Mints

I grow a number of small edibles in large containers, in the interest of water conservation because I am in an arid zone. My major mysterious problem in recent years as been some mints -- which I would have thought would be pretty trouble free. Oregano and sage are native here, and I try to give them what they needs in nature, namely not too much water in warm weather Spearmint is European and therefore wants more water, and I try to oblige. In both of the past few summers, both spearmint and oregano, though not sage, began to turn black about half through the summer. I was feeding them an organic fertilizer, and they were both surely moist enough, so I tried reducing the water supply, which didn't seem to help. What is it that they need that I am not giving them?
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Stan Goodman
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Possibly too much direct sunlight.
Try moving the pots to a different exposure.
My Oregano does well with a West exposure.
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Peace, Om

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opined:

Easy enough. Thanks.
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Stan Goodman


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wrote:

my thoughts too, lots more shade. Keep them in containers, because if in the ground once they take off mint will grow everywhere sending out runners.
Hal
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Hope it helps! :-)
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Peace, Om

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Stan, Salaam-Shalom. This must be do-able, otherwise taboule, as we know it, wouldn't exist. In repositioning your pots remember, morning sun is the coolest. Afternoon sun is the hottest. A southern exposure will be warmer than a northern exposure. I presume you don't have trouble with too little heat, so maybe try an eastern exposure. A little shade may help too. If you have a garden, put it in. This normally isn't a real bright idea because, under normal conditions, mint is invasive and starts popping up everywher, but drastic times call for drastic measures (At least in gardening.). Mint is a real opportunist, so be prepared. If worse comes to worse, start making taboule and mint tea.
- Bill Cloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
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opined:

I have grown mint in the grown easily elsewhere, in rainier climes, and defeated the "opportunism" by surrounding the planted area with a barrier. Mint roots don't go very deep (about 30cm if I remember), so it isn't hard to limit the invasion. I do not think I would need to do that here, in an area in which there is no rain at all from April till October or later; I don't think rogue runners would survive. I'm grateful for the shade advice, which explains why the sage (which is well shaded) doesn't curl up and die like the mint and oregano (which actually, are getting a bit of shade themselves -- it's certainly worth a try. On the other hand, the basil is immediately next to the mint, getting rather more sunlight than the mint or oregano, yet growing like mad consistently year after year. But basil is native to warmer regions, Africa and South Asia, and evidently more tolerant.
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Salaam-Shalom Stan, I'm in northern California, presently shivering among the redwood. Normally, no rain here from April to October also. That's why it's called the "Golden State" because all the hills turn golden brown during the summer:-) But living in a temperate rain forest means that we can expect at least 30 inches (72 cm to those of you not used to our antiquated system of weights and measures and capital punishment, but I digress) during the rainy season. Twenty miles (32 km) from here (Cazadero) they get 288 cm of rain/yr.
It is odd that what ever it is affects both the oregano and the mint. Some of my mint thrives with only three hours of Sun during the summer, whereas my oregano seems to do better with as much Sun as it can get (8 hrs./day here, during the summer. Which has me wondering about some kind of wilt (flora, fauna, chemical).
How big are your containers and where does the growing soil come from? The next time you start up a container I would suggest that you don't use the old ones unless you can sterilize them first with heat (83C/20 min.) or chemically (chlorine bleach in H2O, so that you can just smell it, or ozone, if that is available). Then fill the containers with fresh (preferably sterile) soil (growing medium).
You say that you live in an arid region. Does that mean desert or chaparral? If the middle of the day is very hot, consider some directly overhead shade. When leaf temp gets to around 37C, you don't get any growth anyway because the plant is using it's energy to pump water to the leaves, trying to stay cool through evaporation.
Mazel Tov (I don't know the Arabic equivalent),
- Bill
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In article

Stan, help me out here. What is the Palestinian equivalent to Mazel Tov?
- Bill Cloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
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