days.


Climate and terrain

The peppermint plant has, among its advantages, also that of being able to develop rather easily in any type of climate that falls within the temperate range.

In any case, peppermint's preferences are well known: in fact, it prefers a particularly humid spring season, which is characterized by frequent rains and decidedly low temperatures, while summers must be as hot and dry as possible.

Peppermint also has another particularly interesting feature for those wishing to start growing it: we are referring to the excellent resistance and the good degree of tolerance that this plant possesses against the cold.


Installations

When it comes to the propagation of this particular plant it is necessary to emphasize how it essentially occurs through the use of stolons that are extracted from plants that must, by force of circumstances, be at least two years old.

These stolons that are exploited to ensure good propagation must be planted during the autumn season, but there is also the possibility of carrying out this operation at the end of the winter season, grouping 2-3 plants at a time.

During the final part of the spring season, there is also the possibility of opting for transplanting the seedlings into the ground.

The advice, in most cases, is to pay good attention to making large alternations, trying not to sow both peppermint and a crop that is part of the same family as this plant on the same soil.


Cultivation techniques

This plant has the advantage of being able to be cultivated, among other possibilities, also in the open field, as well as in the gardens of villas, in pots and in vegetable gardens.

It is a hybrid that does not present particular difficulties in its cultivation, although it must be taken into account the fact of providing for the removal of weeds, which represent the only real source of disturbance for peppermint.

To remove this problem, the solution is often represented by the possibility of using weeding between the different rows, always before the complete growth of the stolons occurs.

Inside the vegetable gardens, as well as in the gardens, it is always better to carry out a further operation: we are referring to the thinning of the plant itself, since it can frequently become too aggressive when the stolons develop excessively.

During the phase in which the seedbed is made, it is also important to insert mature manure, while nitrogen will contribute significantly to increase the presence of menthol in the essential oil.


Collection

Peppermint has the particular characteristic of being able to be directed towards the production of leaves, but also to obtain the traditional essential oil.

As for all those crops that are carried out in the open field, we must emphasize that the harvest must include the plant in its entirety, after having carried out the mowings just above the part of the collar: this is an operation that must be systematically repeated at least two faces every year.

The first mowing must be completed during the month of August, when the flowering is in its climax.

Right at this moment, 0.3% is extracted through a delicate and complex steam distillation operation.

The second mowing is the one that must be completed during the autumn season and is mainly addressed to the production of numerous leaves.

The leaves will then be subjected to a drying phase which must necessarily occur within an environment that is as sheltered from light as possible, in addition to avoiding humidity and always guaranteeing a excellent air circulation.


Diseases and parasites

Peppermint, like many other plants, suffers from the attack and dangers that are brought by diseases and some parasites.

In particular, this variety of mint is characterized by not tolerating, in an absolute way, the risks associated with fungi.

One of the most dangerous fungi, for peppermint, is represented by Puccinia menthae, which is characterized by causing irreparable damage to the stems and leaves.

The development of this fungal is quite simple to notice, since it has the particularity of constituting swellings and dots with a typically reddish color: with the passage of time these "signals" become real blackish spots and, for this reason right, it is absolutely necessary to remove all the peppermint plants that have been contaminated and then to burn them.

Peppermint also suffers from attacks by snails, animals that are really extremely greedy for this particular plant and, for this reason, it is always good to try to pay close attention to the soil prepared for cultivation.

As for the care of this plant, peppermint needs, with good regularity, to be subjected to continuous weeding and hoeing, obviously without forgetting to also perform a light apical topping.


Peppermint: Properties

Peppermint, as on the other hand also traditional mint, can boast a whole series of therapeutic and medicinal properties.

First of all, it is important to underline that the leaves of this plant are the most used part in medicine, since they have remarkable stimulating, antispasmodic and digestive properties.

We must not forget how peppermint has also been used in various treatments that affect the peripheral nervous system, especially due to the stimulating action it is able to develop.

Peppermint can be easily recognized for a really particularly intense scent, which also allows it to be used in many other commercial sectors, such as in confectionery.

The essence of peppermint is a particularly important compound that is also exploited in the making of a good number of sweets and drinks, but it is also skillfully used for the preparation of toothpastes: in this sense, it can be easily understood that the uses of mint piperita are really among the most varied.



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