How to grow healthy mint in a container

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October is a time of change in the container garden. We say a fond farewell to our warm weather friends – the tomatoes, chillies, runner beans etc – and welcome in the cool weather crops like rocket and kale. Jobs for this month include Harvest warm weather crops. Protecting winter crops. Protecting tender herbs. Slug

 

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Pot size

Mint will struggle along in a half litre pot, but it’ll be happier and more productive in something bigger – like a 2  or 5 litres. I grow mine in five litre pots with small water reservoirs, where they do great.

Sun

Mint will grow fine with just a couple of hours sun a day – so an excellent one for a shady window sill or balcony.

Feeding

Mint is a hungry plant and can become unhappy in a container if not fed. Feed it every week or two in spring and summer with a liquid feed – seaweed is perfect, if you have it, or worm wee or nettle tea (if you don’t mind the whiff). Or, alternatively, add a few chicken manure pellets or a handful of worm compost to the top of the pot every six weeks or so.

Water

Mint likes plenty of water – another reason to grow it in a bigger pot as it will dry out less quickly.

Maintenance

Mint may become a bit sad if left in the same pot for more than a year. The roots can fill up the container and it runs out of energy. To rejuvenate it, take the mint out of the pot and divide it into half or quarters. Repot each bit into its own pot, add some fresh compost, and, hey presto, your mint should be happy again. As a bonus, you’ll have extra extra mint plants for your container garden – or to give away to friends (lovely present, particularly if you can find a particularly tasty or unusual variety of mint).

Which mint?

There are many varieties of mint, with different tastes and different uses. Try them to find one you like. My favourites include Moroccan mint (be aware: not all mint sold as ‘Moroccan’ has the full mint kick of proper Moroccan mint) for tea and cooking, garden mint for salads, and chocolate mint for tea and deserts. Ginger mint and pineapple mint are lovely, too.

Your turn

What’s your favourite way to use mint? I’d love to hear in the comments.

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