11 responses to “Mentha spicata”

  1. Don

    I once cut the bottom off a large plastic bucket about 18 inches tall, sunk it up to the rim in a border and put a start of spearmint in it. Within a year rhizomes found their way under the bottom edge and into the garden. I ended up digging up that portion of the border and plucking out every last fragment of mint root and rhizome by hand. Since them, I’ve been content to enjoy mint in other people’s yards.

  2. Deborah Lievens

    Thanks for your great post. Can’t wait for spring. There is not a shoot to be seen in my mint patch. I, too, love the mint family.

  3. Betty Bahn

    Mint is also great for Mint juleps on Kentucky Derby Day.

  4. susan

    Speaking of rhizomenous (Is that a word? It should be!) growth, for years I have been trying to remove a tough grass from my yard, that grows this way. Around here, some call it “quack grass.” I’ve heard others call it “orchard grass.” I don’t know what kind it is, but it is horrible in a yard. Since I won’t use herbicides, I’m stuck with using a shovel, a trowel, a garden adze, my back, layers of mulch and gravel, and fancy words. There is no way to get rid of it. Sometimes I wish it were mint, because then it would at least smell good when trod upon or ripped out in long strings.

  5. Richard Old

    Due to the fact that the flowers are “bilabiate” (two-lipped) they may appear to only have two petals (as stated in the posting) but there are actually five. The five petals are fused into a tube at the base and usually expressed at the apex as three petals forming the three lobes of the lower lip and the other two petals forming the two lobes of the upper lip.

  6. Richard Old

    The word is actually “rhizomatous”. Your plant is likely what is commonly referred to as “quackgrass” (Elymus repens).
    However, there are numerous other rhizomatous grasses as well.
    The plant commonly referred to as “orchardgrass” is a non-rhizomatous species.

  7. michael aman

    So then the best advice on planting and gathering mint may be to not plant it at all and instead gather it from Tamara’s dooryard garden.

  8. stuage

    Beautifully written piece on a hugely popular plant. A whole book could be written! Thank you!!

  9. Nicholle

    I don’t mind my mint getting loose in the yard–my battle is with creeping bellflower (Campanula rapunculoides). It’s considered a noxious weed here in Edmonton and you can be fined for having it in your yard (I actually think it’s kind of pretty, though). I don’t think it’s possible to eradicate it–I just try to control it. Some of the larger rhizomes that I’ve dug out of the ground have been truly amazing.

  10. Barb Shutiak

    So that’s what the purple plague in my yard is called. It appeared out of nowhere several years ago, and I keep digging it out while using those aforementioned fancy words.

  11. Alison Place

    My, almost all of those plants sound far too familiar to me!
    When we moved into our house back in ’91, the kitchen garden we inherited had mint, bindweed and lemon balm galloping through it. The bindweed eventually gave way to vigourous hand weeding, but it took fallowing most of the garden for a full year under newspaper and a tarpaulin to get on top of the two mints. Even glyphosate (we were allowed to use that back then) hadn’t done them in.
    I remember being told that the safest way to grow mint was in a planter at the bottom of a disused swimming pool.
    The quack grass is another horrible plant, I agree. I have it in several of my gardens, and it’s as much as I can do just to fight it to a standstill. I suspect that I rip out at least a hundred metres of roots a year.
    Creeping buttercup isn’t as bad as the other three. Yes, it’s certainly rambunctious, but at least it throws its runners over the ground, where one can see them.

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