Mint is a popular aromatic herb. The flavour of mint is popular in many dishes and is frequently used in Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisines. There is a variety of different mints to grow and these include curly mint, spearmint and apple, orange and even chocolate flavoured mint. Peppermint is a variety that is a little strong for use in cooking. How to grow mint is very straight forward as it is one of the easiest perennial herbs to grow.
The good news is that mint is easy to establish and effortless to grow – in fact mint can grow too enthusiastically and spread very easily, so you may quickly find that it has taken over your whole flowerbed! This is good news if you have a patch of garden that needs filling, but if you would rather keep the mint under control, you can grow it in a really large flowerpot.
A clever trick if you would like to grow mint in a certain part of your garden but you do not want the mint to spread everywhere, is to plant the mint in a large flowerpot and plant the flowerpot in your chosen spot – problem solved!
Here is how to grow mint
- Buy a small mint plant in your chosen variety or root a cutting by taking an 8 cm stem from the top of a mint plant and popping it in a glass of water. The stem will develop roots in 2-3 weeks.
- Do not plant your plant/ cutting outside until after the last frost.
- If you have several plants, plant them about 50cm (20 inches) apart.
- Keep the soil moist and water whenever it feels dry.
- Encourage strong leaf growth using an appropriate fertilizer.
- Trim leaves off your mint regularly to use in your cooking
- It is a good idea to dig up your mint after four years and replace it with a fresh plant.
How to use mint
Freshly picked mint tastes very good steeped in hot water to make mint tea, which is good for digestion and aids circulation. Traditionally, mint has been used as an accompaniment to lamb and chicken with a dish of mint sauce being the classic side to roast lamb.
If your mouth needs a quick refresh, simply, pick a young leaf and chew it for a few moments. Rubbing a freshly picked mint leaf over your face will help tone your skin and give it a smooth, supple appearance. If you are planning to plant some mint, read up on all the uses for fresh mint – you will be impressed!