Friday, October 29, 2010

Growing catmints

Catmint is easy to grow. They thrive in sun or partial shade. They prefer average, well drained soil . Plants are drougt and heat tolerant. They grow well with little attention, and will withstand crowding. Fertilizer is not usually required, except in the poorest of soils. We always recommend a little fertilizer at planting time, and a couple of times a year to promote maximum growth.

After the plants have grown a few inches, pinch back the shoots to promote bushy growth. It will first bloom in mid summer. After harvest, trim back the plants again. With luck, you will get three harvests in a season.

Catmint are aggressive growers, crowding out other plants if given the chance. Give them plenty of space away from other plants in your garden. Or, better still, surround it with a border edging.

Harvest leaves as the flowers begin to bloom. Cut off the top leaves, stems and flowers. They can be used fresh, dried , or frozen. Spread leaves out to dry in a cool and ventilated area.

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