Besides the myrtle plant, having mint as ground cover is the preferable choice for many gardeners as it will create a beautiful bright green color and fragrant smell, benefiting your walkway or garden paths.
Besides, the plant is easy to grow and care for.
To form an excellent flat carpet of these tiny green leaves, you need to plan with precaution, as some types are very aggressive.
Let’s see how to have a fragment mint ground cover without too much invasion of unwanted areas of your garden. Scroll down for more!
Mint As Ground Cover – Is It Possible?
Yes, it’s possible to have ground cover mint. The plant offers a wonderful minty aroma and a beautiful green garden bed for your landscape.
However, you should understand its invasive nature of replacing other plants in the area and take proper care of it.
The plant has about 2,000 different cultivars, such as Peppermint, Scotch Mint, Spearmint, Wild Mint, etc., which can thrive in your garden.
The most popular and ideal option is Corsican mint lawn because it’s low-growing mint, making it easy to handle the foot traffic.
The plant has bright green clusters, tiny mauve flowers, and a pepper-minty aroma. Its low height makes it suitable for bedding, especially around the stepping stones to decorate your garden.
Plus, its strong mint fragrance from flowers blooming from June to August refreshes your area on a hot day.
The plant thrives in partial shade and well-draining soil. Let’s read more to find out what else you should be concerned about while planning mint grass.
Tips On Growing Mint As Ground Cover
Choose The Proper Variety
As mentioned above, you can choose from many mint varieties to create a beautiful, aromatic garden bed.
However, you should choose the suitable one depending on your living area climate and how high you want the plant to grow.
If you live in tropical or subtropical areas, I suggest you go for spearmint, pineapple mint, lemon mint, and chocolate mint. If your site is cold, you’d better choose peppermint, apple mint, and orange mint.
The plant’s height and speed of growing are also important factors to consider before growing.
Corsican is among the most popular choices since they are low-growing and can work well within their capacity.
Meanwhile, using peppermint as ground cover is less common because of their height.
Plant In The Suitable Spot
Since the plant grows quickly and can easily take over other grass, I highly recommend you plant it in a confined and weed-free space, such as a raised bed of 5 to 6 inches in height or a container (with drainage holes).
Another useful method to grow mint ground is to bury the pots in the ground and raise the plant inside. It can prevent your garden bed from the risk of invasion.
In addition, you can use landscape borders or barriers to stop the plant from thriving in unwanted areas and mess up your garden.
Is mint a good ground cover? Yes, it is, if you provide it with proper care, including the following aspects:
The plant loves sunlight and can adapt to a range of light conditions. However, although they can withstand full sun, it is better to provide dappled light, especially on hot days.
The average hour of receiving sunlight every day is from 5 to 6. You can offer them light shade or a screen to benefit the plant from 12 to 14 hours of filtered sunlight.
Generally, this versatile plant can grow in different types of soils, including acidic, sandy, or clay. Yet, it prefers rich, moist soil with 6-7 pH levels.
Organic matter or a layer of mulch can be added to keep moisture.
The ability to tolerate various soil types is also one of its disadvantages, as it can easily thrive and threaten neighboring flower beds by soaking up all the nutrition if you don’t control it properly.
Thus, always keep an observation on its growth.
Regular watering is necessary to keep the soil moist, especially between the stepping stones during summer, because the plant cannot withstand drought.
However, you should not water too much as it can lead to flooding and root rot.
In the winter, the plant needs less water since it will go dormant and only requires the soil to be slightly dry to avoid severe, icy freeze.
I advise you to grow around 5 to 8 plants at a distance of 2-3 feet apart from each other as they can spread up quickly.
Temperature And Humidity
Corsican mint groundcover can be frozen when experiencing low temperatures and heavy snowfall.
The plant thrives in USDA hardiness zones 7 through 9, where it has slightly cold winters and fairly warm summers. However, it can self-seed and thrive again when the spring comes.
The leaves are quite sensitive to humidity. They can get slimy and black once exposed to too much wetness.
The best time for fertilizing is in the early spring. The fertilizer should be given with proper frequency and quantity according to the plant’s needs.
Due to its low maintenance, it does not require too much fertilizer to thrive. So, if you provide more than it needs, you can kill the plant.
Mowing and hand pruning are the two best techniques for growing mint groundcover.
The former is more suitable for a large area where you just need to set a lower mode for your lawn mower to finish the job.
The latter method is applied when you have a smaller and more manageable garden. Use the snipping scissors to prune the excessive leaves to keep the spot tidy.
You can put these leaves in hot tea or cold drinks to enjoy the aromatic minty taste or use it as herbal medicine.
Harvesting can be done at any stage, but the best time is during the hot days of summer when the leaves get 12-14 hours of daily sunlight and produce the best quality oil.
Decide the number of leaves you need and cut up to ⅔ of their stems. The aroma of the herbs reaches its peak before the plants start to bloom; thus, harvest at this time if you can.
Besides cutting fresh leaves for putting in various types of drinks, you can also make dried mint for daily demand.
The strong peppermint scent protects the plant from most insects, yet you may see spider mites appear.
Don’t use the pesticide, but apply neem oil or the manual spraying technique to eliminate the issue.
This low-maintenance plant does not have too many troubles with diseases. Yet, soil not well-drained with excessive water can be an ideal condition for fungal pathogens, causing root rot.
Thus, the most important job is to watch out for the root while growing.
One more thing to pay attention to is when winter approaches, cold weather can cause the plant to be frozen. Using mulch can somehow help you deal with the issue.
Or you can choose to do nothing except wait for the spring to come, and the herbal leaves will self-seed. It’s the plant’s natural life cycle, so you should not be too worried.
Will Mint Take Over Grass?
Yes, it’s highly possible that this fast-growing herb can invade and take over grasses, as some types are very aggressive.
Even the less invasive and easy-to-contain types like Corsican can also purposefully take over some portions of the turf grasses.
However, no matter its aggressive or aggressive type, it will need a planting plan, preparation, effort, and major bare patches to take over the entire lawn.
Once you want to have a peppermint ground cover, you should plan properly.
Just throwing the seeds into the soil will not work as you desire. Plus, buying the herbal plant from a local nursery is more advisable to guarantee a better result.
What Can You Use Mint For?
Gardeners use mint as a ground cover or container plant. It’s also useful in culinary as it gives cold or hot drinks, such as tea, an extra fresh and strong flavor.
Its punchy flavor is also preferable in many cooked meals and baked goods. In addition, it’s a popular medical herb used in many regions.
The Bottom Lines
Growing mint as ground cover is a great idea to beautify your garden with an incredibly greenish and aromatic scent.
However, keep in mind that creeping mint ground cover should be done with precaution.
Its ability to spread quickly can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. It can help you faster in filling up empty space, yet its natural invasive characteristic can let it take over other species in the area.
Thus, you should always have a good plan to control them.In addition, if you want to grow the plant effectively, provide them with partial shade and well-drained soil.
Besides, remember to follow all the tips mentioned above for a beautiful green mint yard.