how to grow mint from seeds

How to grow mint

Discover how to grow, harvest and store mint, in this step-by-step Grow Guide.

Saturday, 14 March, 2020 at 9:16 am

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do Plant in March

Do Plant in April

Do Plant in May

Do not Plant in June

Do not Plant in July

Do not Plant in August

Do Plant in September

Do Plant in October

Do Plant in November

Do not Plant in December

Do not Harvest in January

Do not Harvest in February

Do not Harvest in March

Do not Harvest in April

Do Harvest in May

Do Harvest in June

Do Harvest in July

Do Harvest in August

Do Harvest in September

Do Harvest in October

Do Harvest in November

Do not Harvest in December

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Plant size
Average Yield

Pick leaves as required

From a refreshing tea to a classic sauce for roast lamb and new potatoes, mint is one of the most useful culinary herbs. It’s also one of the best herbs for attracting beneficial insects into the garden, such as hoverflies, lacewings and butterflies.

How to grow mint

Grow mint in moist but well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade. It’s best to grow mint in a pot as it can compete with neighbouring plants when planted in the ground. Harvest as and when you need to, allowing some stems to bear flowers for pollinators. Cut back to ground level in autumn and mulch with well-rotted compost annually.

More on growing mint:

  • 10 refreshing varieties of mint to grow
  • Mint leaf beetle
  • Healing garden herbs to grow

How to plant mint

Mint is a hardy perennial that’s not really worth growing from seed, as it’s so easy to grow from root cuttings or young plants planted in the spring or autumn. It prefers well-drained, fertile soil in light shade where the roots will stay moist but never become waterlogged.

Most mints are invasive, so you may want to restrict their root run by planting in a bottomless bucket sunk into the ground. Or grow them in a pot in free-draining, soil-based compost.

Keep a couple of pots by the kitchen door – one to use for pickings, leaving the mint in the other pot to grow.

How to care for mint

For the best flavour, keep cutting mint to stimulate new leafy growth. After flowering is over in late summer, cut back plants to just above soil level and feed with a high-nitrogen fertiliser to encourage a fresh flush of leaves for autumn picking.

In autumn, divide to make new plants. Lift a clump and chop it into pieces using a spade. Discard the old centre and replant the vigorous outer edges. Divide congested pot-grown mint in autumn. Sit containers on pot feet to avoid waterlogging over winter.

Discover three Golden Rules for caring for herbs, in our video:

Want to harvest mint all though the year? Watch our No Fuss Guide with Alan Titchmarsh, on lifting herbs for winter:

How to harvest mint

Mint, like most herbs, is best used fresh when the volatile oils are at their most intense. You can start harvesting as soon as leaves appear above in spring and continue through to the first frosts. Nipping out the tips of the stems will encourage the plants to bush out.

How to prepare and use mint

Add fresh mint to buttered peas and new potatoes or combine with sugar and white wine vinegar for a classic sauce to accompany roast lamb. Steep a handful of leaves in boiling water, with sugar added to taste, for a soothing mint tea.

Watch this quick 20-second video demonstration from our friends at olive magazine on how to chop fresh mint.

How to store mint

Freezing mint is the next best thing to using it fresh. Wash and shake mint leaves dry, then finely chop. Fill an ice-cube tray with the chopped mint (there’s no need to add water). When frozen, pop the cubes into freezer bags and seal.

Growing mint: problem solving

Check plants regularly for mint rust. Look for swollen stems with orange spots on the leaves. Dig up the plant and bin it. Mint rust remains in the soil for at least three years, so don’t plant other mints, tarragon or chives in that spot after infection.

Find out how to identify and deal with mint beetle, in this clip from Gardeners’ World:

All you need to know about growing mint, in our Grow Guide to planting, maintaining, harvesting, storing and problem solving. BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine.

How to Grow Organic Mint from Seed

Depth to Plant
Spacing Between Plants
Days to Germinate (Sprout)
Soil Temp
Best Season to Plant _________
Good Plant Companions
Harvest Instructions

When to Plant

Mint is a hardy perennial that can really be started anytime as long as you’re about 2 months before your first Fall frost. It also grows well indoors, year-round. Start them inside in late winter, for your Spring planting, or wait until the soil warms up and sow the seeds directly outside in your garden.

How to Plant

When sowing the seeds, do not cover them. They need light to germinate properly and will sprout within 10-15 days if the soil stays around 68 to 75 °F. They are ready to transplant into the garden when they have their second set of “real” leaves. If you’re sowing them directly out into your garden, consider placing a row cover over them until they sprout.

When to Harvest

Pick the leaves as you need them or harvest a large amount from each mint plant up to three times in one growing season. Cut the stems 1-2 inches from the ground. You can take cuttings from the plants you already have and root them in a little bit of water and then plant them indoors for fresh leaves throughout the winter. If you want to dry the leaves, it’s best to harvest them before the plant goes to seed.

← GO BACK TO ALL GROW GUIDES Depth to Plant Spacing Between Plants Days to Germinate (Sprout) Germination Soil Temp Best Season to Plant_________ Sun Requirement Soil Requirements Good Plant Companions Harvest Instructions Shop Mint Seeds Sprinkle on top of loose soil 12-18" Apart 10-15 Days Between 68° F and 75° F Spr