Chocolate Mint –
This is a very strong mint used for teas. It has a smell like a peppermint paddy. Easy to grow, spreads rapidly. Thrives alongside water gardens or damp spots in the yard. Plants have lavender blooms i late summer. Pick leaves frequently.
Winchester Gardens generally stocks this item.
Annual – Edible
Choose a site in full sun to part shade and moist soil. Or, since plants can be invasive, grow your mint in containers filled with potting mix enriched with compost.
If you want an entire bed of mint, start with one or two purchased plants and set them about 2 feet apart in a sunny location. They’ll quickly fill in the open area between plants.
Use a light mulch to retain moisture and keep leaves clean. Container-grown plants should be watered regularly to keep soil evenly moist. Other than that, mint needs little care.
For the most intense flavor, clip topmost mint leaves before flowers form. You can also gather leaves at any point during the growing season. Frequent harvests cause plants to branch and become bushy, so cut growing tips of plants often. Give a boost to steamed vegetables, such as peas, carrots, white or black beans, or eggplant, by adding fresh chopped mint leaves just before serving. Mix fresh leaves from mint and basil to weave a cooling flavor into spicy Thai and Vietnamese dishes. Dry mint leaves and flowers by bundling stems and hanging them upside down in a dark place. When leaves are dry, crumble from stems and store in airtight containers. To preserve mint leaves with bright green color, freeze them in plastic storage bags. Capture the refreshing taste of garden-fresh mint for use in beverages and baked goods by creating a syrup. Boil 2 cups of water and 2 cups of white sugar in a pot until sugar dissolves. Add 2 cups of washed mint leaves; stir and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Allow the mixture to cool; strain syrup and pour it into a glass bottle with a tight-fitting lid. Store syrup in the refrigerator up to one year.