I understand that ground cover "eats" the goodies under the
tree but was wondering whether it would be a good idea
so that the ground is kept cool during summer. Here's two examples of mints growing around the trees
some more mint
I don't know if whether or not it will be beneficial to the ground but I'll tell you one thing. I would never plant mint in the ground. You will NEVER get rid of it! It's a pain, in my opinion.
The use of mulch buffers the soil temperature, keeps the moisture from evaporating, encourages beneficial microbes, and fosters a healthy root environment. See that little circle around your tree? Triple it. If that's drip line (soaker hose /drip irrigation) , you need to widen the circumference.
Get rid of the vegetation and apply a three inch mulch layer but never right up against the trunk.
This post was edited by rhizo_1 on Wed, Apr 17, 13 at 19:58
Agree with both Kris and Rhizo, here. First off, NEVER plant mint in the ground, you'll never get rid of it! Mulch is better, just watch that the ground doesn't get too saturated beneath the mulch, and keep the mulch away from the trunk of the tree, to discourage soil pathogens (fungii) from damaging and infecting the tree (gummosis). Rhizo is giving you excellent advice, as is Kris. Expect to be pulling out that mint for years.
Thanks, will follow all the good advice ! Regarding trouble with removing mint - you sound like my neighbor to whom I gave some mint ;) I seem to just pull it all out without any problems (will use it as first step mulch ;) )