How To Grow Mint

Mint

(See individual varieties for specific product information, but in general the growing information will be the same for all mint.)

Average Days To Maturity: 90-200 days (from seed)

Spacing Between Plants: 12-18 inches apart

When To Plant: Charley recommends planting Mint in mid to late April or after last frost, but experienced gardeners can plant earlier and protect the young plants with buckets and milk jugs or start them out in a cold frame or small greenhouse.

Planting Tip: When growing Mint in a pot or container, make sure there is good drainage. This can be achieved by putting a layer of gravel or small rocks in before the dirt.  If planting in the ground, keep the soil free of weeds and water it a bit so that it is moist when you plant.

Mint can be invasive in some areas.  One tip to keep it from taking over is to plant it in a pot and sink the pot into the ground leaving an inch or two above the soil line so that it doesn’t spread.

Mint and Parsley do not play well together.  They tend to inhibit each others growth so take care not to plant them too closely together in the garden.

Preparation and Care: Mint can grow in a variety of conditions but if the soil that you are planting in is poor, then you can work in some compost but additional feeding is not necessary.

Mint puts out runners and will form a dense cluster at the base plant which will fill the pot or area that it is planted in and need to be divided.  Divide and transplant mint in the spring.  Mint can also get to looking scraggly and woody.  If this happens, cut it back to the soil line and it will come back out.

Make sure there is plenty of air flow around the plants to prevent rot and disease.

Watering: Mint can tolerate slightly wet conditions.  Keep it moist and water regularly.

Fertilizing:  Work compost or some type of fertilizer in to your soil before planting.  Like many other herbs, too much fertilizer can inhibit the flavor of mint so additional feedings are not necessary.

Harvesting:  Mint leaves can be harvested throughout the growing season.  It is recommended that you use scissors to clip from the top of the plant.  This will promote more leaf production lower on the plant.

Mint leaves can be dried in a single layer on a tray or screen turning a couple of times the first day.  Be sure they do not overlap.  The leaves need to be completely dry before you put them in an airtight container.  If moisture shows up in the container, lay the leaves out on a paper towel to dry more.  You can also freeze them whole.

Common Insect Problems

Mint may be fed upon by spider mites, aphids, cabbage loopers and flea beetles.  On the flip side, planting mint near certain plants may help keep some harmful pests away.

Common Disease Problems

Mint may develop rust or anthracnose.  The damaged leaves can be removed and healthy leaves will grow back.

 

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