If your mint becomes an overgrown green monster, this article on “recreate wild conditions when growing mint in a greenhouse” may help you out. Mint requires a lot of time and effort to grow. Consider recreating what usually sustains it in the wild; primarily soil, container, irrigation, and shade
Mint is a highly aromatic perennial herb. It comes from the genus Mentha. Usually, you can find it in food, but it can also be repellant for pests, such as ants and mice.
With how much it’s used, you’d think this is easy to grow. In reality, mint is a vigorous and invasive grower. If not handled properly, you can have a 4-foot long mess in just a year. Not to worry, that’s where we come in to help. Keep reading to learn more.
Things To Consider In Recreating Wild Conditions
Mints are shallow-rooted and quick to pluck. They are widely adaptable and can grow in most temperatures. Regularly pruning and picking it will work wonders. Doing this promotes bushy growth.
But before you can harvest, here are some things you should consider to recreate wild conditions when growing mint in a greenhouse.
#1 Soil and irrigation
For mint, what you’ll want is soil that can be kept moist and drains quickly. How to determine one? You should make sure that it has a neutral pH level of 6.0 to 7.0.
You can add landscape sand, pebbles, or broken pottery at your container’s bottom to improve drainage. If you can, add aged compost or other matter organically rich to the soil.
Remember to keep your soil consistently moist. When the topsoil becomes dry, be sure to water it. Install a drip system to ensure a consistent adequate amount of water. With this, you’ll be assured of steady growth.
You can apply mulch on the soil surface to help retain moisture. It also helps to keep weeds in check.
Mint is a rapid grower, so to control that, you’ll need to place them in a container. If not, any physical barrier will do.
There’s no specific shape for your container. You can use a pot or a box. It needs to be a bit large to give space for the mint to stretch and grow.
You can bury the container underground or keep it above. If you plant it, remember to leave a bit of the rim to serve as a barricade so it won’t escape. Around 2 inches from the ground will work.
Make sure to turn the pots underground every two weeks or month so that the roots won’t spread through the drainage holes.
Mint generally prefers full to partial sun exposure. Light shade is acceptable but never put it underneath a tree. Though some protection is need from the afternoon heat.
Suppose you’re still in the planning stages of your greenhouses. A good tip is to not make your roof entirely of glass. But if you already have a greenhouse, a shade system will do. One with hooks or Velcro to make it easy to remove and attach.
Propagation Of Mints
After harvesting your mints, it’s time to propagate them. There are two ways to do this.
#1 Root division
The best time to take root cutting is autumn. Due to the cold, plants focus their energy on their roots. So cuts won’t heal for quite a while. You can store the rooted cutting in your fridge for three months if you don’t plan to use it now.
Carefully remove the whole mint from the container. Afterward, slice the root ball into quarters. You can use garden shears, sharp knife, or hand saw.
Add soil to small 2-4 inch containers. The earth should be a mix of aged compost and landscape sand or pebbles. Keep the soil evenly moist with water.
Trim and prune the quarters until they can fit in the containers. Place the cuttings horizontally then cover with soil. Firmly yet gently press it down.
Lightly water and place in a covered area with indirect light and consistent moisture.
#2 Stem cutting
Pick strong and healthy stems and cut off into 6-inch pieces. Preferably, just after a set of leaf nodes to avoid the branch from coiling in water.
Length does matter. Leaf nodes are where roots sprout. Meaning, a longer stem equals more leaf nodes, which means more roots. More roots will help stabilize your plant.
Set in a glass of water, and place it in an area with indirect light. Roots will start to form from around a week. By 3 to 4 weeks, it can be transplanted into its permanent container.
In a glass of water, put the stems in it. Also, consider to place it in an area where there is adequate air and light. Wait until healthy roots are forms. Usually, it takes around 10 to 14 days for the roots to form. Within 3 to 4 weeks, they can be planted already.
Mint grows fast, so you’ll need a physical barrier to control it. For example, pots or boxes. Set up an irrigation system to maintain a steady supply of moisture. Your soil also has to be well-draining and nutrient-rich. Light shade will do for it. But most of all, have patience and perseverance!
Hopefully, you’ve learned how to recreate wild conditions when growing mint in a greenhouse. Good luck!