All New Square Foot Gardening

AT A GLANCE

Botanical Information

Seed to Harvest/Flower: n/a

Family: Mint

Seeds Storage: n/a

Height: 1 to 3 feet

Weeks to Maturity: n/a

A/B/P, Hardiness: perennial

Indoor Seed Starting: no

Spacing: 1 per square

Earliest Outdoor Planting:

early spring

Growing Season

Additional Plantings: any time

Spring: yes

throughout growing season

Summer: yes

Last Planting: not needed

Fall: yes

Winter: no

Mint has the distinguishing characteristic of square stems. You can see this best by looking at the cut end of a mint stem. Mint plants come in many flavors, such as spearmint, peppermint, apple, lemon, and chocolate, and they all give off a lovely scent when the leaves are crushed. But beware—mint is invasive. It sends out tough runners that grow roots and leaves every few inches, and it will crop up anywhere it can. To keep mint plants in bounds, cut a 6-inch diameter circle around the plants in late spring and again in early fall, and pull out any runners outside the circle. Try not to leave any small pieces in the ground—they too will sprout. Don't let this discourage you from growing many different kinds of mints, however, because the benefits truly outweigh the extra work.

Starting

Location: sun to partial shade Seeds Indoors: no, does not come true from seed Transplanting: plant divisions anytime from spring through fall Seeds Outdoors: no

Growing

Watering: Weekly, 2 cups per plant

Maintenance: Cut stems back to a pair of leaves to harvest and promote bushiness.

Basil and Beyond

Harvesting

How: Cut mint stems back to a pair of leaves. This is where new branches will form. Use the leaves as a flavoring and sprigs as a garnish.

When: Harvest mint anytime after the plant has reached 6 inches tall; do not harvest the leaves of creeping (groundcover) mints.

Preparing and Using

Use fresh mint leaves in sauces, mint jelly, salads, or to flavor herb teas. Float a sprig of mint in your favorite summer drink, bruising the bottom leaves a little to impart that refreshing flavor. Tuck a sprig of mint into a fruit cup for color and scent.

Problems

Mint is basically disease- and pest-free. Plants may wilt and turn brown without sufficient water, but should spring right back after a good soaking.

Organic Gardeners Composting

Organic Gardeners Composting

Have you always wanted to grow your own vegetables but didn't know what to do? Here are the best tips on how to become a true and envied organic gardner.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment