Friday, June 17, 2011

Gardening: Save the Mint !!

The act of writing "Save the Mint" is a bit bizarre to me. Mint is practically a weed. It is strong and hardy. It is so prolific that it can easily take over a garden bed if left unchecked. This year, however, my beautiful mint was in trouble.

Mint was our first herb garden plant. Aside from being tasty in tea all summer long, its full, bushy shape was the perfect camouflage for the hole under the front porch. That wonderful plant spread like wildfire and even inspired us to add additional plants to what would become our extensive kitchen garden.

2005 - Our Second Year of Growing Mint
See our first herb bed? There was 18 whole inches from the
front of the house to the stone wall!

Every year I pinched that mint back. I gave away sprigs of fresh mint. I gave away cuttings to share the love. I even moved it a few times. But when I moved it behind the privacy fence to keep it out of the main herb garden, it started to fail. The first year was fine, but this spring I found that all the good topsoil had washed away, leaving behind only the base sand that we had put down to make a level base for the generator. There are only two large roots left- one behind the fence and one creeping under the fence and back into the herb garden.

It was time for action. At Mr. Farmer's suggestion, I dumped a few shovelfuls of one and two-year-old manure on top of the struggling root behind the fence. I also took a cutting from the root that was sneaking under the fence and moved it out into the open in the side yard, buried it in good soil, and put a rock on top of the root so it won't wash away if we get strong rain in the next few weeks. Hopefully both of these will become healthy, wild patches of mint so that I can once again wonder what on earth I am going to do with it all. I miss my mint tea!!

That's Just Sad.

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