Mint is an ingredient for various recipes while also a popular addition to many drinks. It’s also really fragrant so that it can be used in so many other things. You should definitely grow mint in your backyard.
Here are the steps on how to grow mint from seed.
Introduction to Mint
Mint is a popular perennial herb. It is aromatic.
There are between a dozen and a couple of dozen species of mint around but thousands of varieties. They can be found in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America–that’s almost all over the world.
Let’s talk about this herb
Mint has wide-spreading stolons both underground and overground. While most people love to use mint, the plant could be quite invasive.
Aside from the fragrance, another distinct feature of the mint are the leaves that are almost always arranged in opposite pairs.
Mint leaves are shaped oblong or like a lance. Most mint leaves are green but some could be gray-green, pale yellow, and sometimes even blue or purple.
Mint flowers look quite adorable with their white or purple verticillasters.
Mint plants also produce fruits that contain between one and four seeds, which you can then use to propagate mint at home.
Here are the most popular types of mints:
- Apple mint
- Native spearmint
- Scotch spearmint
Well, some of them are famous flavors of candies, gums, mouthwashes, and toothpastes.
There are so many uses of mint.
You could use mint in both wholesome and alcoholic drinks. Peppermint, for example, is a popular tea drink.
You can also add mint leaves to any drink to make it more aromatic. You can also have a simple mint lemonade.
Of course, mint is a popular addition in mojitos, and a main ingredient for mint julep.
It’s a popular cooking herb as well. Aside from its aroma, it also has a sweet flavor and a cool aftertaste.
It can be used to make syrup and ice cream, jellies and candies. Mint chocolate is also quite popular.
Mint is also a popular ingredient in many Middle Eastern cuisine as in many lamb dishes. American and British cuisine are fond of mint sauce, while Indian cuisine uses mint to flavor its many curries.
Other mint products:
If you’re into essential oils, you know that mint is also a popular flavoring for that. Some lotions and perfumes also have hints of mint.
Menthol is the substance that gives mint its aroma. Of course, menthol is also a popular flavor for cigarettes.
So many more…
Yep! There are just so many more things you can think of that use mint for its fragrance or flavor.
The use of mint dates back to hundreds of years, too.
Let’s talk about that
Ancient Greeks used to rub mint on their arms because they believed that it would make them stronger.
In many cultures, mint was also pounded and rubbed into stomachs of people who are suffering from tummy aches.
Modern people still do that, but instead of actual leaves, they use creams and solutions that are made from mint or that have mint as a major ingredient.
Mint is also used in aromatherapy. If you feel nauseated, you can just smell a minty essential oil or concoction and you will feel better.
Just be careful as some people have allergic reactions to mint.
Oh, there’s more!
Mint is also used in creating insecticides. It can kill ants, cockroaches, hornets, and wasps.
It can also be used as deodorizer for the home or for the bathroom.
Growing Mint: Things You Need to Know
This herb thrives in mostly wet environments. If not, then the soil has to be moist in order for mint to grow healthy.
You’ll see mints growing near water areas like rivers, lakes, and other watery spots under a shade.
The thing is
Mint prefers wet environments, but it doesn’t mean that they don’t grow when it’s hot. In fact, the mint is capable of growing under full sun, as long as the soil is kept moist.
Actually, it can tolerate different weather and climate conditions.
The plant could grow between four and 48 inches tall. They grow fast, too, and could provide for your needs the entire year.
There are two ways to grow mint:
Growing mint through seeds is actually less reliable. This is because some varieties of mint are sterile.
It’s not that easy!
Cuttings are the more popular way of growing mint. There are also a lot of options considering the many runners that you could take from a mint plant.
These runners actually make the mint quite invasive because they grow so fast.
You know what else?
Mints are great companion plants. They repel pests that could damage your plants or give your plants diseases.
However, they attract insects that would benefit the plants like bees, butterflies, and lady beetles, among others.
Mints are also susceptible to whiteflies that could damage the plants, and aphids, which can colonize plants if not detected early.
That should not deter you though. The benefits of growing mint in your garden are just too many.
There are so many uses to mint. Besides, they are natural deodorizers. Your garden will surely smell amazing, and that would just spread to the rest of the outdoors.
You can also grow them indoors through containers so you also have natural deodorizer inside your home.
How to Grow Mint from Seed
Timing will be crucial in growing mind seeds. It will allow you to grow really beautiful and healthy mint plants.
That would also lead to great-tasting mint leaves.
When is the right time?
Plant your mint seeds into the ground by spring.
But if you wish to do the transplanting in the spring, you can start growing the seeds indoors in late winter.
If you want to grow mints indoors, you can do it anytime you want. Just make sure they are exposed to the sun and the soil is always moist.
Aside from that, mint prefers the soil to be slightly acidic and rich.
Here are the steps in growing mint from seeds:
1. Sow seeds a quarter of an inch deep into the soil
Whether you plan to grow mint in containers or on the ground, they don’t need to be sown really deep. Just ¼ inch deep is enough.
The seeds are really small so you can use a seed injector if that’s more convenient for you.
What to expect:
Germination can be experienced within 10 to 15 days.
During the germination process, you should put a cover on the soil. If you are using a tray, keep it in a warm location and cover it to speed up the process.
You can do the same even if you planted it directly to the ground.
If you are using containers and you intend to transplant the mint into the ground, wait until you see two sets of leaves sprouting.
When this happens, you can take the containers outside so that they can be acclimated to the outdoor temperature.
After a week
You can already transplant the mint into your outdoor garden.
2. Water regularly
Mint needs at least an inch of water every week during the growing season.
While mint thrives in moist soil, the plant should not be wet. So, water in the morning so that the leaves will be dry in the afternoon.
Wet leaves make mint susceptible to fungal infections.
3. Apply fertilizer in the spring
The ideal plant food is the one with a 16-16-16 ratio.
Apply fertilizer in early spring. Read the directions carefully as overtilization is heavily discouraged.
You don’t want to diminish the oil production of the mint because you overdid the fertilization process.
That’s not all
If you apply more fertilizer than what’s actually needed, the mint may get a disease.
The first harvest is ideally in the spring. The succeeding ones should be whenever you see full-grown leaves.
You need to harvest frequently in order to contain the growth of the mint. This is a highly invasive perennial.
You should have them in containers so they don’t have to invade a lot of your garden space.
However, if they are in the garden, you should contain them by harvesting as frequently as you can.
This is a versatile plant, so there are so many things you can do with your harvested mint. You can never have too much mint.
Mint is one of the most versatile herbs out there. It can be used in various dishes like salads and lamb recipes. It can also be used in drinks–teas, juices, and cocktails. Further, mint is also used in aromatherapy, lotions, perfumes, toothpastes, candies, gums, and so many others.
Basically, there are so many things you can do with a mint. So, it’s best to just grow mint in your garden. You can grow mint through cuttings and seeds. The former is easier as some mint seeds are sterile. It’s just a matter of finding the right seed to plant.
How to grow mint from seed? It can grow in most temperatures, although full sun is preferable. However, the soil should be moist as it thrives best in rich and moist ground. In fact, it can even thrive in wet areas.