Saturday, September 25, 2021

How to Grow Mint In Your Garden?

How to grow a mint in your garden? You might have asked yourself. Well, we will go over that down here. Mint is always delicious, sometimes in dishes, sometimes in desserts but definitely in tea. Besides that mint has a lot of health benefits.

Continue below the table of contents

Table of Contents:
How to grow min in your garden – when to sow mint?
How to grow mint in your garden – where to sow and put the cuttings?
How to grow mint in your garden – how do I sow or cutting mint?
How to grow mint in your garden – how to take care of mint?
How to grow mint in your garden – how do I harvest/pick mint?
How to grow mint in your garden – with other herbs?
How to keep, store and freeze mint herbs
Cleaning mint

Once you have bought a mint plant, chances are you will never be without mint again! It is a perennial and winter hardy herb, which can even proliferate considerably. You can harvest from the beginning of March until far into autumn.

How to grow mint in your garden – when to sow mint?

When you want to know how growing mint in your garden works. Then first ask yourself. Do you want to grow mint from seed or would you like to have a head start and take a small bush or some cuttings.

  • Cuttings or sowing
  • Sow in March – So the growing mint has time to ‘come of age’
  • Cuttings in May preferred – Spring temperatures are great for the mint to grow

There are many species and varieties of mint (peppermint, spearmint, watermint, lemon mint, basil mint, Swiss mint, etc.), some species and varieties you can sow, some not, because they might grow as a hybrid, diminishing their good features. It is best to buy a plant from a well-sorted garden center if you are looking for a specific species or variety, or ask the person who has the mint you wish for a cutting: it grows and roots so quickly that no one will find that a problem. 

Even if you buy a bunch of very fresh mint at the market or in a Toko, there’s a chance that it will still sprout if you are cutting it right away.

If you want to sow mint yourself, do it around March. But more straightforward, faster, and undoubtedly true for some types is to take cuttings (or rather cut a piece off the mother plant) and preferably later in spring, around May, when the plants are more vigorous. 

How to grow mint in your garden – where to sow and put the cuttings?

  • Indoors – Start to grow Mint indoors.
  • Cuttings later in spring – When the stems are strong enough.
  • Cuttings inside, glass, or outside – where to grow mint depends on numerous factors.
  • Cool – Don’t put the mint in a spot that gets too hot.
  • Semi-shade – To much sun will prevent growing mint from generating nice leaves
  • Overgrowth! – Yep, sometimes they’re like a weed.

If you want to sow mint, it is best to do so at room temperature. Cuttings are ready when they have good and strong stems, that is a bit later in spring.

You can start growing mint indoors, in a greenhouse, or outside. To grow mint is not that difficult, if you want to read up more about growing herbs indoor, in general than we’ve made a great post about that aswell. For now we stick to growing mint :-).

Germinated seedlings and cuttings should preferably not be placed in a place that is too warm; in a cool place, they will grow healthier and more compact than indoors.

You can transplant the seedlings/plants outdoors when the seedlings are large enough, and the roots are growing out from under the drainage holes of the pot.

Keep in mind that when you grow mint in your garden it can be quite rampant. Mint can certainly increase in size tenfold in 2 years. The mint’s root crawls over edges and even over and under tile paths to continue growing on the other side of the tile. 

For this reason, find a suitable place if you do want to keep it in the open ground, or the most effortless way: put it in a large pot. Remember that mint’s roots do not grow deep, they seem very strong, and they are, but the soil should certainly not dry out too often or for too long. Mint likes to stand in a semi-shaded spot.

How to grow mint in your garden – how do I sow or cutting mint?

  • Sowing in pots – Advised is to use small starter pots when growing mint from seed.
  • Airy soil – So the mint roots can find their way.
  • Germination within 2-3 weeks – All growing mint needs is tender love and care.
  • Cuttings in pots April-June
  • Cool / shade

Sow about 4 to 5 seeds in a 9x9cm or 3.5×3.5inch pot. Use potting soil that you make airier by mixing in some coarse sand. Spread the seeds over the surface of the pot. Cover the seeds with a thin layer (maximum 0.5cm/0.20inch) of vermiculite, sand, or potting soil/sand mixture. The seeds will germinate in about 2 to 3 weeks.

If you want a cutting from a mint sprig:

  1. Cut the sprig at an angle under a leaf, remove the lower leaves and dip the underside in cutting powder.
  2. Place the cutting at least about 5cm/2inch deep in a 9cm/3.5inch pot with seedling soil or potting soil that you make a little airier by mixing in some coarse sand.
  3. Give a little water regularly and keep the cuttings in a cool and shady place until they start to sprout.

The best time to grow mint in your garden using cuttings is between April and June, when the plants are vigorous. At the outer edge of the plant, look for one or more healthy and vigorous shoots. With a sharp knife, poke through the rootlets into the soil to cut a piece off the mother plant. 

Mint roots are not very deep but mostly wide. Cutting off a piece of the plant is therefore very easy. Pot up the bush of mint in a pot with potting soil, water it immediately, and put it in a cool and shady place. As soon as the plant grows well again, you can plant it in the ground.

How to grow mint in your garden – how to take care of mint?

  • Moisture
  • Supplementary feeding

Potted mint needs sufficient moisture. And because the plant makes many stems and leaves, it also requires an average amount of nutrition. 

In potting soil is enough food for eight weeks. After that, you can give a herbal fertilizer according to the instructions on the package. Also, to grow mint in your garden, you will have to provide some nutrition in the full ground. However, you can use less as with a potted plant. Mint in soil grows much faster than mint in pots. When the herbs stand in the open ground, give it a smaller amount of nutrition than the package indicates. Feed the soil again in spring and summer. 

How to grow mint in your garden – how do I harvest/pick mint?

  • As a plant large enough
  • Longer and early harvest

You harvest the stems and leaves when you want, provided the plants are big enough, and there are always some stems and leaves left over to provide new growth.

When having a potted mint plant, you can put the pot in a cold greenhouse, a tiered container in the fall, a garage, or in the sun against the house. Depending on the weather, you can then often harvest a few weeks longer. This also applies to spring; if you can provide some extra light and warmth in early February, the plants will sprout earlier, and you can already harvest from March. Who says you can’t grow mint in your garden 8 months out of 12 :-).

Interested in how to best prune, pick, or trim other herbs then you can read that short post. Otherwise read along.

How to grow mint in your garden – with other herbs?

Can mint grow with other herbs is a fair question since the Mint herb can grow so wildly. How to grow mint in your garden when having other plants around can be tricky. If you have made yourself a lovely vegetable garden, you don’t want the mint to take up all the space. 

To prevent this from happening, you can do two things.

  1. Leave your Mint plant in a pot
  2. Use a bottomless tray or pot

So number one is relatively easy, and that is something we have talked about above. However, number two might need some more explanation. 

Use a bottemless tray or pot to grow mint in your garden

How to grow mint in your garden when you know it will grow like a weed and replaces other herbs? In that case, it helps using a bottomless tray or pot for the mint to grow in. This will stop the herb from overgrowing other plants and herbs in your garden.

Since the roots grow sideways instead of deep, the tray or pot will stop the plant from growing in diameter. Ensure leaving the tray or pot stick out of the ground 1 inch of 2,5 cm. Any ‘wild’ sprouts are easy to detect, and you can cut them off or put them back inside the designated area. 

How to keep, store and freeze mint herbs

Photo by Athena

Growing mint spreads like a weed, so chances are at a certain point you have a lot of it. But how to keep, store and freeze those mint stings and leaves?

Storage

Sprigs of mint can be kept in a damp kitchen paper in the refrigerator for a few days. In the freezer, you can keep mint in a tightly closed plastic bag for up to 12 months. Or you can deep freeze or dry the mint leaves.

Freeze mint

Freezing is done like this:

  • Wash the mint.
  • Pat the mint dry with some kitchen paper.
  • Pack them in sandwich bags.
  • Then freeze them immediately.

Drying your mint

To dry, proceed as follows:

  • Spread the leaves on a clean (dry) tea towel.
  • Turn them over now and then.
  • Can you crumble them? Then they are dried. This can take up to 2 weeks.
  • Store the leaves in a sealable jar or container. Store in a cool, dry, and dark place.

How long can you store Mint

Herb Plant:

If you take care of your Mint plant, you can keep it forever. Have you bought a bush from the local grocery store and no place to move them to bigger pots? In that case, count about six weeks. 

Branches/leaves

The branches and leaves of the mint herb can be stored in both the refrigerator as the freezer. In the refrigerator’s vegetable drawer: 2-3 days. Or in the freezer: 12 months.

Cleaning mint

Always clean your mint before using. Wash fresh herbs under running water before use. Drain the leaves or pat them dry.

You can now grow mint in your garden with ease! Enjoy.

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diysurvivalandhomesteadhttps://diysurvivalandhomestead.com
Blogging about everything I learn regarding (urban)homesteading, off-grid, and outdoor living and what it takes to build my own CO2-neutral home, one-day ;-).

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