Mint is used around the world in everything from appetizers to desserts, to main courses.  Growing your own fresh mint at home is both easy and rewarding.

Health Benefits of Mint

Mint is well known for its ability to sooth the digestive tract and reduce the severity and length of stomach aches. In addition, mint teas have shown great promise at easing the discomfort associated with irritable bowel syndrome, and even at slowing the growth of many of the most harmful bacteria and fungi.

Growing Mint

Mint grows best in moist well-draining soil, with full to partial sun. Mint plants should receive 6 hours of full sunlight per day.  Make sure to keep the soil of the mint plant very moist at all times.

Mint can be grown from seeds or develop from a plant started in a nursery.  Seeds germinate in 1.5 to 3 weeks.  If growing mint from seeds, it is best to start them 8 weeks before the last frost.  Once the last frost is over, the mint plants may be moved outdoors and transplanted into soil if desired.  Mint plants generally grow to 16 to 24 inches tall, depending on the specific species.

Once the plants are started, they need to receive at least 6 hours of sun and regular watering.  Be careful not to over water, and monitor the soil for proper draining.

Growing mint requires little care except a touch up in the spring. It is advisable to trim down the patch as the stems grow rapidly. Mint will quickly take over your garden if left to run wild. From garden to table, growing mint needs little or no preparation.

Harvesting Mint

Mint should be harvested in the morning, after the morning dew has dried off of the leaves.  Mint sprigs may be trimmed with scissors or a sharp knife.  The mint leaves you do not use right away may be dried with a food dehydrator or frozen for later use.

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