Have you ever tried Mint Tea or had a refreshing bowl of Mint Ice Cream? Chances are that you have if you want to grow your own mint. Growing your own mint is a fabulous source of continual minty goodness and helps save money too.
Learning how to grow mint is one of the easiest things you will ever do with gardening. Herbs are typically quite hardy plants, but the mint variety is even more robust. It is almost impossible to kill a mint plant. In fact, you need to be careful or your beautiful new plants will take over your entire garden. Most folks will tell you to keep your mint plants in containers instead of giving them open ground to spread out on.
There are three options to starting to learn how to grow mint: starting from seeds, growing from cuttings, and planting mature mint plants. Each way is pretty easy, it just depends on who you know and what time of the year it is. If you have a friend that already has an established mint plant you will have a much easier time getting a cutting or two from them than you would starting from seed. On the other hand, if you are starting your mint garden when adult plants are available in stores you will be sipping on Mint Tea in no time.
How to Grow Mint from Seed
If you do not have access to adult plants or cuttings from a friend, growing mint from seed is the only option. Don’t worry, it isn’t hard at all, it just takes a bit more time than the other options.
Prepare the area that you want to plant your mint in by tilling or turning the soil. You will have better results with a freshly prepared area. Mint also likes to have compost in its soil, so if you have some, go ahead and add it into the garden area.
You will want to wait until the ground has warmed before you plant the mint seeds. Once warm, sow the seeds by scattering them across the prepared garden area and then cover them lightly with ¼” of soil. For even better results that give the new plants a huge kick start, you can use seed starter to cover the mint seeds. When learning how to grow mint, it is best to give yourself every leg up. Being successful the first time is important.
Moisten the soil by spraying a fine mist, just make sure that you don’t wash away the seeds. It is very important to keep the area moist but not soggy.
Once you start seeing the seedlings, that is the time to thin the plants. Pull out the new plants until they are about 1 foot apart. You will be amazed at how quickly the mint plants cover all of this area.
How to Grow Mint from Cuttings
My favorite way to start mint plants is from cuttings from a friend. If they have a mint plant that has sprigs 6” or longer it is a breeze. This method is best used during the summer months because that is when the plants are in full swing of growing.
Take a cutting about 6” long. For best results, take several just in case one doesn’t take. Strip off some of the leaves at the bottom of the sprig and then place in a cup of water. Once you start seeing small roots form, you can place the rooting sprig into potting soil and keep moist.
Once the roots are established and looking strong, transplant the plants to their final destination. Plant roughly 1 foot apart. For best rooting results, try using a rooting hormone to make the roots take even faster. If you get the hang of this method, you can say that you definately know how to grow mint!
How to Grow Mint from Adult Plants
The easiest way to start a mint garden is from mature mint plants bought from a store or online. Purchase plants that are as healthy as possible. If the leaves show any sign of rot or fungus, leave it and find a different plant.
Place the adult plants in ideal conditions, partial shade and slightly acid soil. If you don’t have an area that is perfect you don’t need to worry. Mint plants will grow in nearly anything, but it will grow like crazy if you give it ideal conditions.
It is ideal to plant in the spring as soon as the soil warms. This will give the plants more opportunity to settle in before the hot weather sets in. If you are starting during the summer months, just make sure it keep it well watered.
Things to Know About Growing Mint
Mint plants are very hardy plants. As long as you them a bit of water now and again, it will be around for a long time. If you live in zones 1 or 2, you will need to bring the plants inside during the winter.
For those in hotter zones all the way down to zone 11, mint will thrive for you. If this is your first time with mint in a hotter zone, I would suggest starting with spearmint due because it grows even better in the heat.
Everyone that has grown mint before knows that it spreads like wildfire. Mint actually spreads by sending out underground runners. If you grow it in a bed you will start seeing small plants pop up nearby. This is the natural way of spreading for mint plants. The way to keep it in place is to sink garden strip at least a foot into the soil. This may not keep every bit from spreading, but it will slow it down to keep it manageable while learning how to grow mint.
As you can see, learning how to grow mint is super easy!