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why does mint get such a bad rap ?  RSS feed

 
Posts: 369
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I keep reading how it will pop up anywhere. Can't you just pull it like a weed when it gets to close to plants you like?
 
Posts: 715
Location: PA-Zone 6
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Normally i would assume yes, but I have had experience with this demon! It literally went under a concrete sidewalk and took over everything. Killed alot of plants, including perennials. My thought is, grow it in a pot so it cant sucker, or plant it in a place where it will have established wild competition. Trust me, its not as easy as just pulling it out, its very time intensive to control it, wouldnt you want to spend that extra time doing something more productive?
 
Posts: 1502
Location: Chihuahua Desert
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in my dry climate, it only grows where we put water for it, so it isn't a pest.

We've had it go to war with oregano before, though, and the oregano kept the mint at bay.
 
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
89
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A nice, fertile, moist vege garden suits mint very well.
It's WAY harder than just pulling it out, believe me!
I have it under the ouside tap, where there's a large gap in the concrete. The Vietnamese mint (not actually mint, but an equally enthusiastic grower) and English mint are duking it out.
The Vietnamese mint appears to have the upper hand, and the 'normal' mint's making a run for it in the crack between the house and concrete.
btw, oregano is also a mint...
 
Posts: 79
Location: Manitoba Canada
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Leila wrote:
btw, oregano is also a mint...

Cool. I never knew that.

I dug up a big chunk of mint (and about a foot of soil around it, and very deep) and tossed it along with the chunk of soil under my porch where there's no light and nothing grows. Now I have mint under my porch and in the spot where I dug it up!
 
                                    
Posts: 59
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Yeah, the problem with puling mint is that it has long, just barely underground stems that don't usually come up with the shoots.  They cling tightly in the earth, just waiting to re-sprout.  Add its rapid growth, ability to drown out other plants, the fact that next to nothing eats it, so there isn't a lot of biological control, and mint does earn its reputation as a plant that can get out of control.

OTOH, its really quite simple to contain mint.  One way is to plant it in its own island bed, either completely alone, surrounded on all sides by mown turf through which it can't escape, or as an underplanting to much larger shrubs and trees that are open enough to allow it to grow and large enough that they themselves won't be threatened by mint.  The other method that works very well is to plant the mint inside of a barrier that rises up above the ground level about 4 inches -- this effectively traps the mint within whatever size and shape enclosure you make for it.  The barrier can be any solid material -- timbers, plastic, even a larger plastic pot or garbage can with the bottom cut out and sunk into the earth to the appropriate depth.
 
Rob Sigg
Posts: 715
Location: PA-Zone 6
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If you are going to use a barrier, make sure its deep. Most sources say 1 foot, but Ive seen it go under 1 foot so deeper is better.
 
Posts: 9
Location: The Netherlands
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I put my mint up in a bucket without a bottem. Keeps it wel at bay.
At first I did not let it grow this way and then it ran meters away. I just dug it up and it made good compost.

About oregano and mint. All mint starts with Mentha..... But oregano with Oreganum.....
So in my opinion we're talking about 2 different families. I agree that they are both herbs.

Anyone?
 
                                    
Posts: 59
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Well, two different genera.  They're all members of the mint family, Lamiaceae.
 
Ingrid Groen
Posts: 9
Location: The Netherlands
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Oke. Thanks Denninmi!
 
Posts: 78
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Mint or herb, oregano is pretty darned bullet-proof its own self.

I have some growing under my porch steps - we're on a steep hill so it gets lots of morning sun. I don't water it, the cats sleep in it, it freezes back to the ground in winter and it still thrives. Good thing I like Italian seasoning. 
 
                    
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I adore mints. the family lamiaceae has dozens, perhaps hundreds, of species. Lamiaceae includes oregano, marjoram, sage, rosemary, thyme... yeah, half your spice cabinet. I suspect that the mint in question here is from genus  Mentha (oregano, marjoram and lemon balm are  mentha as is bee balm, monarda and many others... while sage is salvia, rosemary is rosemarinus, thyme is thymus)... mentha typically need loads of water.  and with many sp. less than 20" a year will restrain it. oregano, the opposite- above about 50-60" and it starts to be heavily repressed.

I have about 1/5 my garden- understory approtioned to lamiaceae. they can be layered to control one another in an assembly that has medicinal, culinary, fiber, insectory, pest control, and aesthetic functions.

when mentha  needs removing I have found two methods that work quick. double dig it and sheet mulch with HOT manure, or turn a hog on it. goat will eat  some, but not as much nor dig up roots as a hog does. dont know tif that works for all varieties (would doubt the stronger ones like spear or peppermint) nut lemon balm went fast, and purple henbit did too. Mint is hardy stuff. get the right ones for your assembly and youll be happy for years to come. get the wrong one and youll go to bed tired. or full on bacon. so, think ahead. plan for bacon.
 
Posts: 1113
Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
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Huh?!? A bad rap? We love it. We drink mint tea year round. Great stuff. Cheap too since we pick it ourselves every fall and dry the leaves. Hint. Don't use the stems.
 
Posts: 74
Location: Vancouver, WA
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Deston Lee wrote:
I have about 1/5 my garden- understory approtioned to lamiaceae. they can be layered to control one another in an assembly that has medicinal, culinary, fiber, insectory, pest control, and aesthetic functions.



Deston, could you give an example of how you layer them?  p.s. we should hang out

-jahnavi
 
                    
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jahnavi-you came up the day before the new years party, right? I was so sad!  layers- like oregano next to rosemary, oregano spralls out, rosemary sprawls up. and then marjoram can fit in under that- they layer well. ive got pepper mint that was with lemon balm- balm a clumper, peppermint sprawling but the balm froze out in that assembly. winter was harsh. you were here. froze solid.  lost 2 (both!) rosemary, one was 15 years old. but they layer, so they can be sorta stacked tightly depending on architecture into very small spaces and still have the room the need. manicures are a culinary preparation! anyhow, yes, drop a line. next month might be busy, we have cob and rockemass heater and other nonesense going on. say hi to colleen!
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
89
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That's a relief on the oregano/mint thing.
I had an "oh no, don't tell me they've reclassified that too" moment!
Mint's great. It just demands respect. And a firm hand.
 
Posts: 632
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I had some very aromatic mint taking over the side yard on a former residence.  It was killing out the kentucky bluegrass, but since I'm not that fond of grass, I just let it.  That says something about how tough and competitive it is.

Mowing that part of the yard was quite an aroma-experience.

Since I knew I was moving away, I felt no obligation to reign it in.

HTH,

troy
 
Posts: 686
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I rented a house in California back in the early 80's and the backyard was about 1/3 mint.  Two years later the entire backyard was mint.  The grass lost the battle to the mint.  I grow it in a planter.  It will never see the earth anywhere near my garden.
 
Posts: 644
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I tried 5 times over the winter to establish some mint. I totally bombed. Lol. So I picked up a chocolate and standard mint plant yesterday. I am going to grow them in containers along with an orange mint plant if I can find one. I'm very happy today to have these additions.
 
pollinator
Posts: 755
Location: zone 6b
9
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I've grown mint from the fresh herb they sell in the grocery store before - it will root in water, especially if there's another rooting cutting there but I doubt that's necessary. I like to mix the mint, chopped, with plain yogurt or cultured cream, salt, pepper, and lemon juice for a nice salad or garnish for sandwiches. We ate a lot of it when I had it growing. It is bulletproof, but mowing slows it's spread if you don't water it too much. My favorite is the fuzzy kind.
 
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