Mint is one of the easiest herbs to grow and therefore is a good one to start your herb gardening. In fact, many other herbs are also easy to grow, but people tend to start with mint due to its fresh smell.
Mint plants tend to spread like crazy, and can take over your entire herb garden if left to their own devices. It's the perfect plant for beginners to start out with, since it's so easy to grow and thrives in all kinds of conditions. The pretty leaves and fresh scent of mint can enhance any garden. These are perennials, and will return year after year.
Just follow these steps for gardening help to grow your own mint plants:
- Plant early spring, using plants purchased from a garden shop or nursery. While mint plants will thrive in your garden, growing them from seed can be tricky and painstaking.
- Find an area of your garden with a large, open space for growing mint plants. If planted too close to other flowers or herbs, the mint will take over and invade your other plants.
- Mint plants grow best in slightly moist soil with partial shade. You'll still end up with a good, hearty crop no matter what type of sun or shade the plants get, or what type of soil you use.
- Plant your mint plants about a foot apart from each other. Since it spreads so vigorously, you'll still have plenty of ground cover. If you want to attempt to keep it contained to one section of your garden, cut out the bottom of the containers they are in and plant the containers directly into the soil. This will keep the roots growing down rather than out, but won't completely stop the spread.
- Another way to keep your mint in one place is to use plastic or metal edging around the plants. Place the edging at least a foot deep into the ground around your plants, completely encircling them.
- Water your crop intermittently until the plants are established in your garden. They won't require much watering after they begin to thrive.
- Harvest leaves and sprigs as you need them, pinching off bare stems as you go. At the end of the growing season, prune back your mint plants and cover the area with a bit of mulch.
- You can grow mint plant in containers (called container gardening), indoors or out, if your garden is limited in space or you're having trouble keeping it contained to one section. Choose a large container and rich soil for planting and growing mint, and keep the soil moist for optimum growth. Divide your plant (remove from the pot and divide the roots to create two separate plants) and replant every year or two, as the roots grow incredibly fast.
Mint herb comes in hundreds of varieties, from classic spearmint and peppermint plants to pineapple, orange, banana, and even chocolate mint varieties. Experiment with many different types to add flavor to your beverages, salads, and other delicious foods. It can be dried and stored in airtight containers for later use as well, or even used in potpourris and homemade bath products. I hope you have enjoyed learning how to grow mint plants and will benefit from your new hobby for years to come.