Saturday, June 18, 2011

Balcony gardening - Peppermint

After moving into a high rise unit, I had to content with growing stuff on the balcony. Now, the balcony of the unit isn't that big. Nay, I should say, it is that small. One of the plants that I started off from cuttings was peppermint. Bought myself a pack of peppermint from Genting Garden, made peppermint tea out of most of it, and saved a few stems. All the plants grown on the balcony were potted in polybags that were either 4" diameter or one with 6" diameter. I prepared two bags of soil in the polybag that gave me a final opening of approx 6" diam. and stuck the cuttings in it.
5th March - In the beginning, they were just sad looking stems/shoots in the bag.

After a while, they started to grow, and grow and grow. Hmm, sounds a bit like the magic beanstalk. Well, I was pretty happy that they grew so well.
The peppermint grew and grew...

A closer look at the peppermints

Then I noticed that the peppermints were sending runners everywhere. One was so long that it reached the left end of the balcony (the peppermints are right in the middle). And another on the right side was trying to beat the record of the first runner! Thank goodness they are in a container on a balcony. Imagine the trouble of trying to remove it had it been growing on the ground.
Jostling with the Dahlias for space - you can see the reddish runners going off the balcony

The periodic harvesting and distribution to friends and colleagues only served to make it grow even faster, like the Hydra chopped of its head and sprouting more to replace the decapitated one. In retrospect, one small polybag would have been enough, unless you adore peppermint so much (read - nuts over peppermint). Having grown spearmint and applemints before, this has got to be the easiest mint to grow; as long as it gets ample moisture, it will run wild and go out of hand. Someone pass me the shears please! It is now smothering my poor dahlias.
Running wild and almost jumping off from the 13th floor.

At this moment, they had grown beyond the balcony parapet and dangle down to the floor below. It makes me want to shout out "Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your...peppermint!" every time I take a look at it.