David Domoney discusses planting mint
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Many opt to grow their own mint either in their gardens or in their kitchens. While many envisage their mint plants as a thriving addition to the window sill, all too often mint plants wilt and die away. Here are some top tips for looking after your mint plant to ensure flourishing foliage.
Mint plants need to be regularly watered to thrive, especially during hot and dry spells of weather.
Indoor mint plants also need to be watered regularly, so aim to keep the soil moist.
But be aware, too much watering can lead to mint plants becoming waterlogged, which can cause them to rot.
Mint can be sown outdoors in late spring or sown indoors about eight to 10 weeks before the last frost.
Mint is typically very easy to grow but it can flourish too much, causing significant overgrowth.
Mint grows outwards and can get quite busy, so mint should be planted in pots rather than straight in the ground.
Mint can be planted in a large pot with multi-purpose compost.
Light soil that allows for good drainage is key when growing mint.
Make sure to avoid planting different types of mint together, as this can disrupt their flavour and their smell.
Depending on the variety, most mint types can grow in the sun or partial shade, but check before planting.
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Once mint leaves appear above in spring, the harvesting of the mint can begin.
To keep the mint well-flavoured, cut it regularly as this helps to stimulate new leaf growth.
In the late summer, it is also important to take steps to ensure mint flourishes in the future.
Gardeners’ World explains: “After flowering is over in late summer, cut back plants to just above soil level and feed with a high-nitrogen fertiliser to encourage a fresh flush of leaves for autumn picking.
“In autumn, divide to make new plants. Lift a clump and chop it into pieces using a spade.
“Discard the old centre and replant the vigorous outer edges. Divide congested pot-grown mint in autumn.
“Sit containers on pot feet to avoid waterlogging over winter.”
By following these steps, there is a good chance mint plants will be ready for further picking next harvest season.
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