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Wild Mint

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mauve flowered wild mint illustrating an article on wild mint Wild mint (Mentha Aquatica) is the most common of the mint species and comes from the Lamiaceae, Dead Nettle family.

It grows abundantly in various places here on the Wild Atlantic Way in Galway.

Wild mint is a very pretty plant with fluffy, mauve flowers with a beautiful fresh scent.

It is known to repel the cabbage white butterfly and has many other uses and benefits.

THE TRUTH ABOUT WILD MINT

There is a downside however. You have probably heard the expression ‘growing like wild mint.’

Like many of these old sayings there is truth in this – mint tends to spread quite easily, given the right conditions.

Wild mint is also known as water mint and needs to be near water, or else be grown in a rainy area.

WATER WATER EVERYWHERE

We have no shortage of rain in this part of the Wild Atlantic Way so my wild mint is happy growing and spreading.

Spreading is something I like.

One of the great things about having a semi-wild and mostly overgrown garden is that I don’t mind if a plant takes over certain areas – especially if that area was previously covered with weeds.

Weeds are a big problem in the larger garden so having them pushed out by beautiful wild mint is a bonus.

GROWING WILD MINT IN SMALL GARDENS

However, in a small garden mint can quickly become so copious that it can become a weed itself.

So, if you are planning on growing mint in a small garden then I recommend you confine it to pots.

Pots can stop the spread. If your space is limited you probably don’t want it crowding out your other plants.

WILD MINT ON A BALCONY

It is also a great plant to grow in pots on balcony if you live in a flat or apartment. As long as you remember to keep it watered regularly it will grow easily.

The great thing about this is if you grow a couple of pots of wild mint, or any other variety of mint you will have a regular supply of mint tea.

A CUPPA TEA

I love mint tea and used to buy it regularly in the form of teabags.

Then I discovered that growing my own mint and making my own tea was easy, far nicer and much, much cheaper.

HOW TO PLANT

I started off with a couple of pots of mint that was given to me by a friend.

The mint soon outgrew the pots so I removed the plants and planted them around the garden in places.

To do this I dug a hole a bit bigger than the plant, filled it with water and a drop of my nettle wine and settled the roots in with a little fresh compost.

LOCATION LOCATION

Given its reputation for spreading I was careful in choosing where to plant it.

I decided on using some places where I wanted it to replace weeds and others where it was convenient for me to access from my house – like my little herb path.

My herb path is a sloping, sunny area behind the house and it connects the patio behind our kitchen to the back garden.

wild mint growing on a herb path illustrating an article on wild mint I created the herb path out of a pile of rubble and weeds.

It is close enough to the house for me to run from the kitchen and grab what I need quite easily.

WILD MINT IN THE HEDGEROW

Every day I walk my dog from our house down a narrow lane which leads to a small pier and bay.

As I walk I see plenty of wild mint growing at the base of the hedgerows.

It’s probably not a good idea to pick the wild mint that grows at the side of the roads.

It is probably soaking in petrol fumes and might even be providing a toilet for discerning dogs.

Everybody walks their dogs down our lane, so for that reason I don’t use those hedgerow herbs. Still, I love to see and smell the delicious scent as I walk past.

EASY TO GROW

Growing wild mint is easy. You don’t even have to buy the mint plants. You will probably see it growing wild somewhere if you live in the countryside.

Or, if you know someone that already has some, simply cut a couple of branches off and put them in a vase of water. Wait for the roots to grow and then plant them.

I hope you go ahead and grow some wild mint and if you do I would love to hear how you get on. Do let me know in the comments below.

Bye for now and happy gardening

Grace

For more about Growing herbs click here.

 

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