Sow: February onwards if indoors, May onwards if outside
Conditions: Damp, well-drained soil.
Sow your seeds direct into warm soil or a propogator. The seeds need warmth to germinate and the soil needs to kept moist but not wet. However, once you have an established plant, you can lift it and divide at the root to propogate.
If sowing indoors, you can plant out once the plant is big enough and there’s no risk of frost. Mint is will grow in most conditions, even very dry ones, but they like moisture if they can get it, so some shade or mulch is good. Too much shade might lead to rather leggy plants, but they will still grow and produce.
Make sure you remove any flowers as and when they appear, to keep the plant producing new leaves.
It’s often best to grow mint in a container, regardless of whether you want it in the garden or not. Mint is an incredibly strong grower and will take over a bed if you let it, suppressing and killing other plants. If you do want it in the ground, you can sink the pot into the flowerbed so that it doesn’t take over but still looks like a ground plant.
For a strong, healthy plant give it a good sized pot all to itself.
Drying – Tie a handful of washed mint stems together and put a paper bag over the leaf end. Hang upside down in a dark, dry place for 2-4 weeks. Once the leaves are dry, crumble them into a jar and seal.
Freezing – There are many tried and tested methods of freezing herbs, but this one seems to keep more flavour. Wrap it up in baking paper, place in a freezer bag then squeeze as much air out as possible, seal and freeze.
Extract – Read our tips on making homemade peppermint essence
GOOD: Brassicas, Tomatoes