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Culturing mint for maximum flavor

 
Dan Boone
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Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
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I have four different kinds of mint, growing in a variety of containers and (this year) in random places where I've planted it. I'm not worried about it spreading, because I want lots and I have plenty of room.

It does not flourish, though, in the heat of the summer, even when provided with plenty of water. It wants to get gangly and tall and flower a lot, and what leaves it produces tend toward the small, yellow-looking, and flavorless.

I'm interested in tips and tricks for keeping mint happy and flavorful throughout the summer. I've heard that growing yarrow with it helps, so that's an experiment to try. Any others? Do I need to provide my mint with more shade? Even more water? Fertilizer? Or is mint just not going to be productive when daily highs go above 100 for more than a few days at a time?

Almost everything written about growing mint is written about controlling its invasiveness. I'm hoping some folks here will have tips for helping it grow better and more aromatic. Thanks!
 
R Scott
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Shade helps in the heat of the summer. And usually LESS water to concentrate flavor, at least a few days before you plan a big harvest.

Plant it in diverse conditions as much as you can around your place--the different soil and microclimates will make different patches do better at different times of the year or weather patterns.
 
Alex Ames
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I have chocolate mint that his gotten away in my flower beds. It is in sun
part of the day, partial sun for part and shaded in the afternoon. Those growing
conditions seem to be pretty close to perfect for it to thrive!
 
Dan Boone
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R Scott wrote:Plant it in diverse conditions as much as you can around your place--the different soil and microclimates will make different patches do better at different times of the year or weather patterns.


That's this year's experiment. I had a patch snuggled up to some giant reeds that was doing wonderfully until the gophers ate it root and branch. Some basil in the same spot is really happy. I've got mint in half a dozen other places that is all bolting -- but I'll keep trying!
 
2017 Permaculture Design Course at Wheaton Labs
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