Mint Virtues and Vice

If the only use for mint were to add to iced tea, it would still be worth growing. When  leg of lamb, tabouli, raita, mojitos, juleps, tisane and other uses are added, who wouldn’t want fresh mint available? It is among the easiest plants to grow. Keeping it from growing where it isn’t wanted is usually more of a problem. Invasiveness is its only vice.

Mint is a hardy perennial that greens up early in Spring and survives light frosts. Shown below are the ingredients that went into the blender for a smoothie.

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Home made kefir, banana, strawberries, and mint. No other green will offer the flavor mint provides.

In the garden, mint is a beneficial companion. I like to keep some in pots for a deterrent to insects. I can move the pots to deter pests at different places through the year. Keeping it potted also prevents it from invading. Below, mint and chives (another pest deterrent) are next to some eggplant and celeriac seedlings. Young eggplant is especially vulnerable to flee beetles in this area.

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In addition to deterring insect pests, mint will attract pollinators as it flowers. With mint’s enjoyable flavor in the kitchen and usefulness in the garden, I will always have a place for it.

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