Growing herbs and vegetables at home isn’t that difficult; in fact, growing a small crop of mint, coriander, and spring onions might end up saving you a lot of hassle. It’s difficult to keep buying fresh herbs from the market and making sure that they last a long time. If you have even a small shelf space with a light source, it’s possible to have a tiny container garden and grow mint at home.
With fresh herbs and veggies growing at home, you can easily add more flavor and healthy nutrients to your everyday meals. Mint is an especially versatile option; you can use it in fruit salads, sauces, dips, and for enhancing fish and lamb dishes. It’s also a great way to make an iced drink more refreshing. This herb is also easy to grow and maintain. What’s more, it can last for several years if you take care of the plant properly.
1. Growing Mint From a Sprig
It can be challenging to grow mint from seed, so see if you can find a mint plant and get a cutting from it. Such plants should be fairly easy to find; start by asking your neighbors and close friends.
When you find a likely plant, cut a 4-inch sprig from it, but make sure to leave at least a half inch above the junction. You don’t need too many leaves.
Next, put this prig in a glass filled with water. If any leaves go beneath the water’s surface, remove them.
In less than a week, there should be some tiny white roots appearing from the sprig under the water. A couple of more days should see the roots developing into a nice length.
As the days go by, the water in the glass might dry up. You’d have to add more whenever necessary. Also, change up the water after every few days so that rot doesn’t develop.
2. Growing a Mint Plant
You can probably find a decent mint seedling or a tiny plant at your local nursery or garden store. If you’re finding it difficult to grow mint at home, buying a plant and taking care of it might be an easier way.
The variety of mint plants out there might surprise a novice gardener–there’s sweet mint, lemon mint, peppermint, spearmint, apple mint, and even chocolate mint available in some areas.
If you want to grow the herb for cooking purposes, opt for the spearmint plants.
3. Get a Runner
If growing mint from roots is not working out, see if you can find a runner from an existing plant. Runners are the long stems that have grown away from their parent plant and have set down roots on their own.
You can dig up a runner (with the owner’s permission) and transplant it to your own pot. With a bit of care and effort, you might soon graduate to transforming your backyard with several kinds of crops.
4. Choosing the Best Time
While mint is a relatively easy plant to grow, there are still some precautions to take to ensure a successful growth. The ideal time for planting mint is during the spring. If you reside in a region where there’s no frost the whole year, fall might also be a good option.
Mint is a fairly resilient plant, but it’s still a good idea to give it the best start possible.
5. Tips for Transplanting
If you’re thinking about translating a rooted sprig or seedling for your mint plant, be sure to put it in a container rather than directly in the ground surrounded by other plants. This precaution is necessary because mint is a somewhat invasive species and can spread very rapidly if left uncle for even a little while.
The spreading of mint can choke the roots of the plants around it. This is why we suggest keeping your mint in a container, preferably in the kitchen. With such a setup, you can easily access the leaves whenever you want them for cooking or garnishing. Don’t plant anything else in the container either.
The best size for a container to grow mint is one that measures around 12 to 16 inches. To make sure that the potting soil stays moist, add some water-retaining polymer. Vermiculite and pearlite are also good options if you don’t have polymer or would prefer not to use it.
Once you’ve got the right container and soul, plant the seedling or sprig, leaving the roots just under the soil’s surface. If you want to plant several seedlings at once, make sure they’re around six inches apart so that each one has room to grow.
6. Choosing the Right Location
Just like there’s a right time to plant mint, there’s also a right location for making sure it grows adequately. Ideally, your mint seedlings should be in a place that gets some morning sun and a bit of afternoon shade as well.
The soil should be deep and moist, and you want to make sure it stays that way for a sling as possible. It’s possible to keep the mint pot inside, which makes it a perfect plant for those living in apartments. A windowsill will probably fulfill the requirements for proper lighting, but make sure that the plant isn’t in complete darkness or harsh sunlight for long periods of time.
7. Planting Mint in the Ground
If you’re planting mint in the ground, first make sure that there aren’t any plants around it. Choose a damp space that gets either full or partial sun throughout the day.
The best outdoor conditions for a mint plant include a fertile soil with a pH that falls between the values of 7.0 and 6.0. While mint will grow very well even if you don’t put in any extra effort, giving it a little fertilizer every month won’t be harmful.
You can ensure that the outside soil remains moist by using mulch around the mint roots. This will also provide protection to the roots and make sure the plant stays alive for several years.
8. Planting Mint in a Flower Bed
If you’re planting mint inside a flower bed, use a container and submerge it in the soil. You can also use a mesh bag, but the depth for any container or bag should be around 5 inches at least.
Leave the container’s rim above the ground in order to contain the root system of the mint. If you neglect this precaution, the roots will probably climb out of the container and invade the roots of the other plants in the flower bed.
A raised bed container might also be useful for planting mint outside. If there’s a bare corner you’d like to fill, mint will be an easy option. Alternatively, you can make your own mint section in the garden using pieces of timber or bricks.
9. Taking Care of the Mint
Now that you’ve planted the mint, here’s what you can do to make sure it lasts for a long time:
- Water the mint often, especially in its first year. Keep testing the soil with a finger and make sure it doesn’t dry out.
- Trim the plant’s top so that it doesn’t grow too tall. This will also make the leaves large and full.
- Trim back the flower buds so that the plant stays compact. Don’t let the buds bloom, as this will help you get a better harvest.
- Split the plant after a couple of years if it’s in a container. This will help the plant to stay within the container’s size. To do this, take the plant out of the pot and split it into several sections. Replanting and lifting will also ensure the flavor and scent of your mint
- Use a fungicide spray in case of a rust infection. Also, stay alert for diseases and pests. Insects like root borers, flea beetles, root weevils, and spider mites might be common pests that can destroy your mint plant
When you grow your own mint at home, you’ll always have a refreshing garnish for your iced tea, lemonade, and other cold drinks. The best part is that you can probably grow mint in a small pot on your kitchen counter. Start growing your plant today, and you might soon be confident enough to grow other veggies and herbs at home. It’ll be nice to have your own potatoes for French fries or greens for salad, so take the first step with mint and see how it goes.