As it can get used both on food and beverages, mint is one of the most extensively used herbs in the world. Mint is a flexible, simple plant that many new gardeners pick as a first crop, including lettuce and radishes. Whether you’re growing mint to create a pleasant cup of tea or some sweets, you’ll probably want to know how to harvest your fresh mint. Furthermore, stem cuttings from an existing plant can clone a new plant. So you’re trying to figure out How to harvest mint without killing the plant?
Continue reading the article to learn how and when to harvest your mint, as well as some great tips for preserving it naturally for later use.
What Is Mint Plant?
The well-known peppermint and spearmint are among the 25 mint species and more unusual variants such as apple, orange, chocolate, and various hybrids. Growing mint does not require a green thumb; however, you may develop another after harvesting it due to its high chlorophyll content. Because of its invasive nature, mint is one of the simplest plants to cultivate.
Ideal Growing Conditions For Mint Plant
How do you know what sort of growth circumstances you need to create to cultivate a healthy mint properly? Take a look at the list below.
- Mint can endure both hot and cold climates, depending on the kind you cultivate. Mint is quite versatile.
- Mint enjoys moderate to total sun exposure, so grow it in the sunniest section of your yard. Everyday solar exposure of 6 hours should be enough. You may still grow mint indoors if you like, but make sure it is in a location where light can stream through uninterruptedly.
- Mint thrives on rich, wet, mildly acidic soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0. If you don’t have access to rich soil, you can work on a poor little soil by using organic compost or fertilizer. It is also critical to maintaining the soil wet at all times; otherwise, your mint may struggle to live.
- If you are growing mint in full light, make sure to keep the soil wet by watering it daily. Mint is a low-maintenance plant in general; the only thing it requires consistently is a sufficient amount of water.
- Mint grows nicely with a variety of herbs, plants, and vegetables. Planting peas, cabbage, and tomatoes near mint, for example, will increase their flavor.
When to Harvest Mint?
There are a few factors to consider while harvesting mint leaves, the most essential of which is the optimal time to harvest this plant. First and foremost, the amount of herb you desire to gather is critical in determining if your mint is ready to harvest.
You’ve spent time and money nurturing your mint plant from seed to bloom. If you’ve grown this plant previously, you’ll know that it can take up to 90 days for the first batch of leaves to develop sufficiently to harvest. All of this takes time and care, and you don’t want to waste it by gathering it incorrectly.
The ideal time to collect mint leaves is in the spring, just before the blossoms develop. Pick the plant’s green leaves as needed for fresh usage. You may begin plucking the leaves as early as the plants reach a height of 4 to 5 inches. Trim the stems 1 inch from the ground just before blossoming.
Furthermore, the mint plant may be harvested 2 or 3 times in a single growing season. After the dewdrops have dried, it is the perfect moment to gather your mint plant. However, go to your planting spot first thing in the morning to harvest the stems.
If you are interested: Read How To Clean A Bunn Coffee Maker HERE.
How To Harvest Mint Without Killing The Plant?
So how to harvest mint without killing the plant? Even though mint is a tough, sturdy garden plant. You must still follow safe harvesting methods with your mint plant to avoid unnecessary damage that might kill it.
When harvesting your mint plant, always use the proper instrument to avoid causing extra damage to the plant. However, the ideal equipment for picking mint is a pair of gardening scissors and sharp shears. Make use of scissors that have got sterilized since you would not like to spread any infections that may cause problems for your plants.
However, depending on just how much herb you want and the stage of your plants, there are two possible ways to harvest. Suppose you’re only harvesting a small amount for immediate consumption.
In that case, you can cut from wherever the leaves are fresh and healthy. The usual rule of thumb for harvesting is to begin at the top of the stem and work your way down after that.
Why is this the case? Removing the leaves from the top first provides the best flavor and prevents the plant from blooming. Direct the plant’s energy to develop more foliage and leaves, which is, of course, the original intention for cultivation.
How To Preserve Harvested Mint Leaves?
Now that you know how to harvest mint without killing the plan, or you’ve already collected enough leaves from lasting you all winter. You’ll want to preserve them safely, so they’re ready to use whenever you need them.
Fresh mint leaves can get used immediately away. You can also store the stems in a cup of water for 3-5 days. Refrigerate them for up to a week after wrapping them in a damp paper towel and placing them in a plastic bag.
Mint is a simple plant to cultivate, but it is also incredibly beneficial in the home. Mint has many applications in the house and yard, from flavoring meals to making bug insect repellents for your other garden plants. Treating your mint properly and employing proper harvesting practices will help improve the health and production of your mint plant and repay you with a bountiful crop throughout the season.