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Growing and Using Mint

Updated on August 9, 2011

mint

We recently moved to a new house. I was wandering around the backyard the other day, just looking and taking a little inventory, when I realized that right under the huge, old maple that sits almost dead centre of the yard there was growing and I do mean growing, mint.

I love the taste and smell of mint and my grandmother used to maintain a patch in my parents’ garden.

I immediately harvested a few branches for making tea; it was delicious and will harvest more for san iced tea.

One of the positive aspects of mint is that it is a fast growing plant and once it takes hold you will have enough for teas and jelly, for example.

Mint grows and grows and grows spreading by stolons. It is best grown in a container so that you do not spend a considerable portion of your gardening time, harvesting and then getting desperate as it spread just trying to get rid of it.

The previous caretaker of this property must not have known that. So I have a plentiful supply. I plant to dig it up and put it into several containers.

There are approximately 25 species of mint and hundreds of varieties; there are differences in flavor, scent, color and shape.

Mint is a great container plant and works best in a container that is at least 12 inches in diameter. Use a good organic potting soil; be sure to water regularly and divide the plants every two to three years.

Mint can also be propagate through cuttings as well.

In the kitchen, mint is used in desserts, on fish, lamb, jellies, hot and cold drinks, soups and can provide a cooling contrast in chilies and salsas.

To say that mint is easy to grow is an understatement, it will do well, in both sun and shade and ask little. It will take over if left to its own devices

You can grow mint from seed and get a jump on the season by starting the seed indoors or if you prefer direct sow then into the garden in the spring; be sure to space the seedlings 12" to 18" apart

Once the leaves begin to appear they are ready to be harvested. Mint leaves can be sued dried, fresh or frozen which enables you to keep a supply on hand all year round.

The morning is the best time to pick the leaves as the oils are strongest.

Mint Tea: (for 2)

5 mint leaves

1 bag green tea

Boiling water

Put tea bag and mint leaves in tea pot, add water let steep for 6 minutes and you have a refreshing, hot beverage.

Mint Sun Tea:

In a one litre gallon jar with a tight fitting lid palce 8-10 mint leaves, fill with water and place in sunlight, let sit all day or for at least 8-12 hours. Make this in the morning. You can then add honey, a teaspoon or so to taste or lemon, pour over ice cubes and enjoy.

mint

mint under tree, photo Bob ewing
mint under tree, photo Bob ewing

Comments

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  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick

    The smell does redeem somewhat, thanks for dropping by.

  • battenburg profile image

    battenburg 6 years ago from Manchester UK

    I have maybe made the mistake of planting a mint plant in the ground just at my front door. I do have to pull it up often, but I think the smell of mint when people walk by makes up for that, a little bit at least!

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick

    I will, thanks for visiting.

  • asmaiftikhar profile image

    asmaiftikhar 6 years ago from Pakistan

    its really full of information.thanks alot for providing information.Keep it up.

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks and thanks.

  • angela_michelle profile image

    Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

    Great hub, I made a link to this hub from a hub on using home remedies. Good job!

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    I agree mint does do both energize and relax. Thanks for dropping by.

  • marisuewrites profile image

    marisuewrites 8 years ago from USA

    I find the smell of mint both energizing and relaxing. I'm really into aroma-therapy and love gathering fresh scents from the garden. Lavender and mint are "meant" for me!!

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 9 years ago from New Brunswick

    Mint does smell good and I enjoy a good cup of mint tea, hot or iced.

    Thank you all for dropping by.

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 9 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    I once moved into a house where mint was taking over the yard. Guess the previous occupant hadn't heard of container gardening either, but the fragrance wafting from those parts of the yard was heavenly!

  • Teresa McGurk profile image

    Sheila 9 years ago from The Other Bangor

    Oh, mint! what a great idea. . . my nana used to grow some in an old porcelain sink in her yard. . . I loved the smell -- think I'll get some. At the moment the confederate jasmine is blooming and the scent of that is delightful; I should start planning containers ofsweet smelling stuff for all times of the year -- basil, mint -- thanks for the ideas and recipes.

  • Shirley Anderson profile image

    Shirley Anderson 9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    I used to grow a few different kinds of mint and you're right about it overtaking everything! I dehydrated it and used it all winter, too. Nothing nicer than a nice hot cup of mint tea with a little honey on a cold winter's night. And I don't like mint, normally.

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 9 years ago from New Brunswick

    Right, dreams are good. Thanks for dropping by.

  • CennyWenny profile image

    CennyWenny 9 years ago from Washington

    Thanks Bob, I planted mint in an area by my foundation where weeds went rampant last year, so I want it to take over! I have dreams of hot summer nights with homemade mojitos with mint fresh from the garden. A girl can dream, right?

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 9 years ago from New Brunswick

    i have drank Blue Mountain coffee and it is good. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Juliet Christie profile image

    Juliet Christie Murray 9 years ago from Sandy Bay Jamaica

    Mint is a wonderful aromatic plant in Jamaica we have about three different types of mint. I do not know their botanical names, but they are called pepper mint, black mint and colic mint. Plants grown is Jamaica is very potent and you will find that the teas bushes and spices grown here has a unique and special taste like our un adulterated Blue Mountain COFFEE.

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 9 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for dropping by, mint and potatoes are a great combination..

  • MummyAnn profile image

    MummyAnn 9 years ago from UK

    Mint is lovely with new potatoes, great hub!

  • flutterbug77 profile image

    flutterbug77 9 years ago from USA

    My yard is covered in it, but I love it. It smells sooooo gooood!

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 9 years ago from New Brunswick

    thanks for stopping by, enjoy the sun tea.

  • marisuewrites profile image

    marisuewrites 9 years ago from USA

    Mint adds so much fragrance and freshness to cooking. I will try this mint sun tea!! Thanks for all the information here on mint, I am going to add this to the garden list for the Oklahoma garden. I can smell it now!

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 9 years ago from New Brunswick

    That does sound like fun, thanks for the visit.SunSeven there area number of different mints, I like chutney.

  • SunSeven profile image

    SunSeven 9 years ago from Singapore / India

    The mint plants we have at home have different looking leaves. Perhaps its of another genus? (Its sort of oval shape) And we use it to make mint tea and mint chutney(being an Indian :) )

     Best Regards

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 9 years ago from New Brunswick

    That does sound like fun, thanks for the visit.

  • honestway profile image

    honestway 9 years ago from Spain

    In the pueblo near my almond farm they have a fiesta in late June when all cars are barred from its centre. At night the villagers strew sprigs of apple mint (it grows wild in the surrounding hills) along the streets so as you walk along with the small crowd you get the heady aroma and it's quite an experience!

    Terry

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 9 years ago from New Brunswick

    You are welcome and thanks for the visit.

  • MrMarmalade profile image

    MrMarmalade 9 years ago from Sydney

    As a matter of fact I love mint and many years ago we grew it in abundance

    Now we just buy it every week

    Thank you

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