Monday, May 9, 2011

If You Can't Beat It...Eat IT

Several years ago I broke one of my cardinal rules of gardening. ALWAYS LOOK A GIFT PLANT IN THE MOUTH! My neighbor gave me a start of a beautiful pink Day Lily. In my excitement I did not wash all the soil off the root ball but rather just planted the clump in the flowerbed. Never did I realize that it contained the dreaded M-I-N-T......  

For 3 years afterward I have dug and sprayed in an attempt to rid myself of the problem. And every year it comes back.  

This year has been no different and again I am digging mint from the bed. Now I do have mint in other locations on the property but they are planted in containers sunk in the ground to help control the root systems or they are types that are not as  invasive. I especially love my peppermint and spearmint and pick them often to dry or to make a cup of hot tea. This however is just an everyday mint.

The reason that mint is so invasive is the extensive below ground root system that you see in this picture. My plan of attack is to take a shovel and dig out as much of the roots as possible. What comes up after that I will take a small dish soap container with Round-Up and trickle the weed killer on what is hardy enough to survive. Being careful not to kill the surrounding flowers.

 The tops are cut and taken inside to be dehydrated for later uses. It is great in herbal teas, potpourris and I am also experimenting with making a mint soap. I love the smell of mint just not the  work of keeping it in bounds and out of everything else. Something else I have discovered is that the chickens love it : )

It is really easy to dehydrate mint. It just takes about 4 hours in the dehydrator on the lowest setting for herbs. Then I take and crumble it and store in glass jars for later use.   

I am also steeping some to experiment with adding the fresh mint water to my homemade cleaning products for that fresh mint smell. Or maybe in shampoos? Mint is a great herb with just a little forethought and planning before you plant it. And remember to always check those plant gifts from the neighbors and when in doubt wash all the soil from the root ball before planting to ensure you are not thinking badly of that neighbor for years to come.

Anyone out there got any great uses for mint? I am open to all suggestions....

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter


  1. I agree, Alien, find a good recipe and use it anyway..remember you can't judge a book by it's cover :o)

  2. I love mint in ice water..also spearmint and peppermint...very refreshing on a hot summer day.

  3. Here I am again, I must have celebrated too much Mother's day! ( I rested)
    About your mint, I had that lesson 20 years ago and decided to plant my mint into a large's still growing and is contained...that's one thing I planned to do today was dry some for later use...

  4. I guess I should learn to identify it, because I don't know if we have any on the farm or not.
    And I did not know it was invasive like that, so thanks for the heads up! :)

  5. I loved drinking mint tea with you in Tickfaw! =D

  6. I also found out the hard way that mint can take control of your yard fast!

  7. Our bees love mint and have actually made the mint a pretty flowering plant from all the polination. So I leave it and let the bees be in mint heaven


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