Edible Displays: Refreshing Mints

Always in demand in the kitchen, mint is valuable in the garden too because it flourishes in shady conditions which don’t suit most herbs.

From: DK Books - Fruits and Vegetables
Refreshing Mints Grow Well in Patio Containers

Refreshing Mints Grow Well in Patio Containers

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Take advantage of the diversity of sizes, foliage colors and subtle scents and tastes of different types of mint, and place pots close to the kitchen. Easy to grow and perennial, mint is also invasive and best grown on its own, since it will quickly swamp other plants. Here, lush green garden, basil and Morrocan mints complement the warm terra cotta tones of the pots, while the pale variegation of the pineapple mint creates a lively contrast to dark purple petunias and dainty violas.

Step 1: Choose Containers

Select two pots that are at least 10 inches in diameter and suit any space handy for picking. Use multipurpose or soil-based compost, and ensure the plants are situated on a patio or balcony with a moderate amount of shade.

Step 2: Go Shopping

Buy the following plants: one garden mint (spearmint), one Petunia ‘Phantom’, one viola, one Moroccan mint, one basil mint and one pineapple mint. 

Step 3: Plant Mints

Mints are best planted in spring, but petunias are killed by frost, so plant this display in late spring or early summer. Ensure the containers have drainage holes; the tall chimney pot used here has a plastic pot slotted into it. Fill the base of each pot with a layer of compost, and arrange the plants in their best positions in the containers. Then water them well, knock them from their pots, and plant up. Firm the compost and water in well. Keep the mints moist throughout the growing season, cut back old stems when they die down in winter and apply an all-purpose granular fertilizer in spring.

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