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October 12, 2011

Meet Mint

- by Debra Anchors

Photo - Vincenzo Lombardo
The refreshing, cool taste of mint has been added to everything from toothpaste and antacids to candies and teas.  Spearmint and peppermint are perennials hardy to Zone 5, with dark green leaves and white to lavender flowers. A mint plant needs moist, well-drained soil to grow well and can become quite invasive. 

To control their runners, confine them to a limited space or remove the bottom from a five-gallon plastic container, sink it in the ground and plant in that. Keep all runners and drooping stems cut back or they will root. Most mints grow best in full sun, but will tolerate light shade. 

Mint plants blend beautifully with other herbs and are equally at home flavoring hot and cold beverages or seasoning salads, soups, meats, vegetables and dairy products. Spearmint is most associated with savory dishes, while peppermint is most commonly used in desserts. Why not include at least one mint plant in your herb garden? 

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