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Mint

  • Common Name: Common Mint
  • Secondary Name: Sweet Mint; Spearmint
  • Scientific Name: Mentha spicata

Mint is a vigorously growing perennial herb that spreads via rhizomes (runners) and grows well in nearly all temperate climates. Mint prefers partial shade but can flourish in full sun to mostly shade. Because of its abundant growth, many gardeners choose to grow mint in a pot. While this is a great option for those with limited space, mint can be used for a variety of gardenscaping projects. Planting it in corners and areas of your yard which are difficult to reach with a mower or which are water-logged, gives you an attractive, fragrant, alternative to unwanted weeds that may show up in these areas. Consider ditches, downspout areas or in low, damp spots in your yard.

You should harvest your mint throughout the growing season. This can be done by cutting about three-quarters of the way down the stalk. This will allow room for smaller shoots to grow. As with most herbs, the plant loses its aromatic appeal and goes dormant after being allowed to flower. This can be prevented by harvesting continuously throughout the growing season. If you planted your mint in the yard as a gardenscaping element and you now have more than you can harvest, simply mow or trim it as you would grass. CAUTION! This will smell AMAZING!! If allowed to grow without cutting, mint will reach upwards of 18 inches!

Mint leaves can be used fresh, dried, or frozen. It can also be preserved with salt, sugar, sugar syrups, tinctured or infused into a carrier oil. The top leaves are typically the most sweet and tender. Those leaves look beautiful as a garnish on your favorite desserts and cocktails. Further, allowing mint to flower late in the summer will give you beautiful edible flowers and help your mint to spread next year.