On a hot summers day, there is nothing better than laying on a sunbed outside, drinking a cold beverage. There is nothing better then a Mojito, its even better if you can add mint from your own garden.
Here we cover of the challenges of growing mint.
A Short Introduction to Mint
To sum up a rather complicated situation, there is no consensus about the number of species belonging to the genus Mentha. In main, this is because some mints can crossbreed to produce natural hybrids, but human cultivation has also contributed much to their speciation over the centuries.
Even though most mints share enough characteristics to be cultivated using much the same set of methods, it is important for interested individuals to learn more about their cultivars of choice in case special accommodations are needed to see them thrive.
Characteristics of Mint
Here are some of the most common characteristics of mint and their relevance to individuals interested in growing them:
- Mints are considered to be perennials, which is convenient for people interested in having fresh herbs in all four seasons. However, it is important to remember that not all mints can survive under the same circumstances, though most fall under hardiness zones ranging from 3 to 8.
In short, cooler temperatures in colder climates can kill all but the hardiest cultivars, meaning that mints should be brought indoors before the onset of the coldest season.
- Not all mints share the same appearance, though a significant portion of them possess four-sided stems that end in opposite leaves. However, all mints tend to remain close to the earth. Rather than sprouting higher and higher, the stolons of mints spread further and further beneath the earth, meaning that their presence can be detrimental to other plants sharing space in the same garden. Instead of planting mint seeds right into the soil, interested individuals should have preparations in place to restrict the expansion of their stolons.
- Most mints prefer partial shade but are nonetheless capable of surviving full exposure to the sun. In part, this is because mints prefer cool and moist soil with a pH ranging from 6.0 to 7.5. Since mints require frequent watering, it is important to ensure that the soil is both well-drained and deep enough to contain that much water, meaning that elevated garden beds tend to be incompatible with them. Interested individuals should also consider using water-soluble fertilizers because frequent watering can wash away other kinds of fertilizer.
Options for Growing Mint
Given the challenges to growing mint in winter, here are some of the most useful solutions:
- One option is to plant mint right into the earth but with preparations in place to ensure that its stolons cannot encroach on its neighbors. For example, a container sunk right into the soil is perfect for hosting the mint while keeping its stolons within its circumference.
Containers with bottoms are preferred, but bottomless containers are also acceptable so long as said containers measure at least 15 inches in length. Bear in mind that this option can be inconvenient if the local climate is cold enough that mint has to be moved indoors during winter, but should otherwise suffice throughout all four seasons.
- The other option is to use methods for growing vegetables indoors. For example, instead of planting mint right into the soil, a better solution might be to plant them in garden containers. This ensures that the mint can’t encroach on other plants, while also ensuring that it is simple to bring indoors once colder temperatures set in.
Sure there are challenges of growing mint, but once mints have been planted, harvesting them for fresh herbs is as simple as snipping the leaves and stems. So long as even an inch of stem remains standing above the ground, the mint should continue growing to provide additional harvests time and time again. No doubt there are challenges of growing mint, but with a little bit of thought, it can be quite easy.