Can tall grasses compete with mint?

susanzone5(z5NY)August 30, 2005

I have nine 4" pots of ornamental grasses (mature height will be between 3 and 7 feet tall) waiting to be planted. The site is now filled in with mint and beebalm. Can I dig wide holes and plant them or am I asking for trouble? I'd hate to let $60 worth of good plants go to waste.

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Mint is great in Juleps but god it's a pain in the a#@ once it has taken hold somewhere. Dig that stuff out and dig deep! Move it somewhere else as you certainly don't want it coming up inside your grass clumps -- which it will I believe if you don't move it entirely.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 3:12AM
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You will regret not taking the mint out now. It is not that difficult to control or eradicate; it just takes persistence. Some genera can compete, but that won't be until after next year's growing season at the earliest.

More info on what you are planting would have been helpful. Bee balm looks good with some of the stronger, taller clumping grasses like Miscanthus (I grow those together in one garden without problems, but I do keep an eye on the bee balm. And the bee balm went in AFTER the grasses were well established.)

    Bookmark   September 1, 2005 at 9:10AM
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It's impossible to remove the mint from where it grows, and I do love it...I use it almost everyday. I'm going to plant the grasses, tend it well till they get a good root system going, and hope for the best. I can't make another bed for the grasses because I live on a rock ledge in a sunny clearing in the forest. What will be will be. Here goes! Thanks for your responses.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2005 at 10:56PM
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My experience has been that the mature grass will hold the others at bay. Mature being the key word. Keep the mint from around the grass clumps until they get large, maybe two years. Actually I plant miscanthus where I don't want plants to overstep their bounds, such as monarda.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2005 at 8:12PM
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Your second posting makes me smile. I too live/garden in a clearing within a (hemlock) forest, with a rock ledge under our "mountain" in zone5NY. And my Miscanthus does real well. Stay dogged, and yours will, too. (And one of these days, when the grasses are tall, they will look great with the bee balm.)

    Bookmark   September 3, 2005 at 6:06PM
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I mowed down the mint and monarda, which left a very bare ground...easy to plant!. I dug 18" wide circles for each plant, and pulled up the mint roots. Those are surface roots (surprise!) and do not go down further than 5 inches...very easy to pull, and will not interfere with the grasses which have such tough roots. It will be easy to keep the mint from the grasses for the first year until they get a good root system going.

I've planted various miscanthus, 2 panicum, and one calimagrostis. I chose them all for their habit and color. I'm glad to finally have them in the ground and hope they survive the winter. I have a whole forest full of autumn leaves to mulch with, after the ground freezes.

Thank you all for your opinions and support with this. This is such a great website!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2005 at 8:42AM
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Good! Am glad to hear. It will be beautiful; I have similar combinations in one of my gardens. And your post has prompted me to think about planting some Bee Balm among them.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2005 at 8:59PM
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Susan, sounds lovely! How about some pictures next year? Polly

    Bookmark   September 7, 2005 at 11:09AM
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