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mint invasion-live with it??

 
Maddie Bern
Posts: 28
Location: Sierra Nevada foothills, zone 7
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A few years ago, we planted peppermint in our veggie garden, not realizing it was extremely invasive. Right now it is in the weedy area that I haven't sheet mulched yet. It covers an area about 10 feet in diameter, and it is just now getting into the lettuce bed! My plan for this fall was to chop and compost it, then sheet mulch with cardboard/manure/straw/compost, and maybe plant a cover crop to outcompete any stragglers.

On the other hand, the bed of mint looks lovely, smells great, and my daughter loves it. Do most folks grow mint in containers only? Is there a way to have a patch of mint that doesn't spread?? Ok, maybe it involves concrete walls or something...
 
Paul Cereghino
gardener
Posts: 855
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
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I planted my mint between a hedge of evergreen shrubs and a driveway where it gets part shade and no irrigation.  So far so good.  It is not meek.  I am still removing some applemint from an area where I didn't want a thug.
 
                                  
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we like mint very much.  it's wonderful for tea and and multitude of medicinal applications. 

i'd think about adding vigorous herbs (dill, parsley, chamomile, cilantro) in the patch with the mint.  think about garlic and burdock and dandelions too.  we also enjoy eating day lillies, which will also compete with mint and may be balance against it.  hell think about adding ginger, too!!

maybe just put a brick border around the patch and start a medicinal garden.  a sheet plastic teepee would extend your season and keep you in he

sounds like a wonderful problem to have.
 
Aljaz Plankl
Posts: 384
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madronewood wrote:My plan for this fall was to chop and compost it, then sheet mulch with cardboard/manure/straw/compost, and maybe plant a cover crop to outcompete any stragglers. Is there a way to have a patch of mint that doesn't spread??

If you do this it will only grow faster as it spreads in soil first and then comes out. When it spreads over the limit i pull it out with roots.
 
ellen rosner
Posts: 135
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I do the same as Plankl. I find it relatively easy to keep it in a limited space, the roots come out fairly easily.
In an area where I wanted to be rid of it totally, (before I had read about concerns with newspaper) I pulled up as much as I could lay newspaper down about 3 inches think, and covered with wood chips.
That was a few years ago, and it hasn't returned.

Ummm, love apple mint, altho it jumps from one plot to another. amazing. demands vigilance. but worthwhile.
 
Maddie Bern
Posts: 28
Location: Sierra Nevada foothills, zone 7
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Thanks for all the replies. Right now it is 2 feet tall and very lush, despite no watering all summer, and no rain the last half of the summer. I did try pulling it out by the roots in the lettuce bed, but several of them went straight down into the harder soil (only did the sheet mulch last year) and I couldn't get them -- they broke off. Plus I felt sad to upset all the soil microfauna in my no-till bed to chase down these very spread-out roots.

Now you all are giving me the idea of transplanting it to an area by my driveway that is super weedy and unattractive. I can sheet mulch the worst of the weeds and move some big clumps of mint over there. And move the other herbs that are mixed in with the mint (sage and thyme, I think), which will then be nice and close to zone 1. It is so great to hear from other people and come up with new ideas! I do feel worried it will pop up again in the garden, and it probably will. But I am going to try to move it anyway. My daughter will be happy.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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mint is very healthy and possibly medicinal for honey bees, it may  help them prevent or rid themselves of bee mites..so leave some at least if you can..esp if you have hives
 
Kirk Hutchison
Posts: 418
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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I use mint as a groundcover in my forest garden. All my plants grow big enough to not be bothered by it. I use several different varieties, and have recently planted sweet potatoes as well. Once it is all grown, they should compete with each other and create edge spaces where light reaches the soil and allows seed germination.
 
A Philipsen
Posts: 58
Location: OR - Willamette Valley
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I cut the bottoms out of some large plastic tubs, buried them and planted mint in them in a couple places I didn't want it to spread.  I have some more that isn't contained that I dig starts for friends out of the edges when it gets too carried away.  Ricola mint is my favorite
 
John Polk
steward
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Yes.  Bottomless plastic buckets/tubs are a very good way to control the spread of the mint family.  What does escape the tub can be easily managed.

If you want to double the oils (flavor) of your mints, plant stinging nettle amongst them.  There is a symbiotic relationship between the nettles and mints (and other herbs) which cause them to produce more oils.  More oils = more flavor.  Works with most "oily" herbs like oregano, rosemary, thyme, etc.  A real cheap boost to your herb garden!  One nettle plant amongst a dozen herb/mint plants should show a significant difference.
 
                            
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i dont plant mint since its all around but i had similar problem with netles which is even more invasive. mint needs wet land so if you realy want to exterminate it from your garden just dont put any water during summer, or you can even kill it with fire. if you want to have it around plant it outside of garden or in some kind of box...
 
Sergio Santoro
Posts: 255
Location: Nicoya, Costa Rica
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You guys are all lucky! Here in Costa Rica mint is NOT invasive, it barely survives!
Funny, I was just about to transplant some right now, too. In another thread they told me it doesn't like too much salt in the soil (?), so all I need is a good soil with a well established fungal colony that will surround the particles of salt. So I was going to put that little, spindly mint plant I have behind the green house at the feet of my H├╝gelkultur and see if it does better.
Anyway, I wish I had your problem. Never too much mint for me.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Pie
Posts: 8852
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Same here, Sergio, I would be thrilled to have most kinds of useful "invasive" plants!  But most will die for me unless coddled.
 
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame
Posts: 488
Location: Foothills north of L.A., zone 9ish mediterranean
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One way to use lots of mint is to use it as a salad green.  I can't imagine ever having too much. 
 
Casey Halone
Posts: 192
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depending on the type, and how it feels to bare feet, i would let it compete with grass etc in the lawn. smell nice when mowed!
 
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