Mint is a wonderful herb, lending its aroma and taste to edibles and drinkables. We even use it medicinally to ease stomachs, and open congested noses. Mint comes in many varieties which include varied fruity essences in their minty tastes: pineapple mint, orange mint, even chocolate mint. Catnip is a variety of mint as well, and it’s mellowing qualities can help feline and human alike!
Mint does enjoy full sun and well-drained soil. Less light can result in some leggy growth, so supplementing with grow lights can help. Growing mint indoors has a unique benefit, in that it is in a container.
Mint is invasive and aggressive, meaning that it will spread and shoot up new plant, choking out other plants. Mint plants have been known to take over large amounts of back yards. Very little will stop mint from spreading, so most experienced gardeners will keep mint in containers.
Basil comes in a lot of varieties, but the most common one to find is Sweet Basil. All of these varieties are easy to grow and propagate. It’s an entry-level herb that calls many recipes “home” even some desserts and drinks.
Basil can grow in just about any situation, but it thrives in the sun and with daily, gentle, watering.
Some important things to keep in mind when growing your basil plant involve how you prune the plant (also known as harvesting tasty basil). By pruning back the stems – leaving the large leaves around the base – you are encouraging the plant to grow out two (sometimes more) new stems from below your cut. This leads to a bushier plant. As long as you don’t remove the large leaves at the base, your plant will still have its main sources of solar power.
A second pruning tip is to cut or pinch off any flowering plant tips. Blooming, and seed production takes a lot of energy, and that energy is much better used to make more leaves. Don’t worry, there is still a way to propagate your basil, and it’s really simple. After harvesting a stem of basil, use all of the leaves to make a tasty salad, but keep the top two sets or so on the stem. Place the cutting in a jar or glass of water and wait for roots to start growing (change the water if it starts to get funky or the roots look slimy). Once the roots are an inch or two long, they go where roots go – in to the soil! Where salt is good, so is basil. –Italian saying