Mint certainly has its fair share of uses. But gardeners with even a medium amount of experience know that there are some invasive versions of mint that can quickly take control of a garden.
When this happens, it can be a major pain to remove them and give control of the garden back to your other plants.
This makes the controlling of mint in a garden of the utmost importance. Without that control, you can be left to wonder how there got to be so many mint plants and how to get rid of them sooner rather than later.
Keeping the Mint Under Control
There are different varieties of mint plants and some tend to be more aggressive than others. No matter the strain, it is essential to keep the mint under control and prevent it from taking over your entire garden space.
Planting barriers deep underground can prevent the runners of the mint from spreading. Growing mint in containers, however, is probably the best idea when it comes to keeping them under control and preventing overgrowth.
We start out with good intentions with our mint and don’t realize the havoc they can cause. So, if you do want to grow mint in your garden without it becoming a real issue, try to grow them in bottomless containers.
Sink those containers deep underground or, if you must, grow them in larger containers that are above the ground.
If you do plant them underground, make sure you keep the rim of the container at least an inch above the soil. Doing this is meant to keep the mint from being able to spill out into the other areas of the garden.
Of course, controlling the mint is a great plan but sometimes plans go awry. That can leave you with only one other discourse: kill the mint.
Kill Your Mint Plants
Mint can quickly grow to become uncontrollable. It can wreak complete havoc on a garden space and even push gardeners to the brink of their sanity.
For those who love their gardens, killing a plant is a tough decision. But invasive plants like mint make this a necessity for the sake of the other plants in the garden.
Mint isn’t an easy kill, though. There are plenty of gardeners that have invested plenty of time and effort into getting rid of the pesky plant only to be left wondering what else can be done.
Still, it is possible to kill the mint but go in with a patient mindset to keep from going crazy.
Digging up the Mint
Though it may seem obvious, digging up the mint is certainly a possibility. After all, digging up a plant that you don’t want there anymore is always an option.
But with mint, keep in mind that even one small piece of the plant that gets left behind can (and usually will) root itself and simply start the whole thing over again.
So, if you do decide that digging out the mint is the best possible option, don’t stop after the initial dig. Make sure that you continuously check the area to ensure that there are no runners or debris left behind.
It can be maddening to put the work of digging out the mint only to find that a small piece leftover sprouted up and set you back to square one. There are alternatives to digging, however, that may be more effective and save your sanity.
The good thing is that there are ways to get rid of the mint without digging and without having to use chemicals that can be potentially harmful to the other plants in your garden. Those should be used as a last resort kind of scenario if at all.
Boiling water can actually be a great way to get rid of the mint, but use it cautiously. Boiling hot water can kill leaves and roots of a plant, but it is also difficult to really control.
If you aren’t careful, that boiling water could hit other plants in your garden and take something out of commission that you never intended to get rid of.
There are also those who use a homemade mixture of soap, salt, and white vinegar in various fashions. Much like the boiling water, it is meant to kill the mint on contact.
And like the boiling water, it should be used cautiously as it will kill anything else that it comes into contact with.
So, if you are looking for safer, more controlled methods to get rid of that mint, you’re in luck. You can actually smother the mint. Cover it using a few thick layers of newspaper and then cover the newspaper in a layer of mulch.
Even if some of the mint pokes its way through, it becomes an easier target for pulling.
The Last Resort
Should all else fail, an herbicide should do the trick. It is understandable that there are folks out there who don’t want to introduce chemicals into their garden. Still, it may be the easiest and most effective way to not only kill the mint, but the roots as well.
Depending on the level of infestation, you may have to implement any of these fixes a number of times to fully kill the spread of the mint. Just like the chemical-free options, you will want to try to avoid getting your herbicide on any of the other plants.
Whatever option you choose, just know that it takes patience and time to fully eradicate a rogue mint plant. They can take over entire gardens if you let them and getting them back from the brink can be a difficult proposition.
But with some persistence and patience, mint is not unbeatable. Be sure that you kill the mint or remove it completely or you could find yourself staring down the same problem again and again with no resolution in sight.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.