How To Start Your Mint Garden
Written by: Kavata Kithome
Here is a little story about me.
My mother (who is also one of my superheroes) is an amazing gardener. She always had herbs growing in the kitchen that she would keep on the windowsill and use for cooking. She is the one who first opened my pallet to fresh herbs and how great they taste.
This got me wondering if I could do the same thing. Is it possible for me to grow my own herbs in the kitchen? I embarked on a journey to grow my own herbs; I tried my hand at cilantro, basil, oregano and mint. And here is where my little story begins.
When I began, I had no clue what I was doing. I figured since my mother did it, surely I inherited her green thumb. Well, all my herbs died… except for mint.
I found mint to be a cool plant that can handle the usual causes of plant death like lack of or overwatering and poor sunlight. Mint was the only plant that could handle my inexperience.
So now, because of its incredible durability, mint is probably my favorite herb to grow in my kitchen.
What You Need To Know About Growing Mint
It is important to remember that kitchen gardens are usually small, so this can be both good and bad when it comes to growing mint.
- Mint is considered a runner, due to the speed at which it grows and produces.
- Mint will keep growing even if you forget to water it or give it enough sunlight.
- It is best to begin with a starter plant (one that has some growth), this is important because you will know for sure that the plant is definitely mint
- The bad thing about this is if you pick a small pot, the roots will continue to grow and wrap around themselves when they run out of room and choke the plant. To avoid this, look for either a deep or wide pot or a long and shallow pot, because the roots need room to spread and grow.
- You only need one mint plant that can be placed right in the middle of your perfect pot, a few inches into the soil and the mint will spread. Mint can be planted year round and does its best in full sunshine, but also thrives in partial shade as long as the soil is kept moist.
- On watering, mint does not like wet “feet,” so make sure the soil drains well and do not keep it in standing water. The key is not to let it dry out and also not to soak it, the perfect balance.
Harvesting Your Mint
Now we are having fun because our mint is growing and ready to harvest. The key is to cut halfway down the stem (have no worries, it will grow back). Pay attention to your stems; if they are looking thin and weak and the leaves are small and brittle, cut back the entire stem as close to the soil as possible.
The more you harvest, the more strength the plant has. It is important to harvest often. In this process, be sure to cut back all the way, fertilize, keep the water balance and watch it grow.
Tending Your Mint Year-Round
Looking at year round long term care for your mint: when sunlight wanes, cut your plant back as close to the soil. This should happen every Autumn (unless your climate is not as winter heavy).
During the winter, snap off the stems as close to the soil as possible and keep the soil lightly watered. The key is to keep the energy in the root and don’t stress the plant. After this trim, the mint may put on some growth (don’t look to do a real harvest until the days go longer). Fertilize again in the spring, keep the soil moist and the stems should come back strong and capable.
After your first or second year, if you notice the growth slowing, your pit may be overcrowded in the root system. Here is your fix: turn out the plant, trim some of the roots and repot with fresh soil. The key is you can never cut too much root away, so no worries.
Are you growing anything in your kitchen? What do you think would be easy to grow in the kitchen? comment below, share and let’s discuss.
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Kavata Kithome is an advocate for living your best life, full of health and longevity. While working closely with gym owners and personal trainers, she was able to sculpt a well-rounded view of fitness and understands how to incorporate it with a healthy balanced diet. She is a regular contributor to the One More Step Lifestyle brand.
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