April 2015 - mint plants

I can’t believe we are in April again already. It has been pretty cold here in the South but is warming up nicely this week, a good thing too as we are waiting for the mints to grow.

 The stock plants are brought into the heated tunnels in December. At that stage they are just roots in the soil – nothing showing above the compost. They take a while to get going because of the short daylight hours, but by the end of January we are taking cuttings. These root fairly quickly on heated benching under a misting system. Once rooted they are cut back to encourage bushy growth and left on heated benching for a week or two, before being hardened off and potted up. Once potted they go into unheated tunnels, which will keep the snow and excess rain off, but doesn’t protect them from low temperatures – at that point we are reliant on sunshine, daylight hours and ambient temperatures for them to grow. If it is a cold spring it takes ages, if it is a warm spring they are ready much quicker. Right now the apple mint, pennyroyal, Moroccan mint, grapefruit mint and spearmint are well rooted after being potted in January. The black peppermint and chocolate mint are just ready, the ginger mint looks great on top but has few roots and as for the rest, I have been singing to them to try and cheer them up J

Here are three photos I took in February of the apple mint stock plants, a rooted cutting and the potted cuttings just beginning to grow.