Thursday, 7 June 2012

Grow herbs in Malaysia

If ur gonna start a herb garden....start out with mint. Its one of the easiest herbs to grow. Needs very ( and i mean very ) little attention....give em partial shade / full sun and keep the soil moist. If you want an entire garden of mint , then grow em on the ground. Otherwise keep Mr / Miss Mint confined within pots / containers. Propagate via cuttings - happens very easily - cut the top stem just above a pair of leaves ( ensure u have atleast 4 leaves intact ) n poke em into the soil. Keep the pot in the shade for about 3-4 days , until u note some growth / the cuttings dont give way that easily when you try to pull em out. then give em partial sun n keep the soil moist.

Successful transplant
Ok...if ur cuttings look like the picture above after 3-4 days , then ur on the right track....very soon u will end up with this....

All that sun n water....n ofcourse lotsof skill.....

But if u screw up....this is what you will see.....


The picture above is what u get if u add too much fertiliser into ur soil for propagation ( yes i know i was out of my mind but it was an experiment ok....chill ) all you can to keep ur mint plants happy and prosperous....sunlight.....water......manure....neem oil spray......yipee......but one day......u see holes in the leaves.....whats goin on here! Cmon...all the skill...technique n effort i put in to propagating these lovely mint i have a bug ( many many bugs....i find out later )problem ???
So i went on this Find the BUG n Kill it RAGE......
N announcing the culprit.....

Green juicy ( who wouldnt be after munching on all that mint ) worm

How I got rid of em? Ok honestly , I dont know what they are. Weird pesky green worms for sure - so i picked em off my mint leaves n left em in the hot sun to die ( yes im cruel ). I had to soak em in neem oil to kill em ( just one spray wont do ) - since i didnt have that much of neem oil , i settled for the catch n kill method.

On a happier note..........
Mint will grow like nobody's business so keep em trimmed. The more u trim , the bushier it gets. Chicken / goat manure once a month will keep those leaves big and green.
Commonest mint here in Asia has to be Spearmint. There are lots of different varieties of mint out there. I have Spearmint ( ofcourse ) , Peppermint , Applemint , Vietnamese mint , Pineapple mint and Eau de Cologne mint.

Spearmint runner
My spearmint bush

I have been looking high n low for other varieties - especially Chocolate , Orange and Grapefruit mint....but to no avail.

So...why grow mint - you may ask.....
Ok lemme tell u why i grow mint.

1) Smells fantastic!
2) Looks great!
3) A great addition to salads
5) Mint pesto ( Pudina Sambal )
6) Its a perennial - lives forever n ever ( if all goes well )
7) So easy to grow - if u fail, we need to talk.

Eau de Cologne Mint

Eau de Cologne Mint

Vietnamese Mint ( Laksa leaves )
Vietnamese Mint ( Laksa leaves )