Mint is a wonderful herb with numerous uses. My parents have always grown an assortment of mint plants, even before they got started with their multiple green houses. It’s such an easy plant to grow and beneficial too. Whether you are making a cup of tea to settle your tummy or adding crushed mint leaves to some sugar body scrub, you’ll be amazed at how little effort it takes to grow these fragrant plants. Here are some tips on raising mint which you might find to be very useful!
Best Location For Mint Plants
Place your new mint plants in a location where they will receive the morning sun and have partial shade in the afternoon. They are hardy, but they don’t like to bake in the sun. Even if you have to use containers for your plants, due to a lack of garden space, make sure you follow these guidelines for the proper amount of sunlight.
You might even consider leaving your mint plant in the small container you purchased it in, or started it in. If you don’t want the mint to take over an area, plant the entire container in the soil to keep the roots contained. Most mint plants send out runners from their roots and these pop up through the soil to start a new plant. However, if you allow it to go to seed, you might also end up with new mint plants in the spring wherever the seeds have landed. Some varieties of mint are difficult to start from seed, but this doesn’t mean it can’t happen easily in your garden!
How To Prepare The Soil For Mint Plants
Use good quality soil with some compost mixed into it, for the healthiest plants. Even though mint plants will grow in just about any type of soil, why not give them a boost? I’ve had plants show up in the most random places: near the sandy spot where the chickens dust themselves, between the bricks in the walkway, and even alongside the woodpile. But, adding in some mulch to the soil around your mint plants will help them get some added nutrients.
Learn more about a prepper’s herb garden: what your grandmother grew and why.
How To Water Mint Plants
Don’t allow the soil to dry out so much that it cracks, but don’t drown the poor plant either. Mint plants aren’t extremely picky when it comes to water. As long as you avoid the two extremes – sopping wet and bone dry – your plants should be happy.
Read more about healing herbs for the homesteader’s garden.
How To Harvest Mint
Pinch off the flowering buds on each plant if you want to extend the growing season. It’s also best to harvest mint before it begins to flower. You can hang mint in small bunches to dry or spread the leaves out on a cookie sheet and allow them to air dry, so they will last longer. If you have a gas oven, the pilot light adds just enough warmth to help dry herbs at a slow, even temp. Drying mint in small, hanging bunches requires leaving the leaves on the stems. Gather a small handful of mint stems, cut them a couple of inches above the ground and tie a cotton string around the bunch near where your hand was. Hang the cluster of mint from a nail, wire hanger, or whatever you want to use to allow it to be suspended in the air. It’s best to let it dry in an area where it can get some air circulating around it, but not a lot of moisture. Once dry, you can pick leaves off and use them as you wish.
If you want to learn a lot more about herbs including how to grow them and how to use them we recommend .
Random Facts about Mint
For centuries, mint has been used for culinary and medicinal purposes. It’s used as a garnish on desserts or leaves can be coated in sugar for cake decorations. An upset stomach can be soothed by steeping crushed mint leaves in hot water. Mint relaxes intestinal muscles to provide relief from excessive gas too. Peppermint is a hybrid of spearmint and water mint. It’s great for external uses: reducing itching, relaxing muscles, and even clearing out some congestion in the sinuses.
Besides having culinary and medicinal purposes, mint can also be beneficial in the garden. This fragrant greenery will keep aphids away, which is perfect for gardeners who have roses. Rodents also don’t like the smell of mint, which is good to know should you have a rodent problem in your garden.
However you decide to use your mint plants is up to you. It’s also nice just to watch them grow! I hope these tips help you raise some lovely mint plants in your garden.
What type of mint are you interested in raising?
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