How to Keep Fresh Cut Mint Fresh
Fresh cut mint is often used in summer recipes, iced tea and as garnish for desserts. Many people like to grow their own mint in the herb garden, while others purchase bagged mint from the supermarket. But anyone regularly using fresh cut mint can be frustrated by how quickly it spoils. Once mint leaves wilt, they lose their potent flavor. With just a few short steps, you can preserve your mint for more than a week.
Select the freshest cut mint from your market or garden. If you find any dead or yellowing leaves, it may indicate the mint is not fresh and will not last as long as fresh mint.
Rinse the mint under the faucet with cold water.
Wrap the mint in a moistened paper towel. Place the towel in a plastic bag, but do not seal it all the way. Then place the bag in the vegetable drawer of your fridge.
Purchase a greens or vegetable keeper meant to store fruits and vegetables. This vegetable keeper can also be used to keep cut herbs fresh. You can rinse your mint under cold water and place it into the greens keeper to keep your cut mint fresh for more than a week. Place the mint in the fridge until you're ready to use it.
Grow Fresh Mint For Drinks And Cooking
Prepare a planting location where the plant is exposed to full sunlight or partial shade. Although mint grows in nearly any soil, the plant prefers slightly acidic soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. Purchase mint starter plants at a garden center or nursery. Spade the planting area to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. Additionally, dig in a granular, 16-16-8 fertilizer at a rate of 1/2-tablespoon per square foot. Water immediately after planting. Spread 1 to 2 inches of natural mulch around the plants to conserve moisture and keeps weeds in check. Use a mulch such as chopped leaves, dry grass clippings or bark chips. Water mint regularly during warm, dry weather. Spray the plants with an insecticidal soap product if the mint is bothered by mites, aphids or whiteflies.
Make sure not to put other items on top of the mint when storing it in the fridge. Once a mint leaf is crushed, it may rot more quickly.
- Utah State University Extension: Mint in the Garden
- The New Sunset Western Garden Book; Kathleen Norris Brenzel, ed.
- Bonnie Plants: Growing Mint
- North Carolina State University Extension: Growing Herbs for the Home Gardener
- University of Illinois Extension: Mint
- University of California Extension: The World of Mint