Sunday, February 26, 2012

Grow Mint for Home Garden-Information

Peppermint flower

Growing a garden of mint will benefit you in many ways as the herbs have many uses; culinary, medicinal, aromatherapy and a repellent for mosquitoes and other flying insects.   

Mint can be grown in containers, in the ground or in various sections of your yard.  

I have a dog kennel and find that when I planted the garden mint on the exterior of the kennels that the mint controlled the dog odors and also repelled fleas and ticks.  If you have a large yard I would recommend growing the mint in the ground, however if you have a small yard or live in an apartment then grow mint in a container and set it in a sunny location or grow under a light.

Benefits of Garden Mint

  1. Peppermint is a natural remedy for indigestion, heartburn, headache, and will help to reduce inflammation causes by acne.  If you plant a mixture of peppermint, spearmint and apple mint in sections in your yard these fragrant herbs will repel mosquitoes and other flying insects. 
  2. Other uses for mint would be to add it ice tea, brew medicinal herbal tea, garnish foods with mint, make mint jelly, or antibacterial soap. Growing garden mint is easy and it will provide you with years of fragrant flowers and leaves.
  3. Garden mints  have a delicious scent and flavor.   When planning your mint garden choose mint that appeals to your senses.

Here are a few of my favorite garden mints.  Buy seed packets of mint at or for garden seeds.  Start seeds indoors and then transplant after danger of frost has past.  

Corn mint
Apple mint
Pineapple mint
Orange Mint
Berries and Cream Mint
Lemon Mint
Chocolate Mint    
Candy Mint

When to Grow Mint

Seeds may be started indoors 7 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost or you could sow the seeds directly into the garden bed when the spring temperatures warm and the threat of frost has past.

Where to Grow

Grow indoors by planting seeds in soil that is mixed with compost or manure.  Set the seeds on top of the soil and then press the seeds into the soil with the eraser end of a pencil.  Plant the seed one inch below the soil line.  Water so that the soil is evenly moist but not wet.  Set the mint containers next to a sunny window or under a grow light.  For outdoor cultivation choose a garden site that receives full sun and has well drained soil. 
I grow spearmint and peppermint on the side of my house. These plants need room to grow as they have a spreading nature.  I spaced my plant two feet apart. The mint grows down a slope and I found that the spreading nature of the mint is a good way to control erosion.

Ready the Garden
Use your tiller or spade to ready the soil for planting.  Remove all of the grass, rocks and weeds from the planting area.  Work the soil until it is fine texture.  Amend the soil with compost or manure.  Set the seeds onto of the soil. Space the seeds 18 to 24 inches apart and then press the seeds into the soil with the eraser of a pencil.  Plant the seed one inch below the soil line.  Water so that the soil is evenly moist but not wet.

Care for Mint
  • Watch the soil so that it does not dry out.  Garden mint prefers evenly moist soil that is well drained.  It will die if the soil is overly wet.
  • Keep roots cool by adding a pine bark mulch or leaf mulch around the garden mint.
  • Mint will bloom in mid to late summer
  • Divide and transplant in the spring to prevent overcrowding.
  • Watch for rust; patches of orange red on the back of the leaves.  Remove all rust infected plants and get rid of them.  Watering mint in evening will cause rust so don’t do it.
Peppermint is a natural way to repel stray cats from your yard.  The scent of the peppermint is repulsive to a cat.

Here is a you tube video that will show you how to plant mint.

1 comment:

AnnMackieMiller said...

I find mint can spread out a bit too much so I always plant it in a pot - it is lovely