I got a pretty good chuckle out of this reader question, because anyone who has ever grown mint knows that there is a love/hate relationship with the stuff. It is crazy invasive and spreads like wildfire–but drop a couple of those leaves in your summer lemonade and all is forgiven. Sharla writes,
Mavis, I planted mint in my garden last year, and now this year it is taking over! Seriously, it is popping up everywhere–like across the other side of the yard. I am afraid I am going to get calls from the neighbors soon, blaming me for the infestation. I just wanted a small “mojito garden” and I got myself a big fat headache. Any suggestions on taming the beast?
Mint totally is like a weed–a very tasty weed. I am pretty sure it could survive a nuclear attack. You’ve got a couple of options. I’ll lead with my LEAST favorite: chemical assault. You could use a vegetation killer spray, but honestly, I don’t let that stuff anywhere near my garden. It would be the fastest way to deal with the issue, but also it comes with lasting repercussions that aren’t worth it, in my opinion. You could also use more natural plant killers like vinegar or other organic weed killers, but you’ll need repeat applications to really do any good.
Next, you could suffocate the stuff. Lay down garbage bags over the top of it in and then lay dirt over the top of the bags. The lack of air and light will snuff them out. Sadly, it will also snuff out any grass or other living plants that are in the line of fire.
Finally, you could embrace your new calling as a permanent mint-puller. It means you’ll have to slide on a pair of gardening gloves and pull those suckers out by the roots with reckless abadonment. This is probably the biggest time commitment–and it will likely take a few years to eradicate it all, but it involves zero chemicals and allows neighboring plants the opportunity to continue living.
Once you do finally “tame the beast”, don’t give up on your mojito garden all together. Instead, plant mint in containers only. This will ensure it stays right where you want it.
Any of you had success in undoing a mint garden gone wrong?