A Tale of 3 Mints

I was out in the garden the other day with my kids.  We were having a look at the plants when I noticed my mint plants.  I lined them up in order to take a couple of pictures.  All the while my 5 year old moaned, with the sort of tone that I had previously thought was reserved for teenagers but I now know can afflict children of all ages; “do you haaaave to do thaat?”.  Meanwhile my almost 2 year old was asking “Help mummy?  Help mummy?” in a very appealing voice.  Appealing can be deceptive of course, the day before ‘help’ resulted in: one broken bowl whilst washing up, egg on the wall whilst making pancakes and the demise of some coriander seedlings while potting up.  I refused the help, ‘gently’ requested that my 5 year old stop whinging and proceeded to take my photos.  This is one of them:

The two mints on the outside are ones I potted up last month.  The middle one I have neglected.  The mint on the left was one I divided before potting up and the one on the right I potted from a smaller pot and left its root system intact.  I actually think the differences in growth is even more dramatic now than it was a week ago when I took this photo.  If I had given it much thought I probably would have predicted that I would get the best growth out of the plant with the intact root system but the space to think is limited when one has preschoolers….  What I do think is interesting is the extent to which removing part of the root system retards growth but that a lack of food (the middle plant’s potting mix must be fairly old now) and TLC retards it considerably more.  Further justification for spending even more time in the garden perhaps?  If only something could be done about my kids….


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5 Responses to A Tale of 3 Mints

  1. L says:

    I’ve been amazed by how fast mint is growing at this time of year. I swear mine doubled in size over a week!

  2. Leanne says:

    I can’t grow mint.
    A huge statement, everyone can grow, so I’m told, but I can’t. It never seems to work.

    • Liz says:

      I have a friend who also believes she cant grow mint so I do believe you – it actually seems a common affliction. I have most success with mint when I harvest it often, pot it up & feed it regularly and grow it in partial shade. My mint failures have usually been when I haven’t harvested it often enough and its grown too rapidly and run out of food or water (or both) in the pot. Either that or its got too hot in summer.

  3. Dianne says:

    So how can I save my mint if its looking like the middle pot then?.. hmm..

    • Liz says:

      Hi Dianne, ideally pot it up into a larger pot. Alternatively you can take it out of that pot – cut away half the plant and roots and re pot into the same pot adding extra fertiliser if it hasn’t been fed in a while. The final option would be to simply prune and feed it. It will probably be happier long term with either of the first two options but if you don’t have time for anything else then perhaps give it a prune plus some food and water.

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