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Plant Care

How to Grow Mint

Growing mint, a versatile and aromatic herb, is a rewarding experience for garden enthusiasts and culinary aficionados alike. Perfect for the UK's climate, mint thrives when grown in pots, making it an ideal choice for small gardens or indoor cultivation. This guide provides comprehensive insights on cultivating mint from seed, ensuring lush, healthy growth. Discover how to grow mint indoors, how it can be grown for culinary uses and benefit from the pleasant aroma it adds to your home. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or a beginner, this introduction to growing mint will equip you with the essential knowledge to start your mint garden, offering tips on care, harvesting, and maximising its benefits.

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How to Grow Mint | Growing Mint from Seed
How to Grow Mint | Growing Mint from Seed

Grow Mint From Seed

Growing mint from seeds is a rewarding process. Start by sowing the seeds in pots or flats, or directly into prepared garden soil. Plant the seeds about ¼ inch deep, as they are small and can be spaced using a seed injector or thinned once germinated. Expect sprouts within 10 to 15 days. Keep the environment warm and the soil lightly moist, avoiding sogginess. Covering the flat can accelerate germination; remove the cover when sprouts appear. For outdoor sowing, spread seeds on the soil surface and lightly cover them with vermiculite. After seedlings develop two sets of true leaves, harden them off gradually. When ready, transition them outdoors for a week to acclimate before planting in beds or outdoor containers. This method is particularly effective in the UK, providing fresh, aromatic mint for various uses.

Expect sprouts within 10 to 15 days.

What Mint Needs

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Pruning: After mint flowers, trim it to 5cm from the base to spur new shoots ready for harvest in weeks. Protection: Mulch mint with compost to retain soil moisture and prevent drying in heat. Watering: Water newly planted mint regularly for at least the first few months.

Growing Mint Across the Season

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Remove the old, faded stems before new shoots start to sprout in spring

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Harvest mint regularly to encourage strong bushy growth.

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After flowering is over in late summer, cut mint plants back to just above soil level.

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Lift pots to avoid water-logging which can lead to root rot.

Mint S.O.S.

Growing mint, particularly in pots in the UK, can be largely trouble-free. However, there are some issues to watch for. Mint's vigorous growth requires containment; plant it in containers or bottomless buckets to control spread. Invasive growth needs regular removal, including root parts, as mint can regrow from remnants. Pest issues are minimal but include occasional aphid attacks on young shoots. These can be washed or squashed off, or infested shoots removed. Blue mint beetle is rarely a significant problem. Mint rust, a fungal issue, may occasionally affect plants. In winter, the cold, wet conditions can lead to root rot, especially in potted plants. Mint in containers is also more susceptible to freezing. To mitigate this, move pots to a sheltered area during colder months. For soil, use a well-draining, nutrient-rich compost, avoiding overly damp conditions that contribute to root problems.

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Lift pots in winter to avoid root rot.

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