Monday, 13 June 2011

Mint imperials

Herbs are fashionable, and rightly so.

They can lift even the most basic cooking from dull to sharp quicker than you can say mint. Go on, say it.


That's quick eh?

This is the second in my series on herbs, the first taking issue with basil. I've been asked by a Twitter follower, @MissilePanda, to write more about good herbs to plant that will survive. I reckon mint is a good starter. of the first things I was told on planting mint was to put it in a container. Leave it in open soil and it will colonise.

So of course  in the open soil it went,  to see just how much it colonised. First of all it claimed the fledgling celeriac, then the young third batch of broad beans. I had to have a mint cull.

This year I clearly didn't learn my lesson. Yes, I put  them in a container, but I gave it companions. Like minded woody herbs that it would surely show some respect to?

Ah how naive, mint does nothing but dominate and subordinate:

What you can't see underneath all that mint are the rotting corpses of thyme stalks, all grey and decrepit. The mint really shows no mercy in its march to dominate its territory. Imperialism indeed.

The only way to keep mint in check is give it a container of it's own, and allow your other herbs space to breathe.  It might mean a bit of outlay on pots but you can then take time to arrange your pots in a nice way, thinking about which herbs look good together, which take pride of place.

Or develop a Mojito habit.

B&Q isn't expecting a run on containers this summer.


frasermac834 said...

Your titles show no sign of growing up!

hanzy said...

I recommend rosemary. Buy a plant from a supermarket of your choice, plant in garden and ignore it. We have one that is about 7 years old and one that is about 5 now and they could be used as a decent hedge. Smells gorgeous. Makes great BBQ skewers!

Oh, sage does the same. Tom feel free to lift my recent FB pics to illustrate the rampant herbage in our garden!

The Hapless Kitchen Gardener

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I only feel hapless because some people make it look easy to grow 10 ft marrows or a banquet of greens whereas my courgettes got nabbed by killer slugs and I only got one raspberry. So tips and stories from people less hapless than I are more than welcome. As a disclaimer though, none of my comments should be taken as expert advice on which you can rely! © Unless stated otherwise, and with the exception of guest content where that guest retains copyright, all photos and posts are the copyright of Tom Carpen and may not be used without permission.