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Old 03-25-2015, 03:49 AM
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Hi, I have some shady area on E & SE sides of my yd here in Middle Ga, USA. The trees are older, & there are lots of exposed root systems. I am thinking of planting mint under those trees, & over the roots, by 1st adding some composted manure I have access to. I drink a lot of mint tea, so I could use it. Is there a better tasting variety of spearmint? Also, I would like to plant a variety, but will they mix flavors? The area I am wanting to fiil in with mint, is near my porch & I am hoping the fragrance will be amazing wafting onto my porch, & into my house. Any advise on these thoughts?
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Old 03-25-2015, 04:10 AM
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Originally Posted by goingreengirlie View Post
....Any advise on these thoughts?
Mint is an extremely invasive plant and it easily gets out of control. I planted some in a garden, and it became such a chore to constantly keep it under control that I uprooted it all. Just keep in mind that it is unlikely to be a care-free plant if you would be concerned about it spreading.
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Old 03-25-2015, 04:22 AM
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Mint is highly invasive-it wouldn't be my choice of plants to put on the hillside. Given that this is what you want, a couple of suggestions.
Trench in a plastic border boundary to help keep it from spreading to unwanted areas. Be sure it can't spread to a neighbor's lawn.
From a personal standpoint- I am extremely fragrance sensitive. Normally odors generating from the garden don't bother me, but I am highly sensitive to mints and salvias. Be sure that the smell coming from that amount of mint won't bother you.
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Old 03-25-2015, 10:09 AM
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I've never seen this old thread before, but I just wanted to pop in and say this is the most insane gardening idea I have ever heard of. Invasive? Um, YEAH. What a great way to make everyone in your county hate you.
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Old 03-25-2015, 10:27 AM
Location: Charlotte, NC
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I wish I would have seen this thread a week ago when I planted mint. I believe I will be transplanting it out of my garden tonight and into pots. Yall got me a little spooked.
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Old 03-25-2015, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by spankys bbq View Post
I wish I would have seen this thread a week ago when I planted mint. I believe I will be transplanting it out of my garden tonight and into pots. Yall got me a little spooked.
DO THAT!!! Always plant mint in containers, and put the containers in saucers or it will escape through the drainage holes! Crazy aggressive stuff!
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Old 03-25-2015, 03:28 PM
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I once let wild thyme take over a part of my lawn. If mint doesn't work for some reason, wild thyme might do the trick. Maybe try a small area and see. That lawn was pure heaven, smelled like a gigantic spice jar, and was attractive in bloom. Lots of bees, though. LOTS.

Mint, in my experience, needs moisture to do well. Would it get enough moisture on a hillside? Maybe test an area first. I found citrus mint to be extra aggressive.
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Old 03-02-2018, 08:26 AM
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Mint is lovely, helps repel ants, termites, mosquitoes, fleas, ticks - bugs in general. If you don’t want cats - just be sure to not plant cat mint or catnip. They are part of the mint family, varieties that draw cats the most are as follows. I would stay away from these. You can buy mint compost - leftover from the making of mint essential oils. Someone mentioned not using the plant clippings as compost due to seed distribution - if cut prior to seed production (a day or so after blooms start) the bees will get their treat and you get great addition around other plants before the seed forms. Or just compost it in active pile that will kill any seeds due to heat. Mint compost you buy has been subjected to high heat during distillation process. I have cut and raked immediately, put in large galvanized tub, poured boiling water over it (or just hot water from the tap 140F) let sit for a few days and strain into old jugs to use for making sprays for other plants. If you are inclined, do your own distillation for cheap mint essential oil which is highly useful for garden and home (cleaning, bugs, etc). Once you get setup - you can make all kinds of high quality, organic essential oils which are expensive to purchase.

Ones that cats really like (don’t plant if cats might be an issue). They also like the blue nepeta but not as much as some of the below plants. Spearmint and peppermint they don’t seem to bother. Any plants I use for tea, like the lemon, orange, chocolate mints - I plant in pots for use on the deck.
Nepeta cataria (catnip or true catnip): White flowers, grows up to 3 feet. This is the variety most cats enjoy.
Nepeta camphorata (camphor catnip): White flowers with purple dots, grows up to 18 inches. Camphor scent.
Nepeta parnassica (Greek catnip): White, pale pink flowers, grows up to 18 inches.
Nepeta cataria citriodora (Lemon catnip): White flowers, spotted with purple, grows up to 3 feet. The leaves have a lemony scent.
Nepeta mussinii (Persian catmint): Purple flowers. This plant has smallish, grey/green leaves. It grows up to 15 inches high.

I have to say I love the thugs spearmint and peppermint - yes they will spread everywhere but I haven’t had any issues - I just don’t put it where the other plants are smaller and could be smothered. My roses, azaleas, boxwood, rhodies, etc don’t mind it at all - it spreads but doesn’t climb, vine or choke anything. As someone else said, there are worse things than a garden full of mint. Areas that are drier seem to slow it down as around trees. I love it around the foundation of house and other buildings and the porch due to insect repellent features. If you have never mowed peppermint - spearmint on a warm summer evening - you have missed a treat. It seems the temps drop 20F due to the wonderful smell. Folks can smell it in the surrounding area if a large area. I plan to use it as a ground cover in my front lawn. I have finally killed everything else grass wise and don’t want to have to maintain grass anymore. I thought about switching it to small (minor) periwinkle with daffodils bulbs planted underneath. So I may use a low growing mint that spreads but won’t get any taller or use my favorites and just mow it a couple times a year which I love to do. It isn’t the mowing I hate, it’s the weeds, pests, diseases, repeated fertilizing, watering, aerating, spraying, crab grass prevention, etc I hate with grass and the constant 2x week mowing to keep it pretty. I really prefer groundcovers that mostly maintain themselves.
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Old 03-02-2018, 10:31 AM
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Don’t get spooked - spearmint and peppermint are the more aggressive ones though I love them - I don’t know other’s experiences but it seems a little over the top to say not to grow anything in the mint family. I have never really had them overtake anything - they aren’t anywhere like say bamboo, kudzu, honeysuckle, wisteria, Euonymus, ivy, etc that are real thugs and difficult to eliminate and require lots of hard work to get rid of. I have had wisteria, ivy, honeysuckle - and if not kept in check they will kill anything in their path. Mints are sweethearts compared to these woody and/or evergreen monsters. Don’t get me wrong, I like these too but am very cautious where I put them. Some of the other mints are much less aggressive than spearmint and peppermint - i.e. chocolate, orange etc. and check the mature height of the plant you want to plant. If low growing, it shouldn’t be an issue and acts as a natural groundcover to keep the ground and plant roots cool and helps to hold the moisture during hot days. Mints don’t vine, climb, strangle or otherwise harm other plants if planted around taller perennials, shrubs, trees, etc. Lower growing plants will get covered up. I have it growing in and around everything (spearmint and peppermint) and it certainly helps with bugs plus makes the yard smell great - never an issue with my community or neighbors. If you are the shabby chic type gardner you will love it. If you are the compulsive obsessive type that everything must stay in its designated area - don’t plant mint or any other ground-cover for that matter. In 45+years of gardening, never have I had another plant, shrub, tree harmed by mint and in fact have only had good results. Before picnics, or dinner out on deck, I like to go out and brush over (broom) the mint and it will make everything smell so good. Between the roses, the mint, and the lemon smell from the four-o’clocks - it is wonderful. Add in planting of lily of the valley, magnolia or the gardenias when blooming - it’s terrific. Another wonderful time is when the heady strawberry/pineapple of my calyanthus floridus (sweet bubbly, strawberry bush, etc) is blooming and it is just splendid. Of course, the mint is always there as it’s evergreen so if you have any of the above bloomers mixed in - like fragrant iris (I have several that smell like grape soda), rosemary, bergamot monarda, tall phlox, peonies, oregano, mock orange, lilacs, basils, lavenders, hyssop, dames-rocket, flowering tobacco (fragrant white), fragrant daylilies like the lovely yellow Hyperion, and so many more - you will have great fragrance all season long. Mint even smells good when mixed with my crepe myrtles, vitex, or fragrant clematis like evergreen armandigi, agastache, or clethra - there are no bad combinations with mint. There are tons of great combos not mentioned here, either due to forgetting them, or not grown myself.

Another thing to consider is the drawing of hummingbirds, butterflies, and yes even bees - all love mints and their companion plantings I have mentioned. Bees have been under severe attack (colony collapse for one) due to pesticides, herbicides, swaths of lawns, elimination of clovers, and people spraying just to kill them so they can walk barefoot. Mints will help feed these wonderful quite beneficial and vital worker in our food production. Let them flower for a week or so for the bees to work and then mow if you must. Bees give me the hebbie-jeebies too but so far with all the plants I have - I haven’t been attacked - I leave them alone, they don’t bother me. Bees are responsible for the pollination of most of our vegetables and fruits - without them, a huge portion of these crops would disappear. In some areas, crops like pears have to be hand pollinated (Japan) which raises the prices many times over. Think of vanilla grown from the vanilla orchid. The bee responsible for wild pollination is limited to Mexico, no where else in the world - however even in the wild there is only a 1% pollination success rate. Thus human hands must hand pollinate, the blooms only open for 1 day and must be done during a short period in mid morning or the pollen is either immature or too ripe for success. It is a process that must be learned for success - I mean only one bee has figured it out in millions,of year due to the anatomy of the vanilla orchid flower. It takes 3-4 yrs for the vine cutting to mature to flowering age, then each flower must be hand pollinated - each flower makes a bean, then 9 months to proper harvest time and another 3-5 months for proper curing/conditioning. In 2017, the wholesale (huge buyers) the price of Madagascar (bourbon style) cured beans was running at $500+/kilo (about 2 lbs). Retail prices are running over $10 to as much as $15 per bean which may be premium or dried out beans. Top grade beans are long, oily, plump, flexible (wrap around your finger) moist, fragrant, and full of vanilla caviar. A kilo could be 100-200 beans depending on length, plumpness, moisture content, etc. Madagascar provides 85-90% of the world market due to cheap labor for a labor intensive crop - i.e. $1.50/day. For the US, the laws requires 13+ ounces of beans to 1 gallon of 35% alcohol to be considered pure vanilla extract.

NOW, can you imagine if every fruit and vegetable we eat required hand pollination and what the prices would be. That is what would happen if the bees and wasps disappeared. We would eventually lose most flowers, trees, grasses, shrubs too. And we wouldn’t have wonderful honey. Bees are crucial to our survival. So I say, put your shoes on, be very careful if allergic but let the bees live and plant things that help them live.

I forgot to mention growing mint from cuttings in trays to resell along with other ground-covers or to expand your own collection. You will save lots of money or make a tidy sum by selling and they are extremely easy to root.
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Old 03-05-2018, 10:49 PM
2,414 posts, read 1,319,561 times
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Originally Posted by lucknow View Post
I had a huge bed of catmint. It's really beautiful, profuse blue flowers and it's one mint that doesn't get very tall. About 3 to 4 inches only so it doesn't get leggy. In my climate in niagara which is a little colder than yours it was pretty much evergreen. If I dug down through the snow it was still looking pretty good. There are other plants that might be a better solution for you though. A low growing cotoneaster is beautiful and will prevent any erosion. Perrywinkle is also nice and is evergreen.

I have covered very large areas with plants in as little as one year. I find a patch somewhere of the plant I want. The larger the better. I dig it up and separate it into individual pieces. Hundreds of them. I plant them maybe 4 inches apart depending on the type and by the next year I have solid ground cover.
Is there a cold hardy EVERGREEN mint?
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