Mint can become a very invasive plant and can easily take over your garden. Mint not only makes your garden look messy, but it will impact the health and growth of your vegetable garden. The most practical way to deal with plant mints in a garden is to remove them entirely by hand or smother them.
So, what are the ways to remove mint from a raised garden bed? Can mint grow back in a garden bed? Why does mint form in a garden anyway? Is mint challenging to get rid of in a garden? How do I keep mint from taking over my garden? Finally, what happens if mint overtakes my garden?
Continue reading to learn more about mint and how to get rid of it when it takes over your garden.
How Do You Get Rid of Mint in Raised Beds?
To remove mint from a raised bed, removing every piece of the mint’s stem, rhizome, and roots is essential. If you have other plants in the raised bed, transplant them to another location to avoid digging them out and killing their roots. Use a simple spade to dig the mint out bit by bit, sifting the soil and removing any pieces of their runners. Once you remove as much as you can, monitor the ground over a few weeks and continue to remove any new growth.
If you want to be thorough, apply a layer of mulch over the soil after pulling out the mint, smothering any possible sprouts.
Another method involves pouring boiling water over the mint plants. This method can also kill other plants you may want to protect, so be careful when using this method.
Can Mint Grow Back in a Garden Bed?
Mint is a perennial plant and will grow back every year around early Spring if you leave it alone. However, this plant is also very resilient and can grow from runners left behind in the soil if you try to dig it out. It is essential to be thorough when removing mint plants because they are resilient.
Why Does Mint Form in a Garden?
There are many varieties of mint, such as peppermint, chocolate mint, and spearmint. All mint varieties are fast growers because they send runners above and just underneath the soil to spread outward, forming large patches. Mint plants have an incredibly resilient rhizome, or central stem, from which the runners form and stretch.
Mint is also a perennial herb, so they will return strong as ever every year, continuing to spread.
If you are considering planting an herb garden, plant the mint separately to avoid a mint infestation.
Is Mint Difficult to Get Rid of in a Garden?
All mint plants develop a robust underground root system, making them somewhat tricky to eliminate.
If you plan to remove the mint from your garden, wait until late Spring or early summer during their active growing season. Spray the entire patch with an effective herbicide that contains glyphosate. This herbicide is non-selective and will kill other plants you might not want to get rid of: Repot or move surrounding plants you want to save before applying the herbicide.
When using herbicides, it is essential to read the instructions and wear the proper gear before applying. Most herbicides will also include instructions on how long to wait after applying before you can plant again.
How Do I Keep Mint from Taking Over My Garden?
The main culprit of the mint plant’s tendency to take over your garden is their elaborate root system. Before planting any mint in your garden bed, plant them in a pot or container and then bury the pot into the garden bed.
Every few weeks, turn the pot in the garden bed to keep the roots from possibly growing out of the drainage holes. Plastic pots are the best option as they do not dry out quickly and are easy to turn.
Consider using a raised bed to keep your mint separate from your central garden or simply keeping your mint in a large planting pot outside your main garden bed. Ultimately, the key to managing mint is keeping it contained.
What Happens if Mint Overtakes My Garden?
If you let mint grow without trying to contain it, these plants can eventually choke out anything with their strong roots. As the mint grows and expands, the mint leaves will eventually shadow the other plants blocking the sunlight while taking up the moisture and nutrients of the soil. Eventually, surrounding plants cannot compete with the mint’s veracious energy.
Conclusion: How to Remove Mint from a Garden
Many types of mint have resilient rhizomes and swift runners that allow them to overgrow, choking out other plants and stealing sunlight and nutrients from the soil.
The best way to keep your mint plants from growing out of control is through container gardening to keep the roots from spreading throughout your entire garden.
You can get rid of mint by using herbicides or digging out every piece of the plant from the soil. If parts of the mint plant are left behind, new plants will grow, so monitoring the soil for a few weeks before planting anything else is essential. Mint is a perennial plant that will grow yearly if you let it be.