Author Topic: Mint as a Groundcover  (Read 3844 times)

Offline zarfbloot

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Mint as a Groundcover
« on: February 13, 2014, 06:06:13 PM »
My question is about using mint as a "green much/groundcover" for my raised bed. I started my first garden this past fall and have done well with it. One of the things I planted was mint and after the first few months it started putting out shoots. At first I was thinking of pulling them out and keeping it contained. Then I read that mint makes a really good pest deterrent because they hate the smell of it. If that's the case, would it be worth letting the mint spread through the garden? I guess my big concern is it choking out other things I'm trying to grow.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Mint as a Groundcover
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2014, 06:18:10 PM »
There are less invasive varieties of mint. 

But in my experience, you will need to keep an eye on the mint.  It can become so dense that it can choke out anything else in the bed.


Offline HawthorneCA

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Re: Mint as a Groundcover
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2014, 06:49:59 PM »
I would really, really discourage this idea.  I only grow mints in pots (8 different varieties) and they still escape and seed themselves all over the place! 

As far as choking out other plants?  Yep, I had a stray lemon balm try to crowd out an oregano plant, which is a pretty aggressive plant on it's own! 

So, unless you want to assist the mint family in it's evil attempt at world domination, I would really recommend keeping them in their place, which is definitely in the garden, but confined as much as you are humanely able! (Good Luck with that! LOL)

Offline cohutt

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Re: Mint as a Groundcover
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2014, 07:48:32 PM »
Run away.  I put my little mint patch between a brick patio and a brick foundation.  It is barely deterred by either.

Offline spartan

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Re: Mint as a Groundcover
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2014, 09:21:40 AM »
Don't. Just don't. I've been waging physical warfare against a broad swath of mint for years. If I don't attack it with a vengeance weekly during the Spring and Summer the mint spreads rapidly across open ground, advancing like an oncoming horde to consume blueberry bushes, birds, and small children.

For garden beds, I like ever-bearing and day-neutral strawberries.  They're relatively inexpensive, spread in a controllable way, don't compete with most of my other plants (garlic and strawberries grow well together in my garden), and provide a good yield from late March to mid-October here in Pennsylvania.

Offline archer

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Re: Mint as a Groundcover
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2014, 09:27:52 AM »
dont. please dont. you will never see that land again.. it spreads like crazy. but at least it smells good when you spend hours and hours pulling it up.

Offline David in MN

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Re: Mint as a Groundcover
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2014, 10:24:40 AM »
I'm always fascinated by this one. Do you need that much mint? Outside mojitos, mint juleps, and tzatziki I just don't need that much. (I sincerely hope for your liver's sake you don't need that much mint for cocktails.) It stores poorly and I only crave it in the summer. I keep 2-3 pots with different varieties and that's enough.

There are better ground covers for improving soil and not going invasive. Creeping Charlie is technically a mint...

Offline Skunkeye

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Re: Mint as a Groundcover
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2014, 10:39:12 AM »
One time, I dropped a single mint seed in the middle of a concrete driveway.  We eventually had to evacuate the entire neighborhood.  I think the National Guard is still there, fighting a barely-successful containment action involving air-dropped RoundUp and flamethrowers.  You won't hear about it on the news, though, because the mint-industrial complex is keeping it hushed up.   ;D

Offline heliotropicmoth

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Re: Mint as a Groundcover
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2014, 11:14:36 AM »
. Creeping Charlie is technically a mint...

I have creeping charlie all over my garden area. It is a good ground cover and when you don't want it somewhere it is very easy to pull out of the ground compared to mints. That said I have running mint running wild in my garden area as well. I manage it by hand and have not had any major problems with it chocking out anything.

I will second the strawberry ground cover. I have strawberries everywhere and they work very well as a ground cover. 

Patrick

Offline HawthorneCA

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Re: Mint as a Groundcover
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2014, 01:50:50 PM »
 
One time, I dropped a single mint seed in the middle of a concrete driveway.  We eventually had to evacuate the entire neighborhood.  I think the National Guard is still there, fighting a barely-successful containment action involving air-dropped RoundUp and flamethrowers.  You won't hear about it on the news, though, because the mint-industrial complex is keeping it hushed up.   ;D

 :clap:

Despite it's apocalyptic abilities, mint does have a place in the garden! Lemon balm especially is the one I most use.  It's a bee attractant, is great added to pesto, and has awesome medicinal qualities that I make use of on an almost daily basis. 

Offline DanielBoone

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Re: Mint as a Groundcover
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2014, 11:05:17 PM »
As a living mulch for a veggie bed no I would not use mint.  Like others said it will choke everything out.

I am very fond of a variety of mint know as Corsican Mint as a decorative/edible ground cover however.  Its the strongest scented mint there is and departs a very nice fragrance especially when walked on.


Offline DanielBoone

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Re: Mint as a Groundcover
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2014, 11:19:42 PM »
I'm always fascinated by this one. Do you need that much mint? Outside mojitos, mint juleps, and tzatziki I just don't need that much. (I sincerely hope for your liver's sake you don't need that much mint for cocktails.) It stores poorly and I only crave it in the summer. I keep 2-3 pots with different varieties and that's enough.

There are better ground covers for improving soil and not going invasive. Creeping Charlie is technically a mint...

Your forgetting mint oil.

There are a ton of uses for the essential oil of mint and your gonna have to grow alot of it if you want to extract any significant quantity.

But yeah your right most people are not gonna bother making mint oil so they really don't need that much....unless your Morrocan and drink mint tea everyday.


Offline Cedar

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Re: Mint as a Groundcover
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2014, 12:25:04 AM »
I know this from my ex-BIL who farms/farmed mint and carrot seed. 1 acre produces about 2 quarts of mint oil. 1 pint flavors 900 tubes of toothpaste or 1,200 sticks of chewing gum.

It does spread.. obnoxiously. But... I have it in our creekline here and it only seems to be in that area and it could have been there for up to 100 years. I also have a small patch of it along the driveway consisting of about 5 plants down by the North barn. I have planted it at previous houses, WANTING it to spread. I think the trick is to WANT it to spread and it won't. I did harvest 3-4 screendoors worth (my drying rack for it) a summer to have for my tea, mint jelly and for cooking lamb.

Mom also uses Corsican mint for a durable groundcover between her stepping stones.

Plant it IN a garden? NO WAY. That said, there are worse weeds to have in one's garden.

Cedar <-- who apparently is Morrocan

Offline zarfbloot

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Re: Mint as a Groundcover
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2014, 07:50:40 AM »
Thanks for the answers everyone! I want to keep it around but not let it spread so I'm considering buying a big pot for it that I will put next to the garden.

Thanks again!