Homegrown: Getting rid of mint
How can I get rid of mint? I planted it in a pot in a raised bed about five years ago. I have taken the pot out and dug it up.
Unfortunately, it is now stronger and more widespread than ever.
Mint can be a terrible nuisance when it gets away from you.
Digging the plant up will work, but you almost have to sift the soil to remove all of the major roots and rhizomes.
Rhizomes are underground stems the plant puts out to help it spread. The smallest piece of rhizome left in the soil will sprout and continue the problem.
You don’t have to get every tiny fine root out, just the bigger ones.
The only alternative I have for you is to spray the plant with an herbicide. It’s too late this year to do anything, but next spring, when the plant starts growing, get started.
The best material to use is probably a Fertilome product called Weed Free Zone. It’s a combination of four different weed killers and does the best job on broad-leaved weeds.
One spraying probably won’t get rid of the mint completely. It has a pretty extensive root system, and it will take a bit of persistence to get it under control.
The plant will start to brown out in a few days after you spray and most of it won’t resprout. Spray again when any mint does sprout back up.
If you beat it down when you see new sprouts, you’ll be able to get rid of this plague in time.
Since the herbicide is primarily absorbed through the foliage, you don’t want to pull the plant or cut any of the foliage off before you spray. The more foliage you have, the more you can spray and the more the plant will absorb. Also, try to wait 24 hours before watering after spraying.
You want to be careful spraying around desirable plants.
This herbicide won’t hurt grasses, but it will damage or kill any broad-leaved plant it gets on. Be sure of where you’re applying it when spraying near other plants in the yard.
Also, because this product has some soil activity, you just want to thoroughly wet the leaves of the mint but not soak the soil.
The last word of caution I’d offer is that this product isn’t labeled for use in vegetable gardens.
If the mint is growing in an area such as that, I’m afraid the only method I can suggest is digging it up.