Mint is one of those versatile ingredients that makes an appearance in so many delicious dishes from sauces to soups, salad to new potatoes. If it's something you use a lot in your cooking, you might be considering growing it yourself.
With help from the experts at Baby Bio®, we've created the ultimate guide for everything you need to know about how to grow mint.
How to plant mint
Mint is extremely easy to grow and rewards you with plenty of beautifully scented leaves that will make both your kitchen or garden smell delightful, and your meals taste fantastic! It doesn’t require much attention, so is perfect for those embarking on growing their own herbs for the first time.
The best time to plant mint is during spring after the threat of frost has passed. As mint is so hardy, it is best grown from root cuttings or young plants, rather than seeds. It is possible to grow mint straight into beds and borders, however as most varieties grow so quickly and are invasive, we recommend restricting their roots to pots, whether that is on the patio outside or on the windowsill in your kitchen.
What are the different mint varieties?
There are many types of mint plants that all offer slightly different aromas and flavours, including peppermint, spearmint, orange mint and apple mint. The key is to avoid growing different varieties of mint close together, as this can actually cause them to lose their individual scent and flavour.
How to care for mint
Mint prefers a position in full sun, so be sure to choose a spot that gets plenty of daylight. It also needs plenty of water to grow, so be generous with watering particularly during the summer months.
To maximise the scent and flavour of your mint, make sure its soil has all of the key nutrients it requires to thrive. Use a specialist herb plant food, such as Baby Bio® Herb Food, to enrich the soil with the perfect balance of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Use once every two weeks during the active growth period for even tastier and more aromatic mint.
How to harvest mint
Mint can be harvested any time from late spring to mid-autumn. Simply pick individual leaves or full sprigs off the plant as regularly as desired. The more you pick off and cut back, the more you will stimulate fresh growth and be rewarded with bushier mint plants.
Come winter, cut back shoots to ground level and mulch into your compost heap, as it will no longer be actively growing. By spring, you should see new mint growing again.
How to prepare and use mint
With its beautiful fresh aroma and taste, mint is best used fresh, like most herbs! You can’t beat using fresh mint leaves in a warming tea or refreshing iced soda, cooking with lamb, or adding to a hearty pea soup!
You can also freeze leaves for use in the winter months. We recommend chopping them and packing them tightly into an ice-cube tray with water, then simply pop them in the freezer. These can then be popped straight into hot or cold water to make a tasty drink or added straight to hot pans if you’re cooking soups or seasonal dishes.