In this episode, Beverly is joined by Ann Wheeler of Log House Herbs. They discussed one of the most popular, easiest herbs to grow: The Mint!
[Beverly] Hi, welcome to The Arbor Gate. I’m Beverly Welch here in Tomball with my dear friend, Ann Wheeler of Log House Herbs, and we wanted to talk to you today about one of the most popular herbs that there are, and easy to grow, the mints. –
[Ann] Very basic.
– Very basic. You know, mint couldn’t be easier to grow. It actually is a ground cover so you have to be very careful when you place it into the ground.
– Yes, because it will grow.
– It will grow. So, you want to use it, as I said, a ground cover, in a confined space, or better yet, in a container. And it can stay in a container for several years. After a few years, if you refer back to some of our earlier videos, you can lift it, divide it, root prune it, put new soil, put it right back into the same container.
In the summer time, if it starts to wane a bit with the heat, cut it back, add some food, a little extra soil, and it’ll reemerge fresh and new.
– I do think it requires routine water. It’s really a water-loving plant. Not standing in water but carefully watered.
– Yeah, even moisture, not too, too wet, not too, too dry. Right, and you know, even, it makes a great basket, too.
– It does, yes, and that way you can confine those roots with no problem.
– And easy to harvest, those fresh new shoots as they come down. The thing about mint, I think, that impresses people the most is the vast selection that is available.
– It is amazing. There’s so many hybrids and they keep coming. We do know that mints are basically relying on two oils, the peppermint oil and the spearmint oil. And all these many flavors play with those two flavors.
– And people get so confused with all of these. When they ask, “What mint should I use?” I like to ask them, “What is your goal with the mint?” Most of the time, it’s in beverages. But I always take them to this one.
– It’s a favorite, and it’s a favorite for a very good reason, and that is that this is a single, only mint that has both spearmint and peppermint oil in it. That’s why it was christened Doublemint in honor of Madalene Hill who did a great deal to educate people about the uses and the usefulness of this mint.
I think as a shopper for mint, one of the things I like to do is just snip off a leaf and crush it and smell what it’s like, and even bite it and get a little bit of the flavor, and I think that’s how you can tell a chocolate mint from an orange mint from one of these others.
– The nuances and the flavors and aromas are slight and delicate so it’s to the individual palate what you’re looking for. I love this one because of the beautiful foliage.
– And I love it also because it is so reliable. I’ve never lost a Doublemint plant.
– No, no. It’s a very vigorous grower, slightly upright, and with the pretty red stems, it’s just a beautiful plant.
– I think it’s at its best in the cool of the winter when…I’ve had the experience of cutting it right back to the ground because the summer was so hard on it, but when the cool weather comes and it regrows, those red stems are vibrantly red.
– They are beautiful.
– They’re beautiful plants.
– And you were speaking about some of the other flavors of mints. This is the chocolate mint here.
– It also has a bit of that coloration. It’s very pretty. A smaller leaf but it has a definite chocolate scent to it. I’m not sure that if you put this in a cookie dough that you would be able to taste the chocolaty part of it because of the heat involving in cooking it, but when you sniff it, it definitely has that scent.
– And another real popular one is mojito mint, especially during the summer months.
– Well, and you know, Beverly, I’ve read that this was actually developed in Cuba where the mojito is most at home so that’s a good thing to know.
– It’s a great one. So, mints are easy, easy, easy to grow. You want to confine them unless you want a vigorous ground cover. Containers do great. Baskets do great. But don’t forget about the mints.
– Never. Never. It’s our favorite.
– Thanks, Ann.