Photo: Justin Henry (flickr)
Mint belongs to the Mentha genus. Spearmint and peppermint are well known types, and it is fun to see just how many varieties are sold in nurseries.
Mint grows so well in the ground that it is difficult to grow just a little of it. The best strategy is to keep it contained in a pot. The pot can be kept on a balcony or deck or buried in the garden to keep the assertive mint from spreading everywhere.
Mint, of course, plays a starring role in mint juleps and is also used frequently in Middle Eastern cooking where it is a staple in stuffed grape leaves and in salads and tea.
I like to use pieces as filler in vases of flowers, as the scent is so fresh and appealing. A small bunch of mint will deodorize a room.
Rooting and growing
Most mints will root in water, and spearmint (Mentha spicata) is easily rooted and a fresh smelling plant with sturdy green leaves.
- Select a clay pot about 10” wide and fill it with potting soil and arrange a number of rooted slips in a circle about an inch in from the pot’s rim.
- Tamp the soil down well and provide ample moisture.
- Keep the pot in shade for the first two weeks and then it can go anywhere that is convenient to the kitchen.
- To harvest you can just pinch off the tips.