Peppermint Days to Maturity: 73 from direct sow
No herb or kitchen garden is complete without mint, and peppermint adds a festive note to the display, evoking the holidays and filling the air with its fresh, clean scent when rubbed. Give it a go from seed this season and delight your friends with little peppermint seedlings for the holidays!
Strongly aromatic peppermint can be used in both cooking – in drinks, salads, and baked goods – and in potpourri and other fragrant decorative items. In hot tea, it is said to help stomach upset.
Peppermint is a perennial, reaching 3 feet tall in the garden (much smaller in pots and indoors), and spreading just as far as you will let it. It offers smooth, lance-shaped 3-inch leaves, bright green with purple tints around the edges. In summer, spikes of lilac-pink flowers top the foliage, attracting bees into the garden. Give it sunshine and good soil drainage; it will do the rest.
Like all the mints, peppermint can be invasive. If you want to cover hot, sunny soil, it’s invaluable, but if your space is limited or you want to plant other things nearby, you are much better off confining peppermint to a container. It grows wonderfully, and you will not only have plenty to harvest, but enough to give friends cuttings so that they can start their own mint gardens.
Mint is not the easiest seed to sprout, but if you have a Park’s Original Bio Dome Seed-Starting System it’s a walk in the park: drop one seed in each bio sponge, put the dome on, and wait to see green shoots in 7 to 14 days. If you’re using seed flats or another method of germination, here’s the best approach: set one or two seeds in shallow 1/4-inch holes in moist seed-starting mix. Cover the flat with plastic wrap and germinate at 65 degrees Fahrenheit or above.
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