Growing in containers is the easiest and sometimes only way for people to start growing their own veg or flowers. But for growing Mint it becomes a necessity, due to its invasive nature which can quickly take over a garden bed. I also have a love for Mint Juleps and Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, which makes having mint in the garden is a must. I’ll show you how I plant and contain my mint so I can enjoy it without it becoming a problem child.
I purchased this galvanized container at Walmart for about 12 bucks, but any pot will work. You’ll of course need a couple mint plants, a drill with a metal drill bit, a bag of garden soil, and some type of medium which will ensure good drainage. You can also go the route of buying an actual planter, but sometimes it’s nice to do little projects. One thing to consider is that experts recommend that you keep only the same type of mint within the same container to avoid any flavor cross contaminant. So, if you want different types of mint, consider getting multiple containers.
If the contain doesn’t already have holes for drainage you’ll need to make them yourself. I used a handheld drill with a metal drill bit and just went to town. If your container is made of wood you should use a drill with a wood bit. If you don’t own a drill, depending how thin your container is and what materials it’s made of you might be able to use a screw driver or old knife and punch holes in your container (probably not recommended).
Once you’ve got your drainage holes it’s time to add in your medium which will ensure some drainage at the bottom of the container and keep those drainage holes clear. In my case I used some pea gravel I already had but you can use nearly anything course. This could be some moderately large stones or old, broken up terracotta pots. Try and avoid anything too heavy, as you’ll want the container to be light enough to move.
After your gravel or other medium is in the container, fill in the rest with your garden soil, leaving about 2 inches clear from the containers top. You should have about 6 to 10 inches of soil for the roots to grow into. Make a couple small holes with your hands (we are gardening here) and place your new mint plants in so the tops are level with the soil and gently firm them in. Give them a good drink of water and we should be off and running.
Ultimately, I added some cocoa shell mulch over the soil. While not necessary, it’s probably a good idea for you to do the same with a layer of grit or mulch. The mulch helps retain moisture in the soil and prevents soil or mud from getting on the leaves of the plant, with the added benefit of dressing it up a bit.
Nothing is easier than maintaining your mint. Once you are using it somewhat regularly there shouldn’t be any issues, but if it’s looking a little neglected you can simply clip off a few stems and that should reinvigorate the mint and stimulate new growth. When harvesting the mint, always cut the stems right above two existing leaves, but you can be quite aggressive cutting the plant back to about an inch or two tall.
Stay tuned as I’ll be using the mint we grow in recipes down the road.