Tips for growing and caring for mint, plus our favorite recipes come harvest time.
February 28, 2013
1 of 7Photo: Thomas J. Story
In the heat of summer, nothing refreshes like the cool flavor of just-picked mint. It’s perfect in iced tea, cocktails, and mixed into salads.
The most common mints are either a type of peppermint or spearmint. Peppermints contain menthol, so have a very strong flavor, and are often used to flavor dishes but aren’t actually eaten. Spearmints are sweeter and milder, and leaves can be mixed into dishes.
Planting: Mint spreads quickly and vigorously, so always grow it in well-draining soil, in a container that’s at least a foot tall and wide (and even bigger is better). Place the pot in a spot that gets full or part sun.
Watering: Water regularly, keeping soil moist but not soggy.
Gather as needed by clipping stems all the way to the ground.
Divide plants when they start to outgrow their pots, about once a year. Dump the entire plant out, cut it into sections with a sharp knife or shovel, then replant the sections in fresh soil. You can give away the extra plants to friends.
4 of 7Photo: Thomas J. Story
How to Cook: Our Favorite Mint Recipes
And in a few months, when you’re ready to harvest, here are some of our favorite ways to eat mint.
The classic Cuban libation is the perfect study in fresh mint used in a cocktail. We like to make a pitcher of these in the summer just as guests are about to arrive.