Tips for Both Restraining and Growing Spearmint

Growing spearmint is as easy as putting it in the ground, in a sunny spot and then standing back.

Controlling spearmint is another story. This fast-moving plant loves to send its underground rhizomes far and wide in search of a place it hasn't yet grown.

Tips For Growing Spearmint

So put it in the full sun. Grow it almost any kind of soil you can think of but you do have to water and baby it to get it established (well, not too much babying)

It doesn't seem to put a lot of growth on the first year as it is mainly building up root strength. The second year is when you'll get your harvest.

Obtaining True Spearmint

Note that true spearmint is a little hard to come by in the garden world. Most larger commercial growers (if they grow or sell it at all) sell seed grown material. This tends to be harsher than the cutting or root propagated true spearmint. (The seed is not usually true spearmint but another species)

Even check with herb growers to see if they have started the plant from seed. If from seed, avoid it. You'll quickly be able to tell the difference when you use it in drinks. The true spearmint is minty without a harsh aftertaste or bitter component.

Restraining Growth

I've seen recommendations for growing this plant in containers and more often than not – burying those containers in the ground so the roots can't escape. This is pretty good advice for the most part.

If you grow the plant in a container, do ensure that it doesn't set seed or escape over the edge of the pot by throwing a runner.

And do plan on watering it regularly because the soil in the container will dry out and stunt the growth to the point where you won't get a harvest.

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Getting Rid of Spearmint

Some gardeners would say that growing spearmint isn't the problem – getting rid of it once you've grown it is the real challenge

Start digging. And keep digging. If you leave a root, it will throw a new shoot so do try to get all the roots.

You can heavy mulch it under multiple layers of newspapers and organic mulch. This is sometimes not effective if some shoots escape.

Or you can put clear plastic over top of it and weight the plastic edges down to cook it- it will take all season to do this.


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