Saturday, April 30, 2011

Oh me, Oh my, Oh my Mint

      I love putting lots of fresh mint in my tea.  So I have left mint to grow in my garden, as surely, it could not be too difficult to control.  Heck, I would probably use it faster than it could ever grow.

Mint invasion, 4/28/11

      Wrong!  Mistake!  All you doubters out there were correct.  Mint is voracious in its desire to spread.  This shot is of my overwintered garlic and onions.  The bed was started two years ago by essentially dumping a foot of leaves on top of the ground, and then planting directly in the leaves.  The leaves have broken down to soft soil, soil that is delicious to mint.  Little did I know that as I was semi hibernating in the winter, the mint was not.  It was quietly sending out its runners underground, under the nice soft leaf pile.  So now in the spring, I have mint everywhere.  Four foot runners with tens of plants attached.  How do you pull out mint roots without disturbing onions and garlic?  I don't know.
      So now we set in for the long term war.  I will just have too keep pulling mint tops as a stop gap measure.  Maybe as the onions and garlic ripen I can pull them out and then seriously dig out the mint.  I am wondering if the garlic or onions might take on a minty flavor.  Not a pleasant thought.
      I have some 5 gallon buckets with the bottoms cut out.  I will sink one of those nearly to the rim in the garden to see if the mint can be confined in that small plastic area.  Probably not, but worth a try.  The moral to the story, volunteer mint is not your friend.  Not your friend.  Remember that, and pull, pull, pull.


  1. I love mint. I put it in my lemonade, tea, and coffee. To keep it under control and keep it within easy reach I put it in containers on the deck. All summer I pick and dry the leaves. In the fall (zone 3) I stick it in the ground. I'm not kind, anywhere will do. Then in the spring I dig them back up. It keeps the little buggers under control. I say little buggers, because I have peppermint, chocolate mint, spearmint, and shoot I forgot who the other one was. Anyway, hope it helps with your battle.

  2. I've wanted to plant some mint here but am worried about how invasive it is. I love the idea of potting it in containers on the deck and sinking the pots in the ground in the fall. Great suggestion!