Not everyone likes mint with a strong, aggressive scent. If the plant is used for treatment, it is impossible to get away from the aroma of menthol. In cooking, you can and should look for products that are pleasant and enjoyable. Strawberry mint does not strike the taste buds; it gently and unobtrusively sets off a dish or drink, adding notes of freshness and strawberries to it.
Mint with original flavors
One of the areas of mint breeding is the creation of varieties with smells of spices, fruits and berries. They are especially popular in spicy-aromatic flower beds. If a person is nearby for 15-20 minutes, his mood rises, physical and psycho-emotional stress is removed, and the body's overall resistance to diseases and infections increases. Aromatic herbs are also used in cooking.
Different types of mint gave rise to varieties with original smells:
Among the listed varieties, only citrus or chocolate peppermint notes are accompanied by a strong menthol scent. The content of this substance in other varieties is low, but still dominates, although not so much.
Description of strawberry mint
Spikelet Almira (Menthaspicata Almira) is a herbaceous perennial plant with the aerial part dying off for the winter. Forms a compact bush up to 40 cm high.If the shoots are constantly pinched, it grows well in width. Stems are straight, glabrous.
Mint with the smell of strawberries Almira has small, green, ovate-oblong opposite leaves with clear veins, a sharp tip and weakly expressed teeth along the edge. Petioles are short; few hairs are concentrated on the lower part of the plate or are completely absent.
The flowers of strawberry mint are purple, concentrated in the axils of the upper leaves. They form a thin intermittent ear, which in summer in an open area often burns out and becomes pale. Flowering begins at the end of May, attracts bees and butterflies to the site.
Strawberry mint rhizomes are thin, horizontal. They grow rapidly, forming entire colonies. The Almira variety is often grown as a soil cover.
Spearmint with strawberry aroma contains very little menthol. It was not included in the list of plants recognized by official medicine as medicinal, but it contains vitamins, minerals and essential oils. It can be used to maintain the general tone of the body, relieve fatigue, in the initial stages of colds.
Advice! Strawberry mint is chewed to freshen the breath. This is enough for 10-15 minutes, but you can put a few leaves in your pocket.
The main value of strawberry mint as a garden plant is its aromatic properties. An unobtrusive pleasant smell, which intensifies when the leaves are damaged, relieves depression, headache, fatigue.
What is the flavor of strawberry mint
The aroma of strawberry mint cannot compete in saturation with the intensely obtrusive aroma of pepper. But it is light, pleasant, and does not cause headaches in people who do not tolerate menthol well.
Strawberry mint Almira, according to chefs and tasters, has a pleasant berry aroma of strawberries with hints of chocolate. It is devoid of the cold shades of pepper.
The use of strawberry mint in cooking
Leaves and flowers are used for making desserts, sauces, fruit salads. Strawberry mint gives the drinks a unique light aroma. It is often added to lemonade and cocktails.
Important! Unlike peppermint, spikelets, including strawberry, do not have a cooling effect on the taste buds. This is due to the low menthol content.
Almira mint does not drown out other smells, but sets them off. Small fragrant leaves are great for garnishing ready meals.
Where can you add strawberry mint?
Tea made from mint, which has a strawberry aroma, relieves fatigue and irritable bowel syndrome, relieves sore throat. For a small cup, it is enough to add 2-3 fresh leaves or 1/4 teaspoon dry.
Important! If you put a lot of mint in tea, the drink will taste bitter. Since strawberry does not possess pronounced medicinal properties, it simply does not make sense to spoil the taste.
Almira mint, in addition to cooking, is used as follows:
- dry grass can be brewed and added to baths with muscle and nervous tension;
- a bunch of speckled mint, hung in the room of a hyperactive child, will help him fall asleep and will not irritate him with the menthol aroma;
- fresh or dry grass is added to self-prepared lotions, masks, soap;
- strawberry mint is useful as a perfume in the bath;
- Leaves can be rubbed over temples and palms before work that requires concentration or while preparing for exams.
Almira mint with strawberry aroma puts up with partial shade. In the south, it is generally better not to plant it in an open place, otherwise:
- greens and flowers fade, turn pale;
- decorativeness decreases;
- it is difficult to find beautiful leaves for salads and drinks;
- loss of essential oils occurs;
- it becomes impossible to prepare mint for the winter.
Any soil that is not too acidic will do. But the culture grows better on drained, fertile, moist soils.
The variety is planted at the beginning of the growing season, as soon as the ground thaws and warms up. If in the south it was not possible to finish the work before the onset of the heat, it is better to postpone it to early autumn. Rhizomes of mint come close to the surface and, not having time to take root, will die from overheating or drought.
Before planting, the site is dug up, the roots of the weeds are selected. The earth must be well loosened, all the clods must be broken. If the bed does not have time to sink, it is rolled up.
Advice! You can put a wide board on the ground and walk carefully on it.
- Cut strips 5-8 cm deep, watered abundantly.
- The rhizomes of mint are laid out in a row and covered with soil.
- Tighten the fit.
Further care - watering, weed removal. It is impossible to loosen the soil - the root system of strawberry mint is superficial.
The variety is suitable for container planting. If the container is small, the mint will grow weak, with thin shoots, it is unlikely to bloom. But greens for tea or salad will give.
Garden soil is not suitable for a pot, you need to buy a universal peat-based one. Drainage is placed at the bottom. Carefully monitor that the substrate does not dry out, and the water in the container does not stagnate.
At the end of the season, strawberry mint is transplanted into open ground until spring or brought into the house.
Features of growing and care
Spike mint is called garden mint and is used more often than other species in landscaping. It is unpretentious, frost-hardy and grows well. The Almira variety differs from the parent culture in its compact form, strawberry aroma and small leaves that burn easily in the bright sun.
The plant needs regular watering. Top dressing on fertile soil can be carried out 2 times a year:
- in early spring with nitrogen;
- in late summer or early autumn - phosphorus and potassium.
Important! An excess of nitrogen fertilizers reduces the content of essential oils and provokes disease.
Weeding of strawberry mint is carried out manually, the soil is not loosened. They are transplanted to another place every 3 years. They are covered with spruce branches or fallen leaves only during cold, snowless winters.
Pests and diseases
Strawberry mint has a lot of pests. If the leaves and flowers are used to prepare drinks, desserts, other dishes, or to decorate them, it is necessary to fight insects using folk methods. The culture is often affected by:
To do without chemistry, mint is regularly transplanted, dried stems are removed from the site in the fall.
When and how to harvest strawberry mint
Mint leaves are plucked as needed for fresh consumption. To prepare raw materials with strawberry aroma for tea or sauces for autumn and winter, the upper part of the plants is cut off on a hot sunny day. It is in such weather that the content of aromatic substances reaches its maximum.
The highest quality raw mint is obtained at the beginning of flowering. For most regions, this is the end of August or the first decade of June. It is not worth delaying, as in July mushroom spores become more active, and the mint starts to hurt.
How to dry strawberry mint properly
Shoots can be dried in bunches by hanging in a hot, well-ventilated area without access to the sun. Mint, ready for storage, is placed in tightly closed cardboard boxes.
If there is time, the leaves are cut off immediately after harvesting and laid out on white paper. You can cover the newspaper with clean gauze in two layers. Store dry leaves in a tight-fitting glass container.
Strawberry mint is an unpretentious plant with a delicate aroma. It can be grown under openwork trees, in containers, in flower beds or beds with other aromatic plants.
Olga Sergeevna Nezhentseva, 38 years old, Kislovodsk
Peppermint and strawberry are growing in my front garden. I love tea with aromatic herbs, I put it in salads in summer and sauces in winter. Only mint with the smell of strawberries burns out strongly, at first it shaded, then transplanted into a corner where the sun is only in the morning. I do not feed anything, but I water it often, in the heat - every day. It is impossible to overdry - even if it moves away from the root, there will be nothing to harvest for the winter.
Lyubov Valentinovna Kronskaya, 56 years old, Suvorov
I have a small plot, I can't plant everything I want. I love mint, but I had problems with it. Sunny places have already been taken, and domestic ones do not consider grass a particularly valuable crop. So the peppermint between the roses was tormented by me. Recently I replaced it with strawberry. The smell is not so strong, but my son and husband like it more, they drink tea with pleasure. And mint itself feels great next to flowers.