I love mints of all kinds, and over the years I have managed to collect quite an assortment of them. I grow all these mints in containers, since I learned years ago that mint was too unruly to plant in the open ground where it can spread and quickly become invasive. Mints do quite well in larger containers, and easily survive our zone 6 winters outside without any special protection. I like to grow them in a container that’s at least 12 inches in diameter, and bigger is even better. The plant in the below photo is in a container that is 16 inches wide and 12 inches deep.
One of my favorite mints is the spearmint variety called ‘The Best’. I’ve grown this strain for many years, longer than I can remember even. Nichol’s Garden Nursery used to sell it, but now the only online source I could find in the U.S. is Mountain Valley Growers. It is worth seeking out, and often local nurseries and growers will have it. To me it has a nice, classic spearmint taste and aroma, and the young leaves and stems are quite tender, which is a plus for cooking.
In the kitchen, I most often use mints in teas. I use them to flavor green, white and black teas by chopping up some of the leaves and adding to the tea when brewing. I pretty much drink tea every day year round, whether iced, hot or room temperature. In summer I also dry quite a bit of mint to use in wintertime. Spearmint ‘The Best’ retains its flavor for many months when dried and stored in an airtight container.
Fresh mint also finds its way into things like Greek salads and salad dressings. And of course lamb and mint are a classic combination, and I always add a little bit of chopped mint to my lamb burgers. I thing I haven’t tried yet, but will soon, is mint pesto. We even put spearmint in our soaps, especially our Spearmint Hand Soap. It is a useful and versatile herb for sure! If you are looking for an easy to grow and tasty mint, Spearmint ‘The Best’ is a proven winner in my books.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this Saturday Spotlight, and I’ll be back soon with another variety. Until then, Happy Growing from Happy Acres!
To see my other Saturday Spotlights, visit the Variety Spotlights page.