how to kill a GIANT mint bed

vermontlove(4)May 3, 2010

my old garden is no more. It is now a haven for mint. That is all it is. I don't necessarily need to return it to its former state as my veggie garden, but it is such an eyesore in the middle of my lawn as a massive square of sprawling mint. What can I do with this catastrophe? Mint is so powerful! Can any other desirable plant "weed" it out?

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dirtalloverme

Ive read that you can pour boiling hot water over the plant and on the ground. Not sure if it will work tho cause i haven't tried it.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 9:28PM
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nc_crn

Broadleaf herbicides work.

You could also mow it really close regularly all summer until it gets beaten into submission...or pull them when the soil is moist (less runners left this way, but far from perfect). All of these could take a couple summers, though.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 9:32PM
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guavalane

I feel your pain. I had mint problem in the middle of the lawn in the previous house. I dealt it the old fashion way - hand pulling one by one. It worked! But my area may be smaller than yours.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 10:43PM
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gjcore

Digging it up will really curtail it. It has for me your mileage may vary.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 10:56PM
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organic_steerpike

Maybe you could use enough round-up on it to make the first resistant mint. Or, the best suggestion I have read: start a business selling it and it will soon die of some mysterious disease.

I have a mint infestation also.....

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 6:43AM
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glib(5.5)

If you can mow it, it will be gone by next year. It is not all bad, mint really makes good soil (it is a good green manure, check the number of earthworms in the patch). After it is mostly gone (perhaps even this August), you can start a (Fall) vegetable garden in that soil, and finish the few last shoots with a stroke of Roundup applied with a paintbrush.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 9:23AM
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t-bird(Chicago 5/6)

Please define giant. My mint is 3'x5' - and I just can't get enough!

Try this:

in a high speed blender, combine 1/2 fresh pineapple, cut up into 2-4 inch chunchs, 10 ice cubes, 1.5-2 cups fresh mint leaves, and one banana.

Whirr it all up. I have a vitamix with the plunger to push the ice cubes into the blades. might take some stirring - or make the pineapple chunks small if you have a regular blender.

I am so addicted! I want one morning and evening andmy mint bed cannot keep up!

I also harvest mint to give to coworkers. This mothers day - I'm making mint juleps for everyone, and giving them a healthful drink with my pineapple-mint smoothie above.

Don't like pineapple??

3 really ripe mangoes (like dang - should have eaten these yesterday!!)
2 cups mint
4-6 ice cubes

Blend to complete creamy pudding. This is excellent. Not sure how this would come out in a regular blender, the vitamix gets this to be like a true pudding.

Eat that mint, and it will not get out of control!!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 11:03AM
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t-bird(Chicago 5/6)

adding:

The coworkers and the mint julep crowds are different - not drinking on the job, lol!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 11:06AM
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ikea_gw

I would pull and dig the roots when the soil is wet. Mint will return if the rhizome is left behind. Why would you do it for years if you could just do it once and be done with the problem?

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 1:55PM
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glib(5.5)

They don't have that big of a rhizome. It's not like, say, horseradish, that can skip a year of growth and still be alive.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 2:02PM
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obrionusa(5)

Use mixture of round up and week killer application at 3 OZ per gal. I use it on gravel parking lots and kills everything. reapply every seven days until its cooked.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 9:28PM
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merrybookwyrm

It's amazing how different plants behave in different places. In my north Texas yard, the mint must be watered to survive.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 9:38PM
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erin_nc(7)

I agree with you Merrybookwyrm.

I can't seem to supply enough mint in my mint bed. Although, it may have something to do with my little "mojito problem". :)

A neighbor's yard in one neighborhood over is all mint. I think that's totally cool. I'm sure when he mows it, wonderful aromas ensue. I bet he doesn't have a little "mojito problem".

It breaks my heart to think of using Roundup on such a wonderful herb.

I remember growing up in Oklahoma. Folks would plant the herb to take over around the outside of house windows to keep the mosquitos out. It worked.

Erin

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 10:01PM
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ppod(6 SE NY)

Make a cash crop of it: Cut, rinse, and tie it into neat bunches, and sell it at the local farmers' market..... Or sell it to local bars/restaurants (to use in drinks), or to local supermarkets. Or give it to someone who has chickens and get fresh eggs in barter.

But you want to get rid of the mint: cover it with black plastic till it's dead and gone.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 12:36AM
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kr222(6b)

I had the same problem a few years ago when we bought our house. I laid down landscaping fabric covered by mulch. That helped to kill it. I still planted in those beds by using my shovel to puncture holes in the fabric to plant my plants. If mint popped up around the new plants I made sure to pluck it out as soon as I saw it. It worked. No more mint!

Here is a link that might be useful: Kim's PA Garden

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 6:42PM
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heirloomjunkie(5a)

Kim - love the pics. It blows away the excuses of "my yard is too small" or "I have no room" That's an average sized yard these days, and you've managed to tucks things everywhere. Very pretty!

Kim

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 8:05PM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

Would tilling it under work?

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 9:16PM
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organicislandfarmer(9)

Isnt mint a natural pest deterrent? I would compost it or till it under, however if it must be destroyed distilled vinegar works just as good as round up and its distilled vinegar, not round up!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 8:07AM
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kr222(6b)

Heirloom junkie- I really do try to make the most of the space. Every year a little more grass gets smothered so I can plant more things. If I didn't have kids, I bet I wouldn't have any grass at all. Now where can I plant my small orchard???
:)

nygardener- As for tilling, that wouldn't kill the mint. Mint is so aggressive. One little plant will spread relentlessly to fill the area back in. Perhaps tilling, and then covering with a landscaping fabric. That should work. Mint is definitely a plant that even the worst gardener couldn't kill easily. It puts up quite a fight.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Garden

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 9:06AM
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meadowcreekmissy

I found this information on a companion planting site. So if you yank all of your mint up, looks like you can put it to good use elsewhere, at least!

MINT: Deters white cabbage moths, ants, rodents, flea beetles, fleas, aphids and improves the health of cabbage and tomatoes. Use cuttings as a mulch around members of the brassica family. Mint flowers attract hoverflies and predatory wasps. Earthworms are quite attracted to mint plantings. Be careful where you plant it as mint is an incredibly invasive perennial. We have found that placing peppermint cuttings (fresh or dried) where mice are a problem is very effective in driving them off!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 12:05PM
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t-bird(Chicago 5/6)

"I remember growing up in Oklahoma. Folks would plant the herb to take over around the outside of house windows to keep the mosquitos out. It worked. "

Oh - nice tip Erin!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 1:55PM
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californian

Here in southern California it is very easy to kill most things except Bermuda grass, just don't water it and it will eventually dry up and die. It usually doesn't rain for seven months in a row. We get 95% of our rain from late fall to early spring, and only trace rain for the rest of the year. That's why the hills turn brown in the summer and stay that way until the first good rain in the winter.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 6:14PM
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gardendawgie(5)

do not mow the mint.

let the grass grow real tall and it will choke out the mint. then when the mint is gone go mow the lawn. easy free and no poisons.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 10:31PM
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