Thursday, February 23, 2012

Growing Mint in your garden

I first picked up mint at a local greenhouse, just touching the plant sent it's aroma out and about and I loved it! So I followed the planting instructions...basically, dig a hole and plant the little plant and it will provide a lot of mint to use. I've always loved mint tea...how could I go wrong? Oh boy I got a lot of mint for sure. The darn stuff spread like wildfire in my garden! Mint is an invasive plant. Mint sends runners out from it's roots and so if you let it, it can really take over your garden! So how does one live in harmony with the little mint plant? It can be potted in a large planter so that the roots have nowhere to go. Or it can be grown indoors as a houseplant. I've also heard that some gardeners have dug a large hole, placed a large plastic pot and planted the mint in the pot making sure it has drainage holes. The large pot is said to contain the plant and prevent it from spreading. I prefer to put the mint into a large planter and start a new plant every spring. I have tried starting mint plants myself from seed but I haven't been too successful.  Mint plants don't need much care. I would probably fertilize with manure tea or some other organic fertilizer at least once during the growing season. Mint grows well in full sun. To use the mint, you can freeze the leaves just as is, after being washed. Or you can dry them and store them loose to make tea. Mint jelly is another use for mint.

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