Planting mint in your garden

If you happen to have a couple of brown thumbs and kill any plant you touch you may want to consider planting mint in your garden. These members of the mint family is so hardy that it can practically be planted anywhere and in many cases it can take over your garden without taking some precautions during your planting. Couple of low impact options is to grow it in a pot on your patio or even grow in a hanging basket and harvest the leaves as they grow over the side. If you wish to grow your mint at ground level you will need to create a root barrier to keep it from spreading over your whole garden. You start by digging a 12-18 inch hole and place your mint in a large plastic pot or lay down a plastic liner with drainage holes. One other option is to use an old 5 gallon bucket and give your mint a little more room to grow but you will need to dig a little deeper hole.

Now for picking your plant(s), if you want some peppermint for tea or that mojito in the middle of summer you will need to buy your plant from a nursery (unless you have a nice friend or neighbor to get a start from them) since peppermint is sterile so you will be unable to grow it from seed. Other mints such as spearmint can be started from seed but it will take a couple months until you can begin harvesting. I would definitely recommend buying as plants since they are usually inexpensive and a modest plant can become pretty established in just a few weeks. The one exception is if you want a species you may not be able to find in your area nursery, so seeds might be your only option.

So why grow mint in the first place. It has a great fragrance and many uses including refreshing your breath, deterring pests (mosquitoes, slugs, wasps, and ants), garnishes or major ingredient to your cold drinks. For me the primary reason was peppermint tea.

If you don’t think you like peppermint tea make sure you try the fresh version before you sign it off. Tea leaves are dried so they last longer if you want the best flavor best to use it fresh. There is no part of peppermint that can harm you so can break off a piece of mint (stem and all) and let it seep for 5 to 10 minutes. Not only is it a refreshing beverage that leaves your mouth with a nice clean taste but also can help with any stomach discomfort. If you want something with a little more flavor try this recipe:

Straight from the garden peppermint tea recipe


  • 3 peppermint leaves
  • 3 spearmint leaves
  • 3 lemon balm leaves

Add leaves to one cup of boiling hot water. Let leaves seep for 10 minutes. Add honey or sugar if desired.

4 Responses to “Planting mint in your garden”

  1. Maureen Francis Says:

    I just brewed up a big pot of peppermint tea that I will drink cold over the next few days. My favorite drinks of summer.My peppermint escaped the buried pot and now I am trying to keep it under control (along with my neighbor’s invasive snow on the mountain.

  2. Roxie Says:

    I fervently wish I had never planted mint in my garden. Every year I have to de-mint the garden and every year I think how demented I was to plant it in the first place.

  3. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    Hopefully I don’t regret my decision. Given where I have it planted it will have to take over my lawn or climb the side of my house so hopefully I can keep it under control.


    You won’t regret it as long as you are harvesting it. even if you don’t want it give it away to friends and family with a years worth of dry mint for tea each christmas. this should keep it under control.

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