Things have got a little out of hand in the Mint department.
Our Mint patch is looking rather unruly right now which means it’s time for the bi-annual herb refurb.
Mint, a perennial herb, is notorious for invading what ever space it can lay even a single root down on. If you plant it in your garden without any restraint it will soon spread in every direction.
The only real way to contain it is to either plant it in a container or to plant it first in a pot, and then bury the pot in your garden down to soil level, containing the roots of the Mint.
Even then, this vigorous plant can still sometimes find it’s way out of the pot but it will certainly limit it’s spread.
Although where we have our mint growing is mostly dedicated to this delightful smelling herb, it still needs to have it’s wandering ways tamed. Left to it’s devices it tries to bury it’s long reaching roots under the wooden borders that surround the garden it calls home and make it’s way up under the deck.
I don’t even want to think about the mission it would be to try and get rid of it then!
As you can see from the picture below our Mint has become dry, leggy, overgrown and generally pretty rough looking.
When it gets in this state the plant not only looks unkempt but the Mint leaves are also thicker and tough and not nearly as tasty.
Of course this wouldn’t happen if we were able to eat a lot more Mint, regularly cutting the plant back through harvest, but to be honest I don’t think we could ever keep up with the prolific growth this plant puts out.
And there’s only so much Mint sauce one family needs.
The best way to deal with this overgrown mess is by cutting the whole lot down and letting the plant put out lots of lovely new, fresh green shoots in Spring.
It’s a good idea to cut back your Mint patch in Autumn in preparation for dormancy in Winter. Mint dies back over Winter and re-appears in Spring with a vengeance.
Although this patch now looks quite bare and a little bit miserable, cutting all the old growth back encourages new shoots and in Spring our Mint patch will be lush and green again with fresh, soft leaves, ready for picking.
If you have perennial herbs in your garden that have got away on you, now is the time to give them a good trim back. They’ll thank you for it over the coming months.
Don’t be afraid to give out a little tough love with herbs such as Mint, Sage and Thyme. They are hardy plants which will come back just as strong as before once the weather warms up again.