SEED TYPE: COMMON CATNIP
Nepeta cataria, commonly known as catnip, catswort, catwort, and catmint, is a species of the genus Nepeta in the family Lamiaceae, native to southern and eastern Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, and parts of China. It is widely naturalized in northern Europe, New Zealand, and North America. Catnip is a strong-smelling herb, it belongs to the mint family and has oval-toothed, dark green leaves and white flowering tops. Catnip has long been thought to have medicinal properties. Catnip is a cousin of basil and oregano.
What does catnip actually do to cats?
Researchers suspect that catnip targets feline "happy" receptors in the brain. When eaten, however, catnip tends to have the opposite effect and your cat mellows out. Most cats react to catnip by rolling, flipping, rubbing, and eventually zoning out. They may meow or growl at the same time.
Is catnip cruel?
There's absolutely no ingredient in catnip that can harm your cat. The only danger of your cat eating too much catnip is that they might get an upset stomach. ... Catnip belongs to the mint family and if you crush the fresh leaves you can smell the scent. In fact, it's the scent that intoxicates cats when they smell it.
Life Cycle: is a vigorous, but short-lived, herbaceous perennial
Sun Exposure: Full Sun
Soil Moisture: Moderately rich loam or sandy, well-drained
Height: 24" - 36" tall and wide
Bloom Time: Summer and fall
Bloom Colors: White & Lavender
How To Sew: Sowing Seed Indoors:
Sow catnip seeds indoors 4-8 weeks before the last frost in spring
Sow seeds ¼ inches deep in seed-starting formula
Keep the soil moist at 70 degrees F
Seedlings emerge in 14-21 days
As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
If you are growing in small cells, you may need to transplant the seedlings to 3 or 4 inch pots when seedlings have at least 3 pairs of leaves before transplanting to the garden so they have enough room to develop strong roots.
Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning. This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.
Common CATNIP Nepeta cataria Mint Herb Organically Grown
Sowing Directly in the Garden:
Direct sow in average soil in full sun or light shade after danger of frost. In frost-free areas, sow from fall to early spring. Choose a location where vigorous plants can be easily controlled, such as in containers or a raised bed.
Remove weeds and work organic matter into the top 6-8 inches of soil; then level and smooth.
Sow seeds evenly and cover with ¼ inches of fine soil.
Firm the soil lightly and keep evenly moist.
Seedlings will emerge in 14-21 days.
Thin to stand about 18 inches apart.
Keep plants well-watered during the growing season, especially during dry spells. Plants need about 1 inch of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It’s best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
Pinch the tops off young plants to encourage bushy growth. To encourage a flush of new growth, cut plants back by about one half after the first flush of bloom.
Divide plants every 2 to 3 years to keep them vigorous and prevent them from spreading too much.
Harvest and Preserving Tips
Grow catnip for you feline friends, or use it yourself for a soothing tea. Leaves may be added to salads or to flavor foods.
Catmints are marvelous as edgings for perennial beds and borders, as groundcovers under roses, or cascading over the edge of containers. They also attract numerous pollinators, and are great alongside the vegetable garden.
Harvest leaves or whole stems as needed as soon as the plant is mature but before the leaves start turning yellow. Harvest in the morning before the heat of the day but after the dew had dried. Cut entire stems at the base of the plant. Strip leaves from stems.
Store fresh catnip in the refrigerator for a few days.
To dry, cut a bunch of stems on a sunny morning, tie them loosely and hang them in a dry, airy location out of the sun. Or, dry herbs in the oven for 2-3 hours on a cookie sheet at the lowest heat, leaving the over door open. Or, use a dehydrator following the manufacturer’s instructions. When plants are dry enough to store, a leaf will easily crumble between your fingers.
When thoroughly dry, store herbs in a tightly sealed glass jar in a dry, dark location, such as a cupboard. Dried catnip can last for several months.
ABOUT THESE SEEDS: SEEDS FRESHLY HARVESTED 2020 from right here on our Unique Creek Homestead!