Growing Mint, also Garden mint

Mentha spicata : Lamiaceae / the mint family

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
      P P              

(Best months for growing Mint in USA - Zone 5a regions)

  • S = Plant undercover in seed trays
  • T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings
  • P = Sow seed
  • Easy to grow. Grow in trays and plant out or start from cuttings. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 21°C and 24°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 30 cm apart
  • Harvest in 8-12 weeks. Cut leaves from top with scissors.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Cabbages, Tomatoes
  • Mint leaf

Although mint can be grown from seeds, cuttings are a faster, more reliable option.
Cuttings can be planted directly when danger of frost is past. Mint can be grown in pots outdoors or indoors.

Mint prefers damp, partly shaded areas and once established will grow for many years. Mint dies down in Winter and sends up new shoots in Spring.

Mint is a rampant grower and will take over a garden bed if not restrained.

One way to contain mint is to use an old bottomless bucket pushed into the ground. The mint won't be able to put its roots out sideways, so will take longer to spread. If grown in a pot, mint needs to be watered regularly to keep it healthy.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Mint

Mint adds a fresh flavour if chopped and sprinkled over salads. And is traditionally used mixed with vinegar and sugar to make mint sauce for lamb.

Your comments and tips

03 Nov 10, Leanne (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi there My mint always seems to get a type of "rust" on it? Any idea what this might be caused by? Insect or lack of something? Cheers Leanne
04 Nov 11, Mohan (Australia - temperate climate)
Rust is a type of Fungus caused by heavy rain and overhead watering. It cannot be cured and it is best to destroy the leaves. Please do not put it into the compost bin. Rust can be prevented by watering in the early morning. Apply water at the base of the plant, do not spray it on the plant
23 Oct 15, Grub (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I've had rust, if you take a cutting from unaffected leaves and start a new plant, it works fine. You don't need to destroy the whole plant, but you will need to start over.
27 Jan 12, Angela (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi. I have a type of white bug/flies on my mint. Does any one know how to get rid of them naturally without spraying chemicals on them? Thanks!
24 Mar 12, Matthew (Australia - temperate climate)
You can use Pyrethrum (which is based on the natural pyrethrum daisy extract). I've only use it 'on demand' when there is a problem, and it has incurred no negative effects onon any of my herbs growth or taste. Sunlight dissapates the Pyrethrum left on the leaves over a very short period. Alternatively or in addition, you can hang flying insect 'sticky paper' above and around your plants. Catapillar Larvae are also of concern for Mint, so using these 2 items as well as a $25 bug zapper to capture moths before the damage is done, seems to cover all bases as far as my Herb, Fruit and Vegetable growing is concerned.
28 Jan 12, z. watts (Australia - arid climate)
I spray with pyrethrum once a week. It's from a plant and non toxic to mammals.
27 Dec 13, Matt from Canberra (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Pyrethrum IS toxic to mammals. It is a neurotoxin which is especially bad for pregnant ladies and unborn babies. Just because something is derived from a natural source does not mean it is necessarily safe. Arsenic, crude oil and anthrax are all natural, yet I would not be spraying them anywhere near my food!
15 Aug 12, Phil Green (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi all, My recently planted mint has leaves that look like they have been burnt. Any ideas what might have caused it? Cheers Phil
21 Aug 12, Stevee (Australia - temperate climate)
Have you had frost lately Phil? Frost can make the leaves (particularly new ones) go black.
22 Oct 12, Richard (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I am told that if a mint plant flowers, the taste becomes bitter. I have noticed that the flavour weakens. Question is - will the same mint plant recover in time to give a sweeter and full flavour? Can I do anything to to recover a flowered mint plant?
Showing 1 - 10 of 96 comments

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