Many gardeners are wondering: will mint and lemon balm adversely affect each other, if they are planted next to each other, is it possible to grow these plants together? Undoubtedly, after all, peppermint, like lemon balm (lemon mint), belong to the same family - the Lipo family.
It is worth dispelling the myth about their detrimental effect on each other, when planting together. Many gardeners equip special beds with medicinal plants, where mint and lemon balm coexist perfectly.
How to plant these plants together in the garden?
The distance between mint and lemon balm plants should be at least 30-50 cm.
Where is the best place to plant herbs in the garden and in the summer cottage? The best place for planting will be a sunny, well-supplied with nutrients, moisture, as well as a site clean from weeds and protected from the cold wind, not freezing in winter. These crops are very demanding on lighting and its lack leads to a sharp decrease in the yield of leaves and the content of menthol. Mint and lemon balm tolerate short-term flooding and can be found in flooded areas.
Cultures of mint and lemon balm are undemanding to heat and start growing, already at 3-5 ° С... The optimum temperature for growth and development is 18-20 ° C. Rhizomes can withstand frosts down to -13 ° C, and mint sprouts can withstand temperatures down to -8 ° C. During germination, the rhizomes lose their frost resistance and may die when the cold returns.
These crops prefer mild winters and ample snow cover. The soil should be of light texture with the reaction of the soil medium RN-5-7.
Mint and lemon balm can be grown from seeds. But it should be borne in mind that peppermint blooms very profusely, but almost does not form seeds, while lemon balm reproduces perfectly even by self-sowing. Anyway, mint and lemon balm seeds are sold in almost all garden centers and shops.
- You can sow seeds at home, in seedling boxes, from February to April, or in a greenhouse, after warming up the soil. The seeds of mint and lemon balm are very small, so it is not recommended to plant them deep into the soil.
- When sowing in a container, you can scatter them over the surface of the soil and cover the container with glass or a bag, so the seeds will germinate faster.
- When sowing in a greenhouse or outdoors, lightly sprinkle the seeds with soil.
Seedlings of mint and lemon balm are planted in well-heated soil, in beds, with a distance between plants from 30 to 50 cm. Seedlings of mint and lemon balm grown from seeds are planted in open ground when 3-5 pairs of true leaves are formed. Seedlings are planted with a clod of earth, after which they are abundantly watered.
Cuttings of mint and lemon balm can be carried out during the entire growing season of plants.:
- To do this, take absolutely healthy twigs of plants with 2-3 pairs of leaves and place them in a glass of water.
- After about a week, the first roots appear, and after two to three weeks the cuttings are ready for planting in the ground.
For faster root formation, you can use growth stimulants "Kornevin" or "Heteroauxin". Planting cuttings in open ground must be completed a month before the onset of the first frost, so that young plants can form a sufficiently powerful root system for overwintering. After transplanting, abundant watering is required.
By dividing the bush
The most common planting method for both mint and lemon balm is rhizome planting... Planting with rhizomes is carried out both in autumn and spring. In areas with snowless winters and low temperatures, mint and lemon balm often freeze out, so it is recommended to plant in early spring. For digging, it is advisable to introduce well-rotted compost or manure with the addition of a complex mineral fertilizer.
- Rhizomes for dividing the bush and reproduction are dug out immediately before planting. Do not use sluggish rhizomes that have lost turgor and brown color for planting. When using them, planting of plants is sparse and low-yielding.
- Lemon balm rhizomes are planted to a depth of 8 to 10 cm, and mint rhizomes to a depth of 10-12 cm.
Spring planting of mint and lemon balm begins when the soil warms up. The autumn planting period for lemon balm is no later than September 15, and planting of mint can be carried out in more extended periods, including from October to November. A prerequisite after planting rhizomes is abundant watering. In one place, mint and lemon balm can be cultivated for at least 3-4 years.
Features of growing a house in one container
You can grow mint and lemon balm not only in the garden, but also at home, on the windowsill or balcony. This should be a sufficiently illuminated place, since the daylight hours for these crops should be at least 7 hours.
You can plant mint and lemon balm not only in separate pots, but also in one common:
- Accordingly, the pot for such a planting should be much larger. The distance between mint and lemon balm plants in a pot should not be less than 10 cm, since mint tends to grow strongly.
- The distance from the plant to the edge of the pot is at least 5 cm.
- The depth of the container for planting should be sufficient for the development of the root system of plants (at least 20 cm), because the larger the area of plant nutrition, the greater the yield of leaves and flowers that can be harvested.
- When growing mint and lemon balm at home, frequent watering is necessary as the soil dries up, as well as fertilizing with complex fertilizers after each mass cutting of greens.
How to care?
To increase the yield during the growing season, fertilizing and 3-4 times watering are carried out, especially during the dry period. Starting from the second year of plant life, you can carry out early spring feeding with ammonium nitrate or nitrophos. The main pests of mint and lemon balm are:
- spider mite;
- caterpillars of the scoop-gamma;
- mint leaf beetle;
- mint flea;
- mint aphid.
To combat aphids and mites, you can spray twice with a 3% solution of liquid soap. Tobacco dust can be used against leaf-eating pests.
The main disease of both mint and lemon balm is rust.... As a result of this disease, complete leaf shedding can occur, and the leaves are the most valuable part for which these crops are grown. A good anti-rust agent is Bordeaux fluid. Spraying is carried out with a 1% solution 3-4 times per season. All chemical treatments must be completed no later than one month before harvest.
When and how to harvest?
From plantings that were laid by dividing the bush in early spring, you can harvest in the first year, with autumn planting or when sowing with seeds - starting from the second year of the plant's life. The best time to harvest is the budding phase - the beginning of flowering of the plant. During the season, 2-3 harvests of green mass are possible.
Sprigs of mint and lemon balm are cut along with the flowers, because it contains a large amount of essential oil. Harvesting is done in sunny and dry weather. After cutting, the twigs are tied into bunches and hung on strings for further drying. Drying should be done in a dark, well-ventilated place.
Growing mint and lemon balm in the garden or on the windowsill is easy enough. These are the most popular and almost everyone's favorite aromatic and medicinal herbs. Having mastered the simple technique of growing these crops, you can delight yourself and your loved ones with fragrant, and most importantly, healthy tea, not only in summer, but also in winter.