Minty Magic

True mints come in an amazing range of flavors and fragrances. Although the familiar mints include the spearmint and peppermint family, there are many more delicious varieties including apple, chocolate, lime, lemon and ginger.

Mint is easy to grow, prefers moist soil and requires 3 to 4 hours of sun each day. You can easily propagate mint from cuttings or by dividing clumps of mature plants. Mint leaves dry well and once dry can be stored in airtight containers. Harvest fresh leaves for cooking, baking and for use in teas.

Growing mint will keep the yard buzzing with beneficial insects. Mint flowers are rich in nectar and pollen, and will attract honeybees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

To freshen stuffy closets and storage areas, sprinkle a few drops of peppermint essential oil on a cotton ball and place it inside the closet or storage area.

Grow mint around foundations of the house to to deter mice, voles/moles from tunneling in.

Add 5 drops of peppermint oil to a damp paper towel and wipe cabinet exteriors to deter ants and roaches.

Add a few fresh mint leaves during the last few minutes of cooking to the following frozen vegetables: peas, green beans, carrots and cauliflower.

Fresh mint will get rid of bad breath. Pluck a few small leaves from the mint plant, rinse in cold water and chew for a minute or so. Nature’s breath freshener.

The mint family is truly amazing with over 600 plant varieties. March is a great month to check out garden centers and nurseries for healthy mint plants growing in 3″ pots. Mint is cold hardy and can planted anytime this month.

A word of caution: Mints can be very invasive, so plant them in an area all to themselves, or better still confine them in pots or containers.

~Meadow Walker

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