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Cunning wheezes - how to prevent mint from taking over


By AndrewR


Take a large plastic flower pot, cut off the bottom and sink it in the ground with the rim at soil level. Plant the mint inside and it can’t spread too far. It will need lifting and dividing about every three years otherwise it becomes too congested and starved.
Any plant that has ‘wandering’ tendencies can be treated in this way. I also planted my agapanthus bulbs in this way as I read that being congested encouraged them to flower (which they did in their second year)

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Thanks for the tip about the Agapanthus Andrew , I have recently put a large one in the garden which was given to me, had been in a pot, I suppose I should dig it up and put it back in a pot :0)

12 Dec, 2008


I would leave the pot protruding for an inch or two - mint is inclined to creep over the rim and root itself.

12 Dec, 2008


I like that idea, Andrew - I'd use it if I were planing mint..
Our predecessors had a brainwave - when they did the hard landscaping, they set a brick circle into the gravel outside the back door and the mint is confined in there!

12 Dec, 2008


Thanks for this advice.
Are you saying you take the whole of the base off the pot ?

12 Dec, 2008


Yes TT, otherwise there is a danger of waterlogging. By removing the bottom completely, the soil can drain as normal but the sides stop roots wandering too far.
I've suggested this method for growing physalis (aka Chinese lantern or cape gooseberry) as well

12 Dec, 2008


Thanks for the tips Andrew.

13 Dec, 2008


I confess I'm a mint maniac... I love spearmint, for teas, juleps, mint sauce for lamb, etc. It's one of the staples for my kitchen...I also grow cat mint, M. pelugium (Pennyroyal), M. pepperita, Bergamot mint, and Pineapple mint (M.sauvolens)....And I suppose I am fortunate that I haven't collected so many plants that I can't give a whole corner of my garden over to them... I plant them in the ground and let them enjoy their freedom to a point...they will migrate and generally pick the choicest spots for themselves but I dig and pull roots every spring...It's just what I do... I've been playing with the idea of water mint and Corsican mint...and when I move garden I will take roots with me, and maybe that would be a good time for me to try the potting up strategy. I know that the plants I leave behind will thrive without me, LOL.

13 Dec, 2008


It took me two or three years to eradicate mint from one of my flower borders.
I have been growing mint in a herb planter close to the back door for many years now. It also serves to disguise the manhole cover it is standing on.
I have read that herbs can be grown well in hanging baskets, mint acting as a trailing plant to soften the edges. Like you, Lori, I like to grow a range of mints and am tempted to try it in one of the wall planters next to my back door too.
The only drawback I have found to growing them this way is remembering to split and replant them when they become congested ..... but using GoY's garden calendar is helping me to cope with that. Lol

14 Dec, 2008


thanks for mentioning the calendar, Xela. I really should make use of it too!

14 Dec, 2008


Too late my mint is taking over, will have to have a good dig out session as soon as the ground lets me into it - wish I had known that it went as mad as it does when I planted it, but not to worry too much, cos I just love mint sauce- thanks for the tips

6 Jan, 2009


Do you know the variety of your mint?
Why not pot up the surplus sprigs and offer them on the GoY plant/seed-swap page or put them up for auction on the internet (you know what I mean). I am sure there are many who would be interested and I hate to see useful plants lost.

7 Jan, 2009


They don't go to waste Xela. Surplus bits are potted up and either sold at the Garden Club or when I have my garden open. One or two local primary schools have started allotments are also glad of herbs

7 Jan, 2009


Very relieved, Andrew. Lol
I should have guessed you would find a home for them. It is especially good to hear some go to primary schools for their allotments.

9 Jan, 2009


I've heard this remedy for invasive plants, never actually tried it - the few times I've tried to grow mint it fell over and died on me, not sure what I did wrong but I seem to keep doing it.

I came across "root control bags" a while ago; mesh sacks that you plant into as if a pot, then bury it, so the plant gets all the moisture and nutrients it needs from the surrounding soil, but the mesh stops it spreading toomuch. I believe there are several grades and sizes, up to small-tree capacity; I found several on Google, including a YouTube how-to. It might be an option if one has several plants that one wants to restrict.

18 Mar, 2012

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