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Learn how to grow your own mint teas. Set aside a little space for mints in your yard or garden, on your patio, or on a sunny window ledge, and you'll have delicious herbal tea ingredients right at your fingertips!
Spearmint in the Garden
Easy enough for the kids to grow, mint is a sturdy herb that needs very little care.
Plant it and let it do its thing. Mint pretty much grows itself. What's not to love about that???
My tea garden began with just one kind of mint - the old standby, spearmint. Over the years, my garden, deck, and window boxes have morphed into "mint madness". At last count, I have a dozen different flavors of mint ... with more to come, I'm sure!
So, be prepared. Mint madness could easily strike you, too. You can thank me later! ;-)
There's no need to go crazy at first ... unless you want to, of course.
For beginner herbal tea gardeners, growing just a few varieties of mint will give you a good start.
Here are a few of my favorite choices for tea. These mint varieties are all delicious when brewed alone. Plus, each one combines nicely with other herbs for custom-made herbal tea blends.
This delicious herb is easy to grow makes a wonderfully fragrant tea.
Although some people claim they can't detect much chocolate flavor in this mint, I sure can! It reminds me of my favorite after-dinner mints, Andes candies.
The soft, downy leaves of apple mint are a delight to the senses - to the touch and to the taste.
Brewed into an herbal tea, it has a smooth apple flavor with just a bare hint of mint.
For a healthy, caffeine-free, pick-me-up beverage, a cup of orange mint tea will give you a little peppery kick, balanced by undertones of orange.
I also recommend this variety for its "blendability". It's wonderful when combined with other citrus-y scented herbs like lemon balm and lemongrass!
This popular herb should have a spot in every garden and tea pot!
More mellow than peppermint (thanks to its lower menthol content), spearmint's natural sweetness makes it a perfect single-herb hot or iced tea.
Take a peek in an old-timer's backyard. There's a good chance you'll find a big ol' patch of mint growing like gangbusters - right under a drippy outdoor faucet.
The occasional splop, splop, splop, gives mint the evenly moist (not swampy-wet) soil it likes. Add in a little afternoon shade and average to rich soil, and you have mint paradise!
The most reliable way to begin growing mint is from "starter plants" - either nursery grown or from a friend's garden.
FYI: Don't hesitate to ask a friend for a few root divisions from their garden!
With the ambitious way mint grows and multiplies, I can't imagine anyone would deny your request. I'm happy to give them away by the bucketful!
Mint Roots Ready for Gifting
This is tough stuff, so you don't have to treat it especially carefully. But you should keep the roots damp until you're ready to stick them in the ground.
Wrapped in wet paper towels and kept in a shady spot, the rootings will be just fine for a few hours. Set in a vase of fresh water, they'll be okay for several days.
At planting time:
That's all there is to it. Keep your new plants evenly moist and out of scorching sun, and they'll begin sprouting new growth in a week or two.
Be forewarned: Mint can be very invasive. If left to its own devices, it knows no boundaries.
Without any restraints on its liberty, this herb will send its "runners" far and wide - as this one did, right into my neighbor's pachysandra ...
"The PachyMint Patch"
If you don't want your mints to spread into the next county ... contain them!
Pretty much any type of container will work just fine, as long as it has good drainage.
Some of my mints live in ordinary terra cotta or plastic pots ...
Spearmint on the Deck
Others have a more unusual home ...
Applemint In My Window Box
My nephew, Logan, lives in Florida where the summers are hot, hot, hot. He grows his mints alongside other herbs in an EarthBox planter set in a semi-shady spot on the lanai ...
EarthBox Herb Garden
And then, there's my all-time favorite mint corral ...
My Straw Bale Mint Garden
Yep - those are runners you see trailing down the side of the straw bale. Be sure to snip the runners off before they hit the ground and take root!
Recommended: Straw Bale Gardens
I first heard about straw bale gardening a couple years ago. Having no clue what it was or how to do it, but thinking that it'd be fun to give it a try - I did what I always do. I bought a book ;-)
Written by the guy who first came up with the concept, Straw Bale Gardens shows, step-by-step, how to turn a simple bale of straw into a fully self-contained garden.
Simple, fun, and best of all - it works like a charm!