Mint. Is there anything more refreshing than the smell of fresh mint? Peppermint, Spearmint, Chocolate Mint…it smells so wonderful no matter where you plant it. My love for mint blossomed out of my mutual love for Mint Juleps and Mojitos. Mint is a key ingredient in both these yummy cocktails of goodness, which in all honesty was my initial motivation for growing it.
Mint is now one of my go-to plants that I keep on hand in the kitchen during the Winter, and in a planter box in the Spring and Summer. In my experience, Mint is hard to grow from seed, so I recommend purchasing a starter plant from the grocery store or local nursery. Let me tell you, if you nurture Mint and give it good soil, it grows like a sweet smelling weed (particularly Spearmint)! Mint is so hearty, for those of you with extra space you can use Mint as ground cover. Mint also attracts pollinators, which can be highly beneficial to your other plants. My caution is to plant mint separate from your regular garden or you run the risk of it taking it over! If you only have a patio or small porch, keep Mint in a pot and it will fan out into a lovely green bush you can harvest. You’ll be able to make a lot of mojitos!
Know Your Zone
Before planting Mint, double check your Hardiness Zone. The Hardiness Zone will tell you which plants are best suited for your geography. For example, I live in Pennsylvania. My Hardiness Zone is 6a, which means I have to consider plants that can survive extreme frosts from -5 to -10 degrees Fahrenheit. In my region, Mint will thrive in the Spring and Summer, but will die off during Fall and Winter. The good news is, Mint roots are fairly hearty and have been known to survive the frost, growing back in the Spring.
What Can You do with Mint?
Mint is more than an amazing smelling garnish for cocktails. Here are a few ideas:
- Chew it to freshen up your breath.
- Add a few leaves to your pesto sauce for a different spin on the standard recipe.
- Many people claim Mint repels insects. Put a few pots around your patio table and see if it works.
- Freeze it in your ice cube trays.
- Take a bath with it. To release the fragrance before your bath, boil the leaves for 8-10 minutes, drain out the water, then add the leaves to your bath water.
- Add it to your favorite soap recipe.
- Add it to your tea or freshen up your water.
Caution: For those of you who experiment with essential oils, please do not ingest Mint essential oils unless you’ve done your homework and truly research how it might affect your body–particularly if you’re pregnant.
The Bottom Line
Mint can be used for so many things, whether it’s raspberry mint flavored water, to your favorite face mask. The possibilities are endless–plus you’ll attract pollinators!
What’s your favorite use for Mint? Comment below!