Mint-Jewelin’

I just left a friend’s house in Phoenixville with a clementine box full of  mint plants (Mentha spicata, I think) which I dug up from his yard.  It’s amazing how veracious some mint grows, yet it’s so useful and lovely to smell that many people don’t give it the same disrespect as other such weedy plants.

Freshly dig mint

The first mint I dug up seriously seemed to be one 2-inch seedling but turned out to be an off-shoot of a 2-foot plant. I pulled up 3 of those bad boys and I know I’ll probably be in over my head in no time.  Normally I wouldn’t transplant like this because I could also be introducing foreign pests into the bed but I’m planning to plant it in a corner of my garden bed that’s full of big nasty dandelions and only a few bushes nearby that the landscape could do without if they do die.

I have a bit of jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) growing near there now, which I dug up at my local park and I’m hoping it, combined with the mint, will weed out the dandelions.

Jewelweed has medicinal uses and this mint is the best kind for teas, so if I’m going to have a weedy patch, it might as well be a useful one!

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Gardening on a Dime and Avoiding Waste

I recently ran low on supplies for this year’s gardening and money is tight this week, so I decided to improvise with some of my seed starting.  For those of you who are also gardening on a budget or just don’t like to waste materials that are still usable, here’s a technique I put together for using would-be trash for seed starting.  All you need is some used tea lights, an empty rotisserie chicken container, sewing pins, and some coconut coir pellets (about $3 at Loews, the only ingredient I purchased specifically for this project). Continue reading