Uses for Mint: The Best Growing Herb

Learn the different uses of mint for around the house.

| March/April 1977

I'm convinced: Mint has got to be one of the most versatile herbs around. Indoors, you can use it to deodorize a room, wake up your skin, freshen your breath, create delicious hot (and cold) teas, lend zest to vegetable dishes, and spruce up otherwise-ordinary salads, juices, spreads, fruits, etc. And outdoors — in the vegetable garden — mint's highly aromatic foliage acts to repel ants, white cabbage moths, and other pests ... thereby ensuring healthy crops of cabbage, tomatoes, broccoli, and brussels sprouts.

No herb or vegetable garden should be without at least one of the 40 or so sweet-smelling members of the mint family (genus Mentha). These plants are simply too useful — and too easy to grow — to pass up!

Where to Obtain Mint

If you live in the country, chances are good that you have mint on your property already. (if you don't, your neighbor probably does. Ask for a few plants or cuttings.)

Mint can also be purchased from most any plant shop, nursery, or mail-order herb outlet.

How to Start a Mint Bed

When transplanting mint, dig the herb up carefully — so as not to make hash of its roots — and leave a little soil attached to the plant's base. (You won't have to dig very deeply, since mint grows close to the surface.)

Choose a spot in your garden that's partly shaded and moderately fertile ... then put the plants in the ground about a foot apart, firm the soil around them to its original level, water thoroughly, and keep the area moist. (Mints generally prefer damp places and won't produce strongly scented leaves in dry soil.)

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