The Wisconsin Mint Industry
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Mint is a perennial plant that produces no seed.
New fields are planted with root stock or underground runners, called
stolons, from existing plants. Mint
is planted as a row crop, but by the second year the plants spread out with
stolons, creating a solid mint field. Every
three to five years, the mint fields are rotated with another field crop and
then the mint planting cycle begins again.
The oil is stored in glands on the underside of the peppermint and spearmint leaves. The plant reacts to sun and day length, by producing oil; thus very long sunny days will produce a high yield crop. Mint is one of the more difficult plants to grow because of its susceptibility to disease, insects, and weeds, all of which can harm the plant and alter the quality of the oil and reduce the yield.