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Peppermint

Peppermint is a perennial, and acts as an excellent groundcover, with dark green leaves and reddish-purple blooms. Grows to 24" tall. It will flower from July to August. Interplant peppermint with roses as a groundcover to repel pests. Use tender, young leaves for hot and cold teas and as a garnish on fruit and dinner plates. Use fresh, frozen, or dried. Many home remedies use mint to relieve headaches, cramps, colds and bad breath.

Mints are at their peak of flavor just before they flower. When ready to harvest your mint, do it early in the day. Cut sprigs from the plant and swish in a sink full of cool water to remove dirt and debris. Pat dry on paper towels. Use a dehydrator on the lowest setting or air dry in a shaded, well-ventilated area. Leaves will be brittle when dried completely. Hold stem with thumb and forefinger and strip the leaves. Store in an airtight container. Sprigs can be picked to use in recipes as needed, or freeze leaves in ice cubes. Harvest sprigs just before the flowers open for most intense flavor.

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