|Spearmint loves moist soil conditions|
|Mint flowers attract all kinds of beneficial pollinators|
An added bonus with the mint is that it attracts beneficial bugs as well as butterflies and hummingbirds. Yup, hummers love to poke their beaks into each of the tiny tubes of the mint flower head!
Here in the northeast, my mint begins to flower at the end of August, and will continue right up until the frost hits. After the first frost, I harvest my mint by pulling it out, roots and all. Rest assured, you will always leave some roots behind and the mint will return in the spring.
Once I have gathered all the mint stems, I place them in a large paper bag in a cool room. I like to use those big bags they give you in the restaurants....you know, the ones that have handles. Those handles come in handy for hanging your paper bag on a hook.
I then cover my mint with newspapers to keep them dry and dust free.
If I need mint in a recipe, I have the real stuff! Be careful, a little goes a long way.
If you happen to have an attic or basement that is particularly attractive to mice, place mint all around the areas where they are most likely entering. Rather than confront the pungent aroma, mice will decide to set up housekeeping somewhere else!
Remember not to use toxic chemicals! They are deadly to humans, pets and wildlife; particularly the owls and other animals that prey on mice and rats. It is a painfully slow death they endure after swallowing poisoned rodents. Instead, use the mint or humane traps. If you don't like transporting rats and mice in a trap, use the old-fashioned snap traps, or the covered traps that let you know when they are full. Those are totally disposable, and you never have to see or touch the critter.
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