Leaves impart flavor to iced drinks, sauces, vegetables and lamb.
Most of the mints we use today, including spearmint, came to North America with the Colonists. They used mint teas medicinally for headaches, indigestion and to help them sleep. Mint is also an excellent culinary addition and makes a great teas for the pure pleasure of it. As a general rule, mint family plants root vigorously when allowed to grow freely and can be invasive. Grow them in containers to keep them in check.
Start indoors 8-10 weeks before last anticipated frost. In seed starting formula sow seeds 1/4" deep, lightly cover and keep moist. Place containers in a south facing window or under grow lights until seedlings emerge. Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days.
How to Grow
Transplant to individual containers when seedlings have at least two pairs of leaves. Before putting out into the garden, acclimate plants by setting in a sheltered location for one week. After last frost, set out in the garden in evenly moist, rich soil and full sun or partial shade. Space plants 18" apart. Mint plants spread rapidly, so plant them in an out-of-the-way spot or in containers. To encourage a flush of new growth, cut the stems back to the ground after the plants flower. To propagate, divide the plants in spring or fall.
Fresh or dried, spearmint, peppermint, and apple mint leaves make a healthful and delicious tea. Add the fresh leaves and flowers to salads and desserts. Include mints in herb gardens, container plantings, and childrens gardens.