Hartley Magazine

All the latest news, hints, tips and advice from our experts

Recreate wild conditions when growing mint in a greenhouse

There are many potential uses for a greenhouse – and the fact that you can grow a very wide range of plants outside their typical habitat means that it is a popular choice for a wide range of gardening purposes. 

However, arguably one of the most satisfying uses for this kind of controlled gardening environment is growing for eating. 

While there may not be anything quite as satisfying as growing your own plants from seed, pulling them up and using them in a recipe only extends this pleasure. 

Mint is a great example of such a herb. It is also known as metha, which comes from the from Greek word mintha and has the Latin binomial name of mi-ta. 

It has a very diverse range of culinary uses as well. It is widely used in Indian cuisine – and the leaf is also popular as an ingredient in alcoholic cocktails. 

Those who are considering growing mint in their greenhouse might want to consider recreating the conditions that would typically sustain it in the wild. Bear in mind its branches can twist along the earth and allow enough space for them accordingly. 

Professional gardener and author of Keeping a Few Hens in Your Garden Francine Raymond said everyone has been seduced by the unique appeal of mint in some form or another. 

In an article for UK national newspaper the Daily Telegraph, she noted that it has often been interpreted as being a symbol of hospitality. Furthermore, given that it is absolutely packed with antioxidants – as well as vitamins and minerals – it is also an excellent digestif. 

Ms Raymond had a host of suggestions for uses of mint, including in jelly, as a flavouring for oil, or in a salad – being effective in both fruit or conventional vegetable salads.

She also offered some growing tips, noting: "Mint has ambitions to be ground cover. It's easier to grow than to eradicate, so always plant with roots restricted, either in a container or pot plunged into the ground."

"It makes an excellent companion plant as it deters pests, including whitefly, ants and mice – and the flowers attract bees, butterflies and hoverflies." Ms Raymond continued, adding: "It grows well in any soil, but prefers its roots in shade with the sun on its leaves."

"Mint likes moisture. I grow mine in a pot near the garden tap."