Am I bad for wanting mint to spread?!??!

cassieinmass(6)May 18, 2009

I have a strip of land where nothing really grows very well. I have planted Chocolate mint, plain mint and orange mint. I would love for this to take over this strip. On one side is a wall, on the other, concrete with trees causing a shady area. I also have some lemon balm and catnip growing there too. I chose herbs that grow big and spread to fill it in. Am I setting myself up for missery!?!? I know th emint may choke out some of the other herbs, but I have them planted in other places too, so it would be ok... -Cassie

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Not bad, necessarily, but perhaps a teensy bit mad! OK, OK, perhaps right off your rocker! I think one day you'll regret it, but you went into this with your eyes open, so 'nuff said!!

I think in your own garden you can do pretty much what you want. However, if you want to actually use any of these mints in your cooking, you're in for a huge disappointment. The flavour of them all, growing together like that, is going to be absolutely awful.

That should be punishment enough for your sins! (tee hee)

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 6:00PM
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LOL! I actually HATE the taste of mint in stuff. Mint Jelly gags me, and I hate Mojitos. But I love smelling mint growing, and think it is beautiful!!! Plus, im using a spot that nothing else seems to wan tot grow, so it works (so far) If I hate it, at least I can dig it all out and it will have no place to run and hide... -cass

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 6:21PM
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It is your land, it is your preference. Then why not.
The way you have described your plot, it should be fine.
Mint cannot grow beyond the wall and concrete. In the meantime, if you want to plant another herb there all you have to do is to clear a spot for them by removing mint roots(little more than necessary).

To contain the mints on the other sides (other than wall and concrete) you can install some barrier, such as plastic sheet, about a foot or more deep and watch if they ever cross that barrier. Or just prevent them from quite reaching to the barrier. Pulling out mint roots is very easy. You may not be able to get it done at one shot but certainly can be managed.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 8:41PM
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I have never found bricks or concrete to stop mint from going where it wants to go. If it can't grow over the ground, it'll just grow under it instead. One metre down is what I've known it to do, and it wouldn't surprise me if it could go deeper than that! (1 metre, in case you didn't know, is roughly 39 inches - or, for visualisation purposes, 3ft plus a bit.)

If solid walls and concrete driveways aren't barriers enough to stop it, I truly don't see that plastic sheeting will pose more than a temporary hiccup in the travel itinerary for a truly determined mint plant.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 4:45AM
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Hee hee-- I'm with you, Cassie! I have thrown caution to the wind and have 4 varieties of mint planted in-ground with nothing to slow their spread. They're all in different areas of the yard, not together, and frankly I won't mind if they take over the whole dang yard. I have a rather weedy, no-pesticide yard anyway, so why not mint instead of wild strawberries and dandelions? They're prettier than grass, and smell better when mowed. Interestingly, some are more aggressive than others. My marshmallow mint is the most aggressive, moving out into various directions in the yard already after a couple of years, while the berries n cream mint, planted at the same time in an area very similar in soil and sunlight, has pretty much stayed put.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 9:17AM
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CA Kate

I used mint on a back hillside and it worked quite well. I found that if I mowed it occasionally it became thicker and looked better.

To Daisy's point: 11 years later... I found the mint had gone down at least 4 feet and come up in a bed behind a wall with a deep footing. As Daisy said, mint can be a determined plant.

As to the flavors getting "muddied" I have never had that experience -- no matter what herbs were planted together.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 12:47PM
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I have never used mint as a seasoning but spearmint sure makes a tasty "tea" Great for my nerves beats the candy. I just try to keep it where it won't be invading other plants that I would worry about. I am not worried about 11 years later if I last that long my children will just have to mess with the problem, but I don't see a problem just don't plant too close to your garden and enjoy the smell and beauty of the plant. I know even geese won't eat the plant.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 6:08AM
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cabrita(9b SoCal)

So about 16 years ago, a gardener planted a mint starter plant in a little plastic pot that she got at a farmer's market. She placed it in the garden, right on the soil (bad, bad, bad, girl....). It was spearmint. Very nice, love the scent and as wally says, great for tea! I just love mint tea, cold or hot. It blends well with other flavors too, citrus or lemon verbena, or green tea.

16 years later this is now my garden. I had a whole little field of spearmint. I dug it out (yes, the mint), tilled it seriously (I love it but I want it controlled, I knew I would not eradicate it), added compost, and planted corn. The mint just grows between the corn. I am telling you, I thought I pulled out every single root. Hey, living mulch! Of course, squash volunteers too in between the corn, and red amaranth as well. Other things volunteer there, some get yanked out and composted (no tomatillo uhhgg), some get pulled out from the roots and eaten (the amaranth, yumm) and the mint gets harvested too, rather aggressively. Whenever I feel it is encroaching on the corn or the squash, or the cucumbers I got growing there, it gets yanked out by the root, root discarded (ground up for mulch), the rest dried for tea. It is all in the 'harvesting' technique. AGGRESSIVE. Just show her who is boss.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 2:13PM
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the west side of my house is a death strip -- nothing does well there -- don't know why. About 15 years ago, I planted the apple mint (the fuzzy stuff_. It'd done OK. I try to cut off the flowers because it seems to attract flies (and this area is very near my neighbor's driveway. The strip looks Ok -- Sedum Autumn Joy, Garlic chives and a few daylilies now share the strip with the mint. the mint has not strayed. So I think in the right area, it's the best choice -- sure smells good all the time. Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 2:58PM
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nsomniak6(z5 or 6 CT)

I used to throw all of my spent and "dead" plants that I grew in containers over the side of my deck. There was a very rich little area after a couple of years. I discovered that my chocolate mint didn't die, nor did an asparagus plant. I had them growing very nicely until the deck had to be redone and everything got dug up. I figured the asparagus wasn't coming back, but I had a hunch that the mint would and I was right. It is very happy under there spreading where it wants. We have a good size yard so it'll be a loong time before it takes over...hopefully. For now, I love it!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 5:21PM
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I have an idea!

Plant mint in the middle of or somewher in your annuals garden.
This way, every year you till/turn over the adjacent area (anyway)clean up any mint intrusion, Even if they persist to come up beyond their confinement later on, just treat them like many weeds, pull them up. Not a big deal.

But It is just a big mistake to plant mints in perenial/herb garden, because in order to get rid of them, you have to get rid of everything else too.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 11:28PM
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