Growing Mint From Seed: Learn How To Plant Mint Seeds
You don’t have to be a fan of lamb or mojitos to love the scent and flavor of mint. Having it nearby in the garden attracts bees and allows you to access that zippy aroma and refreshing flavor for teas, seasonings, pest repellent and even household deodorizing. Growing mint from seed is easy and the little plants really take off once installed in a garden bed. Here are a few tips on starting mint seeds so you can enjoy these fragrant herbs in your landscape.
When to Plant Mint Seeds
Mint is a culinary herb of the Mediterranean and Asian regions. It is featured prominently in many recipes from savory to sweet and even in beverages. It is a hardy perennial herb and grows quickly, often becoming invasive. There are over 3,500 varieties with special characteristics which makes variety selection important. Once you have your cultivar, sowing mint seeds at the right time will ensure a big, beautiful crop of this versatile herb.
If you wish to transplant the seedlings outside in spring once soil has warmed, the seeds need to be planted in late winter. In warmer regions, they can be directly sown into prepared garden soil in mid-spring. However, because this is a hardy perennial, they can also be started any time up until two months before the first expected frost.
You can also grow mint in containers and start indoors at any time. The key to growing mint from seed is well-draining soil that mimics the natural soils of the plant’s native region. Mint prefers slightly acidic, moist, rich soil.
How to Plant Mint Seeds
You can start sowing mint seed in containers or flats or in prepared garden soil. Sow seeds ¼ inch (.64 cm.) deep. The seeds are tiny, but you can space them with a seed injector or simply thin the seedlings once germinated. Expect germination in 10 to 15 days.
Keep flats in a warm location and soil lightly moist but not soggy. A cover over the flat can speed germination. Remove it once you see sprouts. If starting mint seeds outdoors, sow seeds on the surface of prepared soil and cover with a light layer of vermiculite.
Once seedlings have two sets of true leaves, harden them off and plant them into beds or outdoor containers. Once the little plants are ready to transplant, take containers outdoors and let them acclimate for a week to outdoor conditions before moving them.
Water new plants regularly. Ideally, mint needs 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm.) of water per week during the growing season. Use drip irrigation or water in the morning to allow leaves to dry. Overly wet leaves may lead to fungal diseases.
Apply fertilizer in early spring. A balanced plant food with a 16-16-16 ratio is ideal. Do not over fertilize, as it can diminish oil production and lead to disease issues.
Mint can be aggressive, so it may be best to plant it in containers or in an out of the way area of the garden. Alternatively, you can let it ramble around where human contact will release the oils and perfume the area with a heavenly scent.Growing mint from seed is easy and the little plants really take off once installed in a garden bed. Here are a few tips on starting mint seeds so you can enjoy these fragrant herbs in your landscape. Click this article for more information.
How to Grow Mint
Mark Macdonald | September 09, 2014
The mint family is vast and cross pollination is difficult to control, so many sources suggest that mint will not come true from seed. Our mint seeds are grown in isolation and bred with care in a greenhouse setting. Follow this handy How to Grow Mint for seeds guide and grow some flavour.
Season & Zone
Season: Cool season
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Zone: Hardy to Zone 5
Sow indoors 8-10 weeks before last frost, or direct sow in April/May. Seeds should sprout in 10-16 days. Bottom heat will speed germination.
Sow seeds no more than 5mm (¼”) deep in moist soil. Space plants 45-60cm (18-24″) apart.
Mint spreads in the garden with gusto via a vigorous root system, so it may be preferable to confine it to planters on the balcony. Prune plants back hard in early summer to promote good top growth. Bring some inside to grow in a small container over winter if you have a brightly lit windowsill.
Clip leaves or branches as needed throughout the year. Mint is so hardy and tough that it will grow right back. Dry the leaves and flowers for peppermint tea, or use them fresh. The flowers are edible and make salads and sweets come to life.
Mint attracts earthworms, hoverflies and predatory wasps, and repels cabbage moths, aphids, and flea beetles. Mint is invasive, so it may be better to use cut mint as a mulch around Brassicas, or to restrain it in containers around the vegetable garden. Avoid planting near parsley.