Mint (Mentha spp); Labiatae

Japanese mint
Kalka, Gomti, Himalaya, Sambhav, Saksham, MAS-1, MA-2, Hybrid-77, Shivalik and EC-41911
Spear mint
Arka Neera, Ganga, Neerkalka, MSS-1, MSS-5 and Punjab Spearmint-1.
Bergamot mint
Kiran
Pepper mint
Kukrail, Pramjal and Tushar, CIM Indus, CIM Maduras

Well drained loam or sandy loam soils rich in organic matter having pH between 6 and 8.2 are ideally suited for its cultivation Sub-tropical areas receiving an annual rainfall of 100 – 150 cm are good. Japanese mint can be cultivated both in tropical and sub-tropical areas. The mean temperature of 20-400 C during major part of the growing period and annual rainfall of 100-110 cm, (light showers at planting stage and ample sunshine at the time of harvesting) are ideal.
Mint can be propagated vegetatively through root suckers and terminal cutting.
On an average, 4 quintals of stolons are required for planting in one hectare of land.
The field should be ploughed and harrowed thoroughly and divided into beds of suitable size to facilitate irrigation and make it free from weeds and stubbles. In each bed, lines are opened at a distance of 40 x 40cm depending upon the variety and inter-culture implement used. The furrows are opened at 5 to 6 cm deep manually or through tractor driven harrow. Within a furrow, stolons are placed in rows at 10 cm. distance and furrows are closed with top soil. The bed is irrigated immediately after placing the stolons..

June – July.

Ten irrigations are given during summer season at intervals of 10-15 days, whereas another 4-6 for autumn crop harvested in late October.

Basal
Apply NPK at 50:75:50 kg/ha.
Top dressing
Apply 30 kg N in 2 splits at 60th and 120th day after planting.

Weeding with hand or mechanical hoes within the first six weeks of planting and after that at an interval of about two to three weeks, after the first weeding.
The rotation of mint crop with other food crops is found to be a good way of controlling weeds. Continuous cropping of any of the mints is not advisable.The best rotaion is Mint: Rice and Mint : Potatoes and Mint : Vegetables : Peas etc. depending upon cropping system followed in the region.

Pests
Red pumpkin beetle
Spraying malathion @1ml/litre of water.

Stolon rot
Treatment of the stolons with 0.25% captan or 0.1% benlate or 0.3 %. agallol solution for 2 to 3 minutes before planting is a preventive measure.
Fusarium wilt
Application of 0.1% benlate or bavistin carbendazim
Leaf blight
Application of 0.25% copper oxy chloride (2.5g/l)

First cutting starts in about 5 months after planting and subsequently at 3 months interval. The fresh herbage at harvesting stage contains 0.5 to 0.68% of oil and is ready for distillation after wilting for 6-10 hrs. The wilted crop is cut 10cm. above the ground by means of a sickle on bright sunny days, since harvesting on cloudy or rainy days decrease the menthol content in the oil. Under good management conditions, the crop will give economic yield for about four years.

Herbage- 24 – 30 t/ha/year. Oil- 100-150kg/ha/year

Storage of herbage
Mint herbage should be shade dried for about a day before it is distilled. Care should be taken that decomposition of the herbage does not initiate during the drying process. There would be some reduction in oil yield if wilted herbage crop is stored for a
longer period of 2-3 days. As such, storage of herbage for a longer period is not recommended.
Distillation
The recovery of oil from the herbage is 0.5-0.8%. Oil is obtained through steam distillation. The oil is of golden yellow colour, containing not less than 75% menthol. The duration of steam distillation is 2-2.5 hours for complete recovery of the oil. About 80% of the oil is received in the receiver in about one hour. The oil that is received later is richer in menthol

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