Mint-Sweet

  • Plant Type: Perennial, zones 5 to 10
  • Sun: Full sun/part shade
  • Plant Size: 1 to 2 feet tall and wide
  • Culinary Use: Leaves for beverages, sauces, salads, jelly, desserts, garnish

Extra-large leaves make our sweet mint a culinary dream. They’re large enough for tossing in salads, using as a garnish, or crushing to make tea, mint juleps, or Cuban mojitos. Mint is super easy to grow; your biggest challenge will be keeping it under control. It sends out runners that spread above and just under the ground, quickly forming large, lush green patches.

Plant sweet mint in spring, and in fall in frost-free areas. Mint leaves tolerate light frost but will die back in winter in all but mild coastal climates. The plant is perennial and spreads fast, so it comes back each spring. Planting in pots keeps it from spreading too far. Try it between pavers in a walkway, where your feet will brush by and release the fresh scent.

Plant Spacing: 2 feet. Plants Per Person: 2 to 3.

Secrets to Success »

Mint does best in fertile, moist soil; it thins out in dry soil. Plenty vigorous on its own, give it just a little Bonnie Herb & Vegetable Plant Food a few times during the growing season, especially if you harvest often. This organically based fertilizer is low in salt and won't cause ugly brown leaf tips. To keep mint in check, harvest the stem tips regularly and pull up wayward runners. Small white flowers bloom from summer to early fall; trim blooms to keep the plant compact.

Harvest and Use »

To harvest the leaves, pinch off stems anytime. For a large harvest, wait until just before the plant blooms, when flavor is most intense; cut the whole plant to just above the first or second set of leaves. Use fresh mint leaves in salads and vegetable and meat dishes, as well as in tea and other beverages. Freeze leaves with water in ice cube trays.

Try these garden companions »

  • Basil, parsley, thyme, onion chives.
  • Cucumber, red onion, tomato for Middle Eastern salad.
  • Strawberries.
  • Cantaloupe and honeydew melons.

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