Grow it yourself: Mint

Grow it yourself: Mint
Mint is the Moroccan symbol of hospitality. In colder northern climes, mint has other uses too. Mint is used dried or frozen to flavour and garnish roast lamb or vegetables, jelly sauces and creamy desserts. A versatile friend for chefs all over the world. Are you ready to start growing your own mint?
Cultivating mint
Grow it yourself: MintMint is one of the easier plants to cultivate. It's a perennial and its seeds can be sown in pots or in the ground. Once this tenacious herb takes hold in your garden, it is very easy to propagate the plants by taking cuttings and transplanting them once the roots are well established.

Mint needs humid soil and only moderate sunshine. It will grow in and around all garden plants, not unlike a weed. It is tenacious and often seems determined to spread itself around the garden. The trick is to continuously cut it back and restrict growth, otherwise the herb will spread like wild fire through your garden and take over.

The stolons of mint are some of the most aggressive in the entire plant world. If you plant it in the ground, the first year you will wonder what all the fuss is about. The second year you will find a few stray sprouts and by the third year it will be knocking on your bedroom window. Mint will grow 20 feet under weed block and come out the other side and with no water in the middle of summer.

Grow it yourself: Mint

Mint species
The herb mint belongs to a large family including over 30 species. There are about sixteen varieties of mint that you can cook with. Our three favourites are peppermint, pineapple mint and spearmint. Peppermint has a sharp and penetrating, but pleasant, minty aroma. It grows up to one to two feet high, but can reach three feet when in bloom. The lance-shaped leaves are deeply notched when mature and its flowers are usually purple.

Grow it yourself: MintPineapple mint gets its name from the slight hint of pineapple in its fragrance, although the aroma isn't always detectable. This mint is good for garnishes because its thick leaves are slow to wilt. It has white spots on its leaves. Last but by no means least, there is spearmint. Spearmint has a fruity aroma and flavour and goes well in many foods including salads, sauces, teas and dips. It has bright green leaves and purple flowers.