Peppermint Climate Requirements
Peppermint can grow well from the cold of Canada to the mild climate of the Mediterranean countries. It is a resilient plant that has the ability to gradually shrink and wither during late autumn, so as to prepare itself for the winter. The upper part of the plant actually dies off during a heavy winter, but -through its roots- it can regenerate during spring. The best climates for the average peppermint variety are those with long warm days and cool nights. If the temperature is too high during the night, the concentration of some undesired substances increase above accepted levels and thus the quality of essential oil is diminished. It is necessary for all peppermint growers to make an extensive research on varieties that produce well locally. A variety that thrives in Southern California is most probably unsuitable for Canada and vice versa.
Peppermint Soil Requirements and Preparation
Peppermint plants can grow in all well-drained soils. Your peppermint plants will most probably produce a minimum yield, even if you do not take any measure towards soil analysis, improvement and soil preparation. However, the best yields for commercial cultivation are often achieved in fertile deep soils with pH close to 7 and very good drainage. Insufficient drainage (especially during winter with frequent and heavy rainfalls) can kill the plants.
The first step towards effective soil preparation is the soil analysis and pH. The soil pH should be corrected to desired levels (6,5-7). Moreover, the soil analysis will reveal any nutrient deficiencies, so that the farmer can take corrective actions under the guidance of a licensed agronomist. In most cases, it is beneficial to add 20 tons of well-rotted cattle or poultry manure per hectare and plow well before the planting of young seedlings. In cases of severe nutrient deficiencies, farmers apply soil fertilizer N-P-K 20-20-20 (800 lbs. or 360 kg per hectare) at the same time with planting and irrigate well the young seedlings (ask a licensed agronomist).
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4.) Peppermint Growing Conditions
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