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Marvelous Mint - The Garden Thug

Posted by Susan Stoltz on

I love mint and am completely fascinated by all the different varieties you can grow! Personally I like peppermint, spearmint, and chocolate mint, but there’s also pineapple mint, ginger mint, catmint (not to be confused with catnip), orange mint, and the list goes on to include approximately 600 varieties!

Mint can be used for tea, and in cocktails, some use it to flavor potatoes, in salads, in fact the uses are endless if you include the medicinal applications as well. I find peppermint tea excellent for an upset stomach, and simply take a few leaves and steep it in boiling water.

I live in a dry, arid part of the United States and mint grows surprisingly well here as long as it gets enough water. It’s not easy to grow from seed so I’d suggest you buy a plant or take cuttings from one. I stick the cuttings in a jar of water until the roots form and then plant it out. 

Mint can spread uncontrollably, so you want to plant it where you can restrict its growth. I made a huge mistake of planting four kinds of mint altogether in one large raised bed. Although they grew well, their flavors melded and I got a rather odd flavor in the end, understandable when you combine pineapple, chocolate, spearmint and catmint. All that being said, plant your mint in separate pots, or separate beds.  I’ve found, in this region, that morning sun and afternoon shade or filtered sun is best. Mint likes well-draining soil as well.

And so dear readers, I leave you with a poem:
Mint is delightful, so many agree
But don’t ever plant it where it can grow free.
It will take over everything else that you’ve dug,
In fact, it’s really a garden type thug.

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