The natural goodness of herbs is a widely accepted – not only are their flavours used in food and drink but they are also used to relax the body and can be used to treat common ailments. Many of us herb enthusiasts have dreams of planting our own herbs in soil and harvesting these plants that we helped nurture while they nurture us with their nutrients. However, if the idea of growing plants gives you flashbacks to the shrivelled up plants that you have tried and failed to grow, you are not alone. We’ve compiled a few tips which will help you achieve your herb garden dreams.
The thing about many herbs is that their natural climate to grow in might be different from Singapore’s tropical one. For this reason, you either have to pick plants that adapt well to our climate or replicate the conditions of their natural habitats. Mint is a plant with a high adaptability and is therefore an easier plant to start with. Furthermore, it has a range of health benefits!
There are a great number of mint varieties for you to choose from. From the popular spearmint and peppermint, to the lesser known horsemint, there is something to suit every taste and fancy. There are slight variations with use so pick a plant that suits how you use them. For instance, many people use spearmint for garnishing savoury dishes and use peppermint for sweet ones. The tastes of each variety are different as well so be sure to pick a mint that you like best.
The soil required for mint plants is a loamy type. This means that it should have different sized soil particles in order for air and water to penetrate. Soil available here is often clayey and retains too much moisture so mix it with lightweight expanded clay aggregate pellets (LECA) so that it is better for your mint plant to flourish.
The great advantage Singapore has is that it has sun all year round. For most types of mint, getting enough sunlight is a must. If you grow your plant indoors make sure you place your potted plant close to a window or at a location where it can get as much sunlight as it can get.
Most mints grow naturally along the bank of streams and other water sources. This means that growing mint requires more care than simply sticking a cutting to the ground. You should monitor that the plant gets enough water daily. One way to check this is to put your finger in the soil to check its moisture. The soil should feel moist to the touch.
One thing that remains constant across all mint varieties is their ability to invade spaces completely. These plants are very hardy and they produce runners which can cause them to over-run and get out of control. One way to prevent is by planting them in separate pots. Another is through pruning. Pruning is an excellent way to keep plants producing new leaves and to prevent them from over-growing.
Armed with this knowledge, you are now prepared to embark upon the complicated journey of gardening. Though it requires some extra time and effort, the pleasure of being able to harvest fresh herbs for yourself makes all the work worthwhile. With a little practice, you may be able to grow an entire potted garden for your herb needs.