2 of the best uses for mint and why it’s so invasive

I once put a mint plant in my vegetable garden. I soon had a mint garden. Then a mint lawn.  Many years later

I still catch the scent of mint when I mow the lawn where that garden once lay. It’s the herb that won’t go away. Now I keep mint confined in its own separate pot. This year I had the bright idea to put a variety of herbs in a strawberry pot. I put the mint in the top hole thinking that the roots would not go low enough to disturb the other herbs. I was wrong and I now have a mint pot with mere sprigs of suffocating basil.

Why mint is so invasive

Mint is invasive because it has rhizomes, not roots. Rhizomes are comparable to underground tubes.  These tubes are similar to roots in that they pull in water and nutrients, hold the plant into the ground, and help it stand up straight. They differ from roots because they grow horizontally which enables them to send up new plants a small distance away from another plant. Each plant makes new plants until the area is full. If one of the tubes is severed it can still thrive and send up a new plant.  The only way to stop the spread is to interfere with the reaching rhizomes. This is why they are best kept in pots.

Mint runner

2 of the best uses for mint leaves

1. It can be used as a natural bug repellent.

Mint infused vodka
mint infused vodka

Crush the leaves to release the pungent oils and rub them on people or pets to keep mosquitoes away.
2. You make a tincture for digestive health.

Crush the leaves and put them in a bottle of alcohol. Let it sit at least a month and shake it regularly. Strain out the mint bits before drinking this tincture of strong mint oils. This can help with digestion and ease gas.

 

Potted mint plant

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