Mint is a versatile herb that can grow in almost any soil. It can also adapt to partial shade and can be found in many varieties. Most importantly, mint adds a wonderful flavor to food and beverages. Mint is also extremely healthy. Because mint is fast-growing, many gardeners fear planting more than one type of mint.
Regular pruning and planting mint in containers are the best ways to keep it from taking over your garden.
Mint planted in containers prevents it from spreading. Mint can grow to 1 foot tall, and it spreads indefinitely by fleshy, white, underground stems called rhizomes. Containers keep mint rhizomes out of other parts of the garden. Place mint in containers that have drainage holes. Or dig holes and set them into the ground. Stove pipes, open boxes, and other containers with a bottom at least 18 inches thick can also be used to block mint rhizomes. However, they may escape in the long-term.
Regular pruning and rimming of containers can help spread mint stems. Mint grows roots above the ground from stems that touch soil. The rims of the mint container that extend 1 inch above soil level guide mint stems upwards and prevent them from rooting. To ensure more control, prune the plants every month. Any stems that are growing beyond the container’s edge and have roots in the soil, should be pulled up. Use alcohol to sterilize pruning shears. Then, prune mint stems until they are upright and remove stems from their bases. After use, sterilize the pruning shears once more.
Mint that is planted in poor areas spreads slowly. Mint thrives in moist, rich soil. It is less robust in dry, nutrient-poor areas. If possible, plant mint in sandy or chalky soil. Don’t fertilize or water the plants unless they are yellowing and wilting in the morning. Mint can survive on rainwater without additional nutrients. Because the soil is not of high quality, and brick paving acts as a barrier, mint can be planted between the gaps in brick paving or flagstone paving to control its spread.