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Old 08-23-2005, 06:46 PM   #1
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Angry FRUSTRATED in my search for mint

I'm not sure if I put this in the correct forum...

I have been looking to grow mint since I use it a lot in Vietnamese cooking. I've tried to grow it 2xs now. Once from cuttings using the stalks of mint I already had (which died) and then again, when a friend was at a nursery and picked up a starter plant for me. Problem is, it wasn't the correct kind of mint. *arrghhh*

I know that it's spearmint, but I think there must be a lot of varieties of spearmint because that is what my friend picked up at the nursery. I researched it and found possible botanical name is Mentha arvensis, mentha spicata, mentha x gracilis.

I know what the mint looks like, but it seems like all the sites on the net have different pictures.

I want the stuff that looks like this: http://www.victoryseeds.com/catalog/...a_spicata.html
But if I look at this link http://www.vietworldkitchen.com/essentials/herbs.htm, I see that Hung Cay (Vietnamese word) is what mentha spicata is, which is a completely different picture.

At most of the Asian grocery stores in Oregon, they will sell starters for like 3 bucks, but usually they are dried out and dead. At this point, I might just buy it in hopes to revive it, since this is the only way I can ensure that I buy the right variety.

Anyone else have translation problems? A lot of times I get frustrated because I don't know what the English name for many herbs and veggies are from the Asian store, I only know the Chinese or Vietnamese name, which a lot of times doesn't help. Maybe it just wasn't meant to be that I grow mint.

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Old 08-23-2005, 07:03 PM   #2
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The mint I see most at Vietnamese restaraunts round my area is a a type with fairly long tapering leaves rather than the broad style of regular mint (and like that in your pictures).

I know how frustrating it can be, people will say mint is mint but it isn't, the flavour is different. Its like saying thai basil (or holy basil as its otherwise called) can be substituted by regular basil and the results will be the same, it just isnt the same.

Good luck htc, I feel for you :).
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Old 08-23-2005, 07:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htc
I'm not sure if I put this in the correct forum...

I have been looking to grow mint since I use it a lot in Vietnamese cooking. I've tried to grow it 2xs now. Once from cuttings using the stalks of mint I already had (which died) and then again, when a friend was at a nursery and picked up a starter plant for me. Problem is, it wasn't the correct kind of mint. *arrghhh*

I know that it's spearmint, but I think there must be a lot of varieties of spearmint because that is what my friend picked up at the nursery. I researched it and found possible botanical name is Mentha arvensis, mentha spicata, mentha x gracilis.

I know what the mint looks like, but it seems like all the sites on the net have different pictures.

I want the stuff that looks like this: http://www.victoryseeds.com/catalog/...a_spicata.html
But if I look at this link http://www.vietworldkitchen.com/essentials/herbs.htm, I see that Hung Cay (Vietnamese word) is what mentha spicata is, which is a completely different picture.

At most of the Asian grocery stores in Oregon, they will sell starters for like 3 bucks, but usually they are dried out and dead. At this point, I might just buy it in hopes to revive it, since this is the only way I can ensure that I buy the right variety.

Anyone else have translation problems? A lot of times I get frustrated because I don't know what the English name for many herbs and veggies are from the Asian store, I only know the Chinese or Vietnamese name, which a lot of times doesn't help. Maybe it just wasn't meant to be that I grow mint.
Htc,
on your first link from victory seeds, this is what I know as mint, the other link is cilantro, two completely different tastes. Mint, falvo like in candy but not sweet, just the flavor, is that what your looking for? If so it would be from the victroy seeds link.
kadesma
ps...hope you find what you are looking for not sure if I halped or not.
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Old 08-23-2005, 07:38 PM   #4
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Try these folks - they're absolutely amazing in the stock they have; and they ship!


http://www.wellsweep.com/
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Old 08-23-2005, 08:26 PM   #5
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Uhh Kadesma, scroll further down the page on the second link.

I don't think htc would have made such a rookie mistake.
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Old 08-23-2005, 10:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggis
Uhh Kadesma, scroll further down the page on the second link.

I don't think htc would have made such a rookie mistake.
Sorry Haggis,
I didn't scroll down enough...The mint there is the same as the one on the victory link..Sorry htc...
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Old 08-23-2005, 10:33 PM   #7
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Thanks for letting me vent. Kadesma, no worries! Marm, I'll give these guys a try and cross my fingers. I am hoping to find some starters here locally, but if I can't, I'll make sure to contact these guys.
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Old 08-24-2005, 03:37 AM   #8
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Mint needs room to grow, so when you get your starter plants, transplant them into very large pots for the size of the pots. Keep them in a nice sunny place and only take what you need from the palnt when cooking. Make sure you spread your used coffee grounds round the base of the plant(not touching it)along with the filter, excellent source of nitrogen and the mint will love you all the more for it! = )
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Old 08-24-2005, 10:45 AM   #9
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Brian, thanks for the tip. I actually have a worm composting bin I use. I put all of my coffee grounds in the compost and then use it for my plants. You are right, they do love it! And my worms love the coffee, so all is good! Now if I can just stop planting the wrong herbs!
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Old 08-25-2005, 07:16 AM   #10
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My dad has that growing like a weed over half his vegie garden!! He even puts the lawnmower over it theres so much of it! we must have the right conditions here.
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Old 08-25-2005, 08:35 AM   #11
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There are so many different mints...check this site for excellent seeds and plants:

http://www.nicholsgardennursery.com/

This catalogue not only has every herb you've ever heard of, they supply growing information and recipes.
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Old 08-25-2005, 08:37 AM   #12
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Oh yes as MrsMac hinted at, mint is a weed. It is an absolute voracious grower. At my home (not college) my Mum has given it its own garden bed, it just completely dominates the plants around it.

Despite that it is still popping up in the grass around the flower bed. Also I have found that mint does not like to be root bound. When I have grown it in a pot, while it grows out quite thick and there are many leaves and growths they don't get particularly big. Grow it in the ground and watch the leaves grow so much larger.
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Old 08-25-2005, 02:42 PM   #13
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htc,

Since you know what the mint looks like, why not take a trip to a local nursery? Mint should be easy to find. Try pinching off a leaf and tasting it.
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Old 08-27-2005, 05:16 AM   #14
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Oh, dear. Make sure you plant your mint(s) near a source of water, and in a place that is contained, or it will take over you house, your life, and your yard. I have two kinds that I planted near a downspout. You'll find that in cooking you simply have to live with different products. I actually started with four kinds of mint, and am down to three. Two are the very invasive kind, and have to live near the roof downspout. I know one is spearmint, the other I think is peppermint (ruffly edges?). I had pennyroyal there as well, because it has insect repellent properties. But then I learned it was an abortion agent, and rooted it out and killed it off. Don't want to accidently hurt anyone! I have lemon balm as well. I use all of these in my southeast asian cooking.
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Old 08-29-2005, 05:19 PM   #15
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Mentha spicata = spearmint. Ruffly leaves, sweeter taste than

Mentha piperita = peppermint. Darker, smoother leaves with a bite that's missing from spearmint.

Grow it as the others have said, adequate water and rich soil. Be aware that it will tend to burn out (a rust, I think) later in the season, so either start new runners midseason or harvest early and often. You can avoid this for the next season somewhat if you burn off the patch in the fall.
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Old 08-29-2005, 11:26 PM   #16
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I have at least 5 different kinds of mint growing here and I live in Portland Oregon. It grows like crazy - pm me if you want to come and dig some up!

I have peppermint, spearming, chocolate mint, pineapple mint and others.

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