Both of these plants, once they establish root, will spread wherever they can by means of sending out new roots nearby, so plan for this by planting them into a spot where they will be either prevented from doing this by a wall or sidewalk, or where it will be easy to dig it up and dispose of escapees.

Mint is a very low maintenance plant: It can grow in both full sun and shade, though it prefers full sun. It likes water but is fairly drought tolerant.

If you do not want it to escape your designated area at all, plant it in a pot with a saucer.

You can trim leaves for teas, sauces, cosmetics and mojitos all spring, summer and fall. Once the plants wither from cold, cut the stems just above the ground and compost them. The mint will regrow next Spring.

Medicinal uses: The tea can be used for indigestion, diarrhea, flatulence, cramps and bad breath. The potent smell of the crushed plant helps relieve headaches.

Do not drink daily, though, as mint interferes with iron absorption (as does coffee, chocolate and tea…)

Contraindications: Should not be used by pregnant and nursing women and very young children (can lower blood pressure significantly and cause throat closure and breathing difficulties) and by people with reflux (relaxes the gastric sphincter and makes reflux worse) or gallstones (stimulates bile production).

Raspberries love sun and moisture. They hate being transplanted, so make sure to water your transplants well for the next few weeks, until they establish new roots.

Loosen the soil to 30 cm deep and remove all weeds from the area. Add some compost, if available. Plant your canes, so that the “border” between the root and the stem is about 3-5 cm below ground. Firm up the ground and push the soil down around the plant with your foot or hands. If you can, add a mulch of some leaves, wood chips or straw around the raspberries to keep the weeds out and water in the soil. Your canes will probably bear their first fruit in the Fall of this year.

 

These raspberries are twice-bearing, which means that once they are established, they will give you a fruit in early summer, then take a small break in August and give a second crop in the Fall.

 It also means that you need to prune out old canes twice a year, in order to give the actively growing canes some sunlight. The “old” canes can be recognized by a colour change (noticeable darkening/purpling) and slightly shrivelled look at the lower part of the cane. Just cut those out at the base and dispose of them in a city green bin, as they are quite woody and would take a long time to decompose in a regular composter.

The first pruning is to be done in August, during the break between crops. The second pruning is best done in the spring, just as the new growth is starting on the canes. During this pruning, shorten the healthy growing canes by about 1/4 to 1/3.

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