Invasive mints can quickly take over your garden, hence you need to figure out to get rid of them. Mints are similar herbs to cilantro and basil, but they are vigorous perennials.
Although it is on the list of the easiest plants to grow, its roots are called runners, and they can easily become invasive, sprouting new leaves and new plants as well everywhere they go. You might not intend to have mints in your garden, but they practically grow by themselves.
Mints can make a great addition to your culinary dishes, but when you invite them into your backyard or garden, they tend to turn into the quintessential houseguests, and you will have to find a way to get rid of them. Controlling mint is very important, or it’s going to leave other plants little to no space or nutrients to grow properly.
You have to be cautious when you want to get rid of mint in your garden and this is because you don’t want to harm other plants in the process. Controlling mints can be quite a challenge especially if it’s a vegetable garden. However, mint makes a delightful contribution to a garden, but you might want to consider planting it alone or find other suitable herb plants that are not vigorous.
Mints have a strong pungent smell that can help repel pests in your garden which is why many farmers and gardeners plant them. But the moment they get out of hand, it can be a major pain to remove them.
How to Get Rid Of Mint Growing In The Garden
Mints can really become uncontrollable very quickly but fortunately, there are simple ways you can get rid of them before they take over your garden.
We agree that the pleasing fragrance of mint makes them an awesome addition to the garden but unfortunately, they can become an issue in your vegetable garden. To remove the mint infestation, you have to try the two non-herbicidal methods and others which are explained below.
1. Smothering The Plant (Non-herbicidal method)
You can choose to smother all the mint plants invading your garden, this is not as easy as it sounds, but it is quite an effective method. This method saves you from using any chemicals in your garden especially if you have other crops planted close by.
To smother the mint plant, you will need a layer of light excluding materials such as newspaper or organic mulch thick enough to smother them. Here is how to get rid of mints by smothering them.
- Spread the lightproof material like landscape fabric over all the mint infested area then overlap the sheets with at least 4 inches
- Next spread a thick layer of wood chips, shredded bark, or any organic mulch you can lay your hands-on
- This organic mulch should hold the lightproof material in place
- In late summer or spring, have the covering removed, or it might have been decomposed into the soil by them.
Note that this method can take a full season, but it’s ideal if you don’t want to kill your mint plant yourself.
2. Digging The Mints Plant Up
The digging-up method won’t take all season, but it does require care and patience.
This method involves removing the roots and rhizomes of the invasive mints. Digging up mints might seem like an obvious method since it is used for getting rid of weeds but keep in mind that if just a tiny one is left behind, it can go again and spread.
Ensure to remove every root and rhizomes of the mint plant and after the initial digging, you have to check the area often to make sure no dirt or debris can cause the mint to grow back. This method will save you time, and you just need a garden fork to dig them all up. This can be done at any time of the year.
3. Herbicide Method
Mint can somehow find a way to return no matter the non-herbicidal method you adopt so if this should happen, you might have to resort to the herbicide method. You have to be extremely careful when using herbicide though especially if you don’t want it killing anything else in your garden.
Applying herbicides to the mints alone can be quite tough, so ensure it is the last option when all is done.
4. Use Boiling Water Or White Vinegar
Before resorting to the use of herbicides, boiling water or white vinegar is another method you can try. Try mixing white vinegar with dish soap and salt in any type of container and pour this on the mints.
A spray bottle can also be used in this aspect, and it should kill the mints in no time, but the boiling water might take white to kill the mints. Continued use of boiling water is advised as it won’t kill the mints instantly.
How to Prevent Mints From Returning
To stop mints from returning permanently, the white vinegar method has been considered to make that happen. Many people also claim they have luck with the boiling water method, although this will take time to be effective.
While the chemical method is another way you can prevent mints from coming back, it can stop other plants from growing as well, so this has to be done carefully. The smothering method might take all season, but it makes sure they won’t be coming back anytime soon.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will mint take over my garden?
The roots of mint plants are called ”runners” which shows that it is invasive so yes, they will take over your garden in no time. They sprout new leaves as they go and if they are not gotten rid of on time, they will take over your garden in no time.
Will mint choke out other plants?
Yes, mint can choke out other plants if it keeps spreading its leaves and new plant. The best way to plant mints is to have a deep bucket or tub sunk into the soil without holes and have mints planted in it. Mints will grow anywhere so don’t worry about where you place them but planting them in this way prevents them from choking out other plants.
What bugs does mint keep away?
Mint is an aggressive grower, but it has a pungent smell that can help get repel aphids, ants, whiteflies, bugs, cabbage moths, and flea beetles. Sprigs of mint can be laid beside each plant to keep bugs away but ensure to change this sprig often.
You have to carefully consider the tactics you plan to use in killing mints and this is because they are quite unruly and if they are not contained properly, you should have them spreading back in no time which can become annoying.
Persistency and lots of patience are very vital attributes to adopt if you want to keep mints away in the long term. Lastly, be careful when buying herbicides, best to choose food crop-safe herbicides.