How to Grow Mint Herbs

Overview

Mint is a prized herb in many gardens, but care must be taken when growing it. Members of the mint family of plants are highly invasive, leading them to choke out other plants and take over garden beds. Planting them in large planters and pots allows you to add mint to your garden without the worry of it overgrowing its bed. You can also plant it in its own edged bed to help prevent overgrowing. Growing this hardy perennial in your herb garden allows you to have a steady supply of fresh mint for use in the kitchen.

Step 1

Lay a 2- to 4-inch layer of compost over a full-sun garden bed. Fertilize with ½ tbsp. 16-16-8 analysis fertilizer per square foot of garden bed. Till the compost and fertilizer into the top 6 inches of the bed.

Step 2

Plant the mint in the garden after frost danger is past in spring. Set transplants into the ground at the same depth they were at in their nursery pots or so the roots are just beneath the soil surface. Space plants 1 foot apart and space rows 2 feet apart.

Step 3

Water the mint while it is actively growing in spring and summer. Provide 1 to 2 inches of water a week in a single weekly deep irrigation. Apply a 1-inch layer of organic mulch around the plants to help preserve moisture between waterings.

Step 4

Fertilize mint each spring when it begins growing again. Feed each plant 1 tsp. of 16-16-16 analysis fertilizer.

Step 5

Harvest leaves from the outside of the plant as needed throughout spring, summer and fall. Cut back the entire plant to the ground in fall after the first freeze. It will grow back the following spring.

Tips and Warnings

  • Mint spreads by sending out new stems and roots just beneath the soil surface. When installing edging around a bed, it should be 18 inches deep to prevent most spread.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Fertilizer
  • Hoe
  • Mint seedlings
  • Mulch
  • Shears

References

  • Oregon State University: Hints For Growing Mint
  • Utah State University: Mint In The Garden
Keywords: growing mint, herb gardening, planting mint

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.