Posted by: briellethefirst | March 13, 2011


Chocolate Mint

Chocolate Mint

Please confine your Mint! In Arizona mine behaves pretty well, but in Florida and Washington it invaded the lawn (great smell when mowed) and took over our strawberry patch (problem). Sinking wood, metal or plastic edgings around it in the garden does slow it down but it will find its way around/over/under/through most barriers eventually. Planting it in a pot is a good way to contain its exuberance or you just can plant it in the lawn far enough away from the garden not to be a bother and control it by mowing it with the grass.



Once upon a time lawns were planted with herbs like Mint, Thyme, Chamomile and Yarrow and were called flowery meades (short for meadow I think). This was definitely more pleasant to mow than grass! You may have to set your mower blades for a taller cut, but it’s definitely worth it when you walk or sprawl on your lawn. In Florida it was in full sun and thrived through the hottest, driest parts of the year, so it’s tough. In Arizona it can burn out in the full-sun areas, but try different varieties in different areas to see what works best for you.

If you want Mint (and it’s a nice plant to have around) there are lots of varieties to choose from. Apple Mint, Bergamot, Cat Mint, Chocolate Mint, Corsican Mint, Lemon Balm, Pennyroyal, Peppermint, Spearmint…check your favourite nurseries and catalogues to start your collection. As long as it doesn’t get eaten by critters nothing much bothers mint.

Mint can be used fresh, dried or frozen. Fresh leaves seem to have more flavour but dried lasts longer. Use it in drinks, sauces, jellies, confections, ethnic cuisine, cosmetics and as a garnish and in potpourri. When I weeded it out of our strawberry patch I made herbal beads out of it.

For hot tea use 1 tsp dry herb per cup and one for the pot or a 1 inch long sprig of fresh, clean leaves per cup. Always start with cool fresh water and bring it just to a boil. Pour the hot water over the leaves in the pot or cup and let steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Strain and sweeten it desired. Tea strainers and tea balls are available in shops and catalogs if you’re picky about such things. Adjust the amount of herb to suit your taste. You can also use the sun to brew your iced tea. Fill a gallon jar with cold water and add 6 to 8 teabags of the flavour of your choice. You can substitute sprigs of fresh, clean herb for teabags or dry herbs in teaballs. Make sure they don’t have any visitors on them (aphids, etc.).  Put the top on the jar and set it out in the sun for 4 to 8 hours. Remove the herbs and refrigerate until you’re thirsty, serve over ice and sweeten to taste. Experiment with different herbs until you find your favourite one or create a custom blend.


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