Those of you who are regular followers of my blog will know that over the last couple of weeks I have been re-potting and generally renovating most of my herbs. Today it was the turn of the Mint.
This is what I started with - four pots. Two of them have been protected, inside the coldframe, and two have been outside, exposed to the elements. I think you will be able to tell without my help which is which...
The first stage of the process is to tip the plant out of the pot onto your workbench. You can see clearly how "pot-bound" this plant has become. The roots of the Mint are very vigorous and soon fill a pot like this, which is exactly why you need to re-pot the plants every year.
Using a tool such as an old kitchen knife cut into the root-ball. When it is opened-up you will see that there is very little root in the centre - it all makes its way to the outside of the pot, as if it is trying to escape (which it is).
Cut a few pieces of the plant from the outside of the root-ball, selecting those bits that look healthiest and most "energetic", preferably with a few green shoots, like this:
Refill the empty pot to about half-full with new compost, making sure to add a few stones or crocks at the bottom to improve the drainage. Then plant two of the pieces of Mint in each pot, well in towards the centre, so that they have plenty of room to expand.
Then pack in around the plants as much compost as you can, filling the pot nearly up to the rim, and burying all of the new plants except for the top couple of inches of the green shoots. Make sure that the white roots are well covered:
Water the plants in to settle them, and then the job's complete:
I'm sure these plants will enjoy exploring their new homes and within a few weeks they will have produced a mass of fragrant green leaves.
One final word of advice: don't be tempted to put the spare bits of root and the offcuts into your compost bin. They would all grow like crazy, and before long your compost would be 99% Mint.