Transplanting Mint

Jon and I had discussed we wanted to plant a few herbs this year. We both thought oregano, basil, cilantro, and parsley to start off small with the basics. But I also wanted mint. Jon is not really a fan of mint and just doesn’t understand my need to plant it. I just cannot wrap my head around him not liking mint.

I love mint ice cream, Andes mint chocolates, peppermint patties, peppermint hard candy, candy canes, mint tea, mint gum (but it has to compete with cinnamon). Did I mention mint ice cream and Andes mint chocolates? Yum! Mint is such a refreshing and clean scent. I even put it in my wallflower scented plugin. Who doesn’t love a minty fresh mouth from brushing your teeth? Did you know that mint repels ants? I bet Jon will start liking it now. We have a serious ant issue at our house. Hopefully between the chickens and the mint we’ll rectify that.

So, a couple of weeks ago we picked up a 4 pack of peppermint plants at the farmer’s market. We planted them in a pot and set them out on the deck. They are doing quite nicely.

Peppermint Plants
Peppermint Plants

But this was just the start. I had full intentions of getting some mint from my Mama to transplant as well.

I remember staying with my Grandma in the summer as a kid climbing trees, learning and exploring all the wonderful flowers and garden. I cannot better describe Grandma than my sister does here. You could just smell the mint walking by, but I especially loved rolling the mint leaves around in my fingers and the way it smelled. The first time she told me to try chewing it I am sure I looked at her like she was crazy, but when I tried it I instantly fell in love. Grandma knew her stuff.

My parents now live in that same house of Grandma’s. Some things have changed over time, but honestly not much. Mama still has her patch of mint that grows at the edge of the garden and spreads toward the growth down under the maple tree. Last Sunday as we were talking after dinner I asked Mama about getting some of her mint to take home and transplant. As she walks into the back room she said it had already started growing and coming out, but it hadn’t thickened up a lot yet.  Then she walks back into the kitchen handing me this saying maybe this will hold you over until you can grow yours.

Dried Mint
Dried Mint

We all laughed and joked about what it looked liked. If you knew how adamantly against drugs and alcohol my family is, you would understand the humor even more. After we had our giggle we headed outside to pick some mint.

As we were picking I asked her what kind of mint this was. Mama shrugged it’s just mint. I think it might be spearmint. The ground was still a little moist from rain the day before so it pulled up without any trouble. The roots can be somewhat long and running but they are shallow. Be sure to pull up the root with the plant.

Roots of Mint Plant
Roots of Mint Plant

We wrapped the roots with wet paper towels and put them in a grocery bag to take home. We live an hour away from my folks and we also went to church before going home. So, our mint plants were in the paper towels for a couple of hours.

Mint Wrapped in Wet Papertowels
Mint Wrapped in Wet Paper Towels

We transplanted them into two pots with topsoil and watered them thoroughly as soon as we got home from church. Mint spreads easily by putting out runners. We are planting them in pots so that we can contain them. I would love to have an out of the way location like Grandma and Mama to just let it wander where ever it may. I’m sure we can find a spot like that on the new property. But for now this will have to do for our current situation. They were looking a little peaked from the trauma of it all.

Day 1 – Mint Immediately Transplanted and Watered (Looking Peaked)

We kept a watch on the soil so it would not get too dry. Mint prefers a moister soil to a dryer soil. By the third day, the black pot was looking down right peckish, but the white pot was starting to perk up.

Day 3 – Mint Transplanted

By the sixth day they were really coming back to life.

Day 6 – Mint Transplanted Really Perking Back Up

I hope to eventually try planting some different mint varieties, but am pleased thus far with our little start.

Mountain Valley Growers has some excellent information and photgraphs of 17 popular varieties.  Mother Earth News also has an excellent article on the many uses, planting, growing, and harvesting mint. If you do not already have some mint you should go get some today.

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