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.
I love mint, it is true they grow so fast and everywhere.ReplyDelete
You realise that you'll go on dividing this for ever, until it takes over the world...ReplyDelete
Linda, it works on the Amoeba principle. Cell-division etc... Actually my Mint is all derived from a tiny pot of Moroccan mint I bought for £1 once upon a time at a Farmer's Market.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the reminder Mark, I took root cuttings in the autumn and forgot about them. Love to rub mint and smell the fragrance.ReplyDelete
Someone along the way told mint to go forth and multiply...and it has been ever since!ReplyDelete
I have some mint growing in my garden. Yes, they grow fast. I love the smell of mint too.ReplyDelete
Your third photo - the one showing how all the roots had migrated to the outside of the pot - really took me by surprise. It explains a lot of the trouble my second year mint had in its long, skinny pot last year!ReplyDelete
Very good info on mint! I had no idea such small plants had such large roots. I'm going to check mine in the next couple of days too. Thanks!ReplyDelete
Mint is growing very fast, you could do re-poting every year.ReplyDelete
We may have to plants up a pot of mint to have in the garden (we have loads on the plot) for the times when we forget to pick some. Just wish I knew what varieties we had. We have one with soft felty leaves that is really nice.ReplyDelete
so many varieties but apple mint is light in color with very large leaves compared with others , its leaves are soft and felty .Delete
Mmm, minty compost! You put me to shame Mark, I've been neglecting my herbs. But the siren call of seed sowing means they may have to wait a little longer yet...ReplyDelete
Mint with tea without milk is best! Great post Mark!ReplyDelete
I love mint. I planted it a couple years ago and we would eat it pain any time or stomachs acted up. It worked perfectly. It also works well in cooking, though what type of food it goes best in depends on the variety. Currently my mint plant has taken over a shallow 18-inch put, so I figure on seeing if my family and neighbors want someReplyDelete