How To Grow Mint – For Flavorful Food and Tea
Growing mint in your garden is a great way to stock your home with this useful, fragrant, and flavorful herb. Mint has many amazing uses and benefits while being relatively easy to grow at home.
So easy in fact you can use it as a ground cover in low traffic areas. Mint is one of my favorite herbs to grow in my garden to attract money and luck while repelling unwanted insects, and making a soothing tea. Learning how to grow mint is easy.
Why should you grow mint?
Mint is an aromatic herb that has many wonderful uses. Mint makes a soothing tea, and it can be used to make refreshing drinks like mojitos or iced coffee as well.
You might not think of using mint for cooking but its fragrance lends itself wonderfully to citrus foods such as salad dressings and sauces made with lemon juice or limes.
Mint makes for an amazing addition to your favorite desserts. It also works great in tomato-based dishes which usually go nicely with savory flavors like lamb chops, roasted chicken, pork tenderloin, or rice pilafs.
Benefits of Growing Mint:
:: Naturally attracts bees and helps with pollination to produce more food.
:: Repels unwanted insects, such as flies, mosquitoes, and ants.
:: Adds flavor to food with recipes like mint jelly or pesto.
:: Mint is often used in tea which has great health benefits including reducing stress hormones and aiding digestion.
:: Mint is a great ground cover for many different sizes of gardens.
:: Mint is easy to grow from cuttings and pots.
:: Mint is a perennial that only a couple of weeks to see growth
:: Good for attracting money – Maintain a garden of fresh-cut stems and leaves and place it near the entrance of your home.
:: Mint is a natural air freshener – Plant mint in pots around the house to leave your space smelling fresh with no harsh chemicals.
:: It has been shown to have antioxidant properties which are good for the body’s health. Mint helps with digestion as well by soothing stomachs while also being known as a natural pain relief.
How to grow mint
Growing mint in the right conditions is vital for having flavorful mint. Your mint needs full sun and well-draining soil to thrive.
Rich soil is important when planting mint. Mint should be fertilized sparingly or not at all like many other herbs. In other words, you’ll need to amend your soil with a quality fertilizer or compost at the beginning of the growing season.
For the best flavor, stop fertilizing your mint six weeks before harvest. Fertilizing too late can lead to fast new growth and a watered-down flavor at harvest. The older more mature leaves have a more concentrated flavor.
Often pinch off leaves of mint to encourage better growth. Pinch off flower buds to help your plant focus on growing the leaves you will be using in your cooking rather than flowers you do not intend to use. The remaining leaves will put in more energy into the remaining leaves for a more flavorful plant.
Water is not a large part of the requirements for mint. Moreover, too much watering can result in leaves that are watery and lack flavor. Keep the soil moist but not soggy around your mint plants. For the best results use mulch even in your potted mint plants.
You will be able to keep the plant moist without having to water as frequently since evaporation will be trapped. Make sure your mint’s soil drains well when planting.
The best time to harvest mint is when it has just before the plant blooms. This will ensure the plant will have large leaves with a strong flavor for cooking and tea-making purposes.
How to grow mint from cuttings
Planting cuttings in pots with peat moss or other growing mediums is the best place to start. Place your cuttings in the growing medium, moisten the soil, and covered with clear plastic to help speed along the growth of new roots. Be sure to uncover for a while each day to prevent rotting.
This technique works best with large pots containing fresh mix because larger containers tend to dry out slower than smaller ones do. The roots spread wherever there is room for them to go so be sure not to overcrowd plants by placing them too close together.
How to grow mint in pots
If you are a beginner gardener, it may be tempting to plant your mint in pots and neglect them because they are low-maintenance plants. Mint does still need care so be mindful of how much water they are getting. Using watering globes is a great way to keep potted herbs well-watered.
For the best results use mulch to trap moisture in your pattern plants and don’t be afraid to companion plant for a better aesthetic to the pots. Mint is easy to grow and will do well if placed near other herbs like rosemary or thyme.
How to grow mint in place of grass.
Mint likes to spread quickly and in the right sun and moisture conditions adding just a few plants will have mint taking over your yard in just a season or two. Only use mint as a ground cover in a low traffic area as it doesn’t do well with being stepped on to often but it smells amazing when you are doing yard work. Be sure to use a deep garden edging to avoid mint spreading where you do not want it.
Ways to use fresh mint
:: In water to add flavor
:: To make a refreshing and healthy iced tea
:: Add to salads for a fresh, flavorful twist
:: In drinks like mojitos or lemonades
:: Smoothies are also delicious with mint added in.
:: Use to make homemade ice cream
:: Soothing mint muscle rub
:: Add fresh mint or mint tea to juice popsicles for a pop of flavor.
It is very easy to grow so no need for expensive equipment like greenhouses or indoor plants! This makes it perfect for beginners who want an herb garden but don’t know how they’ll take care of one. It only needs moderate amounts of sunlight and will do best when planted near other herbs like rosemary, thyme, basil, and oregano.