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Mint is an aromatic herb with a variety of uses, both culinary and medicinal. It’s an easy plant to take care of and is suitable for any garden or even indoors.
In this guide we will explore the basics of planting, caring for, and harvesting your own mint.
Read on – discover everything you need to know before getting started with cultivating mint!
(Or, if you prefer, you can head over to our guide about cultivating sage, instead.)
Why You Should Cultivate Mint in Your Garden
Mint is a popular herb that can easily be grown in home gardens. It has a unique aroma and flavor, which makes it perfect for various culinary dishes, tea blends, and even beauty products.
Aside from its many uses, there are also several benefits to cultivating mint in your garden. Here are some of the reasons you should consider adding this versatile herb to your outdoor space.
Adds Flavor to Any Dish
One of the main reasons why people decide to grow mint is because of its flavor. This plant has a sharp, tangy taste which adds a unique flavor to any dish. From salads and soups to desserts and drinks, mint can liven up your meal with ease. Plus, since it’s easy to grow, you can always have a supply on hand!
Natural Insect Repellent
Another great benefit of cultivating mint is that it serves as a natural insect repellent. The strong smell is often enough to deter pests like mosquitoes and ants from invading your garden or patio area.
As an added bonus, this herb doesn’t require any special ingredients or chemicals—just plant it in your garden or keep some potted near patios or porches for an effective deterrent against pesky insects.
The unmistakable scent of mint is both refreshing and calming at the same time. Its leaves release their distinctive fragrance when disturbed, making them an ideal choice for containers and borders around patios or walkways where their aroma can be enjoyed daily.
In addition to its pleasant scent being enjoyed by humans, many species of butterflies and hummingbirds actually seek out mint as a food source!
Easy To Grow
The best part about growing mint? It’s incredibly easy! All you need is some soil with good drainage capabilities, plenty of sun (a minimum of 6 hours per day), water regularly (but not too much), and that’s all—nothing else required!
It will start producing its aromatic leaves quickly; before long you can enjoy fresh mint throughout the summer months without much effort at all!
With so many benefits to growing this herb, there’s no better time than now to cultivate some mint in your garden!
Steps to Successfully Cultivating Mint
Mint grows best in full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. If your soil quality is poor, amend it with compost or peat moss to provide proper drainage.
When planting from seedlings, be sure to space them at least 6-12 inches apart to allow enough room for the plants to mature properly.
Additionally, if you plan on growing more than one type of mint, keep them separated as cross-pollination may change their flavor profile.
- Choose a location that provides lots of direct sunlight and has good drainage capabilities.
- Prepare the soil by adding some compost or manure to help with nutrient absorption.
- Plant your seedlings directly in the ground or divide your existing plants and replant the divisions elsewhere.
- Make sure to water regularly but not too much—mint likes moist soil but doesn’t do well when overly saturated or dry.
- After about 6-8 weeks, your mint plantswill be ready for harvesting!
Growing mint is an incredibly rewarding experience and is surprisingly easy to do! With this quick guide, you’ll have all the information needed to start planting today!
Caring for Growing Mint Plants
Once planted, water regularly, especially during dry spells. Avoid over-watering as this can lead to root rot and other diseases.
Established plants do not need much maintenance beyond routine watering. Fertilize lightly 1 to 2 times per year with a balanced fertilizer such as 10–10–10 or 8–8–8 for best results.
Also, pay attention to weeds that may invade your plant’s space; they can compete for resources and cause harm to the plant’s health.
When harvesting from mature plants (about 1 year old), simply cut off sprigs at the stem base with pruning shears instead of pulling the leaves off by hand as this could damage the plant.
When drying fresh leaves for use later on, spread them out on newspaper in a single layer and let them sit in direct sunlight until completely dry; about three days or so depending on weather conditions.
Be sure not to store dried leaves in a glass jar as moisture build-up can ruin them quickly!
A Final Word About Cultivating Mint Plants
Cultivating mint is simple yet rewarding!
With some basic knowledge of planting, growing & harvesting you can easily grow plenty of supplies right at home – just remember that when cultivating different types of mint it’s important to keep them separate otherwise cross-pollination may occur resulting in changes in flavor profiles!
Share your comments below after trying out this guide – we would love to hear how it went!
Suggested Reading: Cultivating Sage: Guide to Planting, Caring, and Harvesting
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