Originally thought to have originated in Asia, mint has been in use for thousands of years. In many cultures, mint is a symbol of hospitality and is served to guests to welcome them. Mint is widely used in many products and contains a number of vitamins and minerals. It is rich in Vitamins A and C, and contains essential minerals such as calcium, iron and potassium.
As with any aromatic herb, being able to have it fresh is preferable to any dried or freeze dried form. Luckily, mint is a very hardy plant which can grow in many types of environments. Following are some points you will need to keep in mind as you prepare to grow your own fresh mint.
1. First, decide which variety you are going to plant. Spearmint and peppermint are the most popular types of mint, but there many others to choose from.
2. Choose a site where the mint will have room to spread. Mint is a very aggressive plant and will take over just about anything in your garden, so make sure you allow plenty of room. Mint can grow in any level of light, but it flourishes in partial shade.
3. For growing mint, buying plants from a nursery is the recommended method. They tend to adapt and start growing very quickly, whereas growing mint from seed can be a little difficult. Mint plants should be set between 12-18 inches apart. Moderately rich, slightly acidic soil is ideal for these plants.
4. Once planted, keep the soil relatively moist until the plants have taken root.
5. Cut the sprigs for use as you need them throughout the growing season.
6. As cold weather approaches, prune the plants all the way back to ground level and cover with compost. This will help them survive the winter and they will come back strong in the spring.
7. If you are concerned with mint spreading and crowding out other flowers, consider growing it in pots. The same soil and sun conditions listed above would apply. Mint generally grows just as well, if not better, in containers. If you decide to use containers, make sure they are at least 12 inches in diameter.
Mint is a great plant for both experienced and novice gardeners. It is vigorous and requires very little maintenance once planted. In addition to the fragrant aroma, it makes a very effective ground cover if you choose to plant it somewhere where it can spread. Following are links to two videos which covering planting and growing mint in further detail.
Growing Herbs : How to Grow Mint