Growing and Eating Mint from your Garden

Mint

Photo credit Alice Henneman

Mint is an easy herb to grow and you will enjoy eating fresh mint from your garden.  The concern with mint has always been the fact that it will take over your garden as it is quite an aggressive plant.  This is true for some varieties of mint so you need to be careful when you are selecting your plants.  Mint will grow in shady moist areas where many other plants will have a hard time growing.  The downside of mint is the fact that the flowers are not particularly attractive when they bloom.  But then again you are growing mint for it’s leaves and not it’s flowers.

The medicinal properties of mint have been known for hundreds of years.  And it has been added to culinary dishes dating back to the Roman times.  In fact in Roman times mint leaves were used as air fresheners as the leaves where thrown in rooms before guests came to visit.  Mint has been known to calm your stomach if you are having problems and also it can calm your nerves if you are under stress.  Some other uses for mint include relieving headaches and joint pain.

There are many teas that can be prepared from mint leaves and you can even make wine from mint leaves.  Mint comes in many flavors such as apple mint, peppermint, and spearmint. Mint can either creep along the ground in certain species or grow to several feet tall in other species.  There are many hybrid mints that have been developed to cater to peoples interests.

One way to keep mint from encroaching into other areas would be grow it in containers.  This way the roots can’t go anywhere and thus it can’t invade other parts of your garden.  If you aren’t concerned with mint creeping into other areas of your garden it can still be contained by weeding if it does become excessive.

If you’ve never grown mint now is a great time to try growing it.  When you put a fresh leaf in your iced tea you will enjoy the natural flavors that you grew.

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