Useful information

Cumin and mint in the garden

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)

Spices and herbs have become so popular that they are already presented as a separate product even on the market. And no wonder. Housewives today prefer to use not dubious mixtures from sachets for cooking, which often include various flavor enhancers, and spices and herbs in their pure form. And if earlier very few cultivated herbs, nowadays many would like to get them from their garden.

Today we will tell you about caraway and peppermint - not only excellent flavors, but also plants that can be useful for maintaining strength or restoring health.

Caraway (Carum carvi)

Caraway (Carum carvi)

Caraway is a herbaceous biennial, its main value is seeds containing up to 3–7% of aromatic essential oil. Cumin is used to flavor bakery, confectionery and even milk. It is also added to marinades, used for pickling and pickling vegetables, for dressing soups, sauces and other dishes.

But caraway has long been known as a medicinal plant, a healing infusion is prepared from it: a tablespoon of chopped fruits is poured with a glass of boiling water. After cooling, the infusion is filtered and taken in 2-3 tbsp. spoons 5-6 times a day before meals. It improves digestion, enhances peristalsis. In addition, cumin is a good choleretic, sedative, tonic and laxative.

Read also the article Cumin: beneficial properties and uses.

As a vegetable, cumin is good for salads and soups made from green or etiolated (discolored) leaves and stems.

Caraway Seed Recipes:

  • Indonesian chicken curry
  • Vegetable stew with pumpkin and spices
  • Puree parsnip soup with spices and apple
  • Pea soup with smoked meats, caraway seeds and coriander
  • White cabbage, sauerkraut with caraway seeds and juniper
  • Easter tricolor butter bread
  • Chicken spicy soup with tomatoes and corn
  • Mexican Christmas Turkey Salad
  • Pilaf with lamb and persimmon
  • Fresh carrot salad with garlic and caraway seeds

Growing cumin

Growing conditions... Caraway can be grown on different soils, but chernozem, sandy loam and light loamy soils with a sufficient humus content are preferable. Importantly, it can be grown not only as a pure culture, but also as a sealant. He is not afraid to grow in partial shade (in the aisles of the garden), but, however, the yield decreases, the seeds are not so fragrant.

Sowing seeds... Caraway is sown in early spring with row spacing of 45 cm or double-row ribbons with a distance of 50 cm between rows, 20 cm between rows. It is not bad to sow it with row spacing of 25-30 cm. Seeding depth is 1-1.5 cm. You can grow caraway seeds through seedlings.

Caraway seeds germinate at + 7 ... + 8 ° С. Seedlings appear 18-25 days after sowing. During the period of stemming and at the beginning of flowering, it needs good watering. Demanding on lighting.

Care... In the first year of life, the aisles are loosened and weeded. Feeding is desirable (for 10 sq. M. 100-150 g of superphosphate, ammonium nitrate and potassium salt). In the fall, deep loosening must be carried out, while applying twice the specified fertilizer rate.

Harvesting seeds... Caraway ripens in July. The seeds fall off easily, therefore, in order not to lose part of the harvest, at the beginning of drilling the seeds, the plants are pulled out, tied in bunches and placed under a shed or in the attic, placing burlap or paper, where the seeds will fall.

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)

Another plant that is good to have in your garden is peppermint. It is also used as a seasoning for salads, soups, meat and vegetable dishes, and it is used to flavor various drinks. At home, for example, mint can be used to flavor kvass, cookies and other products. If you add a little of this herb to milk, it does not sour for a long time.

Mint Recipes:

  • Thai salad with squid, mint and lemongrass
  • Sugar-baked Vietnamese Chicken Meatballs
  • Pumpkin soup with apples without boiling
  • Kohlrabi salad with mint and yogurt
  • Thai honey pork
  • Aromatic sugar with aromatic herbs or flowers
  • Fried squid with claytonia leaves and green sauce
  • Green pea soup with mint and green onions
  • Summer herbal tea "Dachny"

Mint is prized as a good honey plant. Moreover, mint honey is healing and has a special aroma, color and taste.

The medicinal properties of mint are widely known. The menthol obtained from it helps with angina pectoris, as a sedative is part of validol, valocordin, Zelenin drops and many other drugs.

At home, you can prepare a valuable infusion. To do this, pour 2-3 teaspoons of dry leaves with a glass of boiling water. Take the infusion in equal portions throughout the day against nausea, as a choleretic agent, to improve digestion, rinse it out of the mouth. If mint is boiled with vinegar, it can be used against worms.

Just do not confuse peppermint with other species of this plant (see Mint).

Peppermint is a perennial of the labiate family with erect stems up to 100 cm high. The leaves are short-petiolate, pointed, with a heart-shaped base and sharp-edged edges, dark green above, light green below. The flowers are small, red-violet, collected at the tops of the shoots in capitate-spike inflorescences.

The fruit consists of 4 dark brown nuts (seeds), about 0.75 mm long, enclosed in a cup.

By the way, the cultivated plant is a hybrid of wild species of mint - water and spicate.

Growing peppermint

Growing conditions... The area for growing mint should be with loose, fertile and sufficiently moist soil, well lit by the sun. Mint also tolerates shading well, but then the soil should be less moist. Peppermint grows especially well on moist black soil. But on calcareous soil, it loses a lot in aroma. On heavy, waterlogged, acidic soils, plants grow very weak.

The best predecessors of mint are various vegetables for which the soil is fertilized with manure.

Reproduction... Mint is propagated mainly using cuttings or rhizomes. Cuttings are planted in the summer, and they are first rooted in the sand, and then placed in a permanent place. The rhizomes of old bushes are divided and planted in spring or early autumn, placing them with row spacing of 50-60 cm, and in a row - after 20-35 cm.

Sometimes mint is grown from seeds, but they are very small, they are not embedded in the soil, but pressed into it. It is better to use the seedling method.

Sometimes they practice forcing mint from rhizomes in greenhouses, greenhouses, or even in boxes in the room.

Care... During the summer, planting is loosened 2-3 times, weeds are regularly removed and the plants are fed, adding 10 square meters. m 250-300 g of superphosphate, ammonium nitrate and potassium salt.

To get more green mass, in the spring, as it grows, you need to carry out a strong pruning - the mint will bush better.

Harvesting greenery... For drying, mint is harvested at the beginning of flowering, when the leaves contain the highest essential oil content. The cut stems are laid out in the shade in a thin layer on cloth or paper, or tied in bunches and hung in a well-ventilated place. Then the inflorescences and leaves are cut off, coarsely ground and stored in a tightly closed container in a dry, cool place protected from the sun. In this form, mint retains its smell perfectly all winter.

For fresh consumption, leaves and shoots are cut as needed.

Read also the article Peppermint: the biological basis of cultivation.

"Ural gardener", No. 46, 2018