Get The Most Out of Your Mint from Backyard Eats

Harvesting Mint

When It’s Ready
  • Pick individual leaves when the plant reaches at least 4″ height
  • Pick handfuls of mint leaves regularly to continuously stimulate growth of the plant
  • If harvesting a large amount, cut at the the plant at the base of the stem before it begins to flower
  • May – late November
How To
  • Use a sharp knife or shears to clip stems and/or leaves away from the bush

About Mediterranean Herbs

Mediterranean herbs are plants that grow 0.5-3 ft tall. They require partial to full sun to thrive, but not trellising or pruning.

Flowering/Fruiting Tendencies

Mediterranean herbs are easy, multi-harvest plants for fresh use, drying, teas, and medicines. Most are typically easy to establish and just need seasonal clean-ups.

Design Notes

Space herbs about 18″ apart. Most are Mediterranean herbs don’t do well in super cold or moist soil. Will overwinter better in warm conditions.

Care Notes

Kitchen herbs benefit from compost. Mulching can be kept to a minimum as many kitchen herbs won’t benefit from the extra moisture retention. Kitchen herbs can typically be thinned/harvested in the summer and fall to keep them from growing wild. Many will get unwieldy and less productive after a few years and may need to be replaced.

Newly planted perennials require some additional care to help establish and support the plants as they grow. Water newly planted perennials deeply at the root 2-3 times a week during the first growing season. Apply compost and wood chip mulch in the late winter/early spring.

Storing Mint

Fresh Storage: Keep in a dark, cool, and dry place for continual use after harvesting.

Long-Term Storage: “Woody” perennial herbs like mint can be dried at home to enjoy all year long! First, trim stems from the main plant. Tie 3-5 stems together into a bundle, then hang them to dry in a cool, dark, and well-ventilated place for 2-3 weeks. 

Once the herbs are dry and brittle, you can store and enjoy them long-term.

Cooking With Mint

  1. Mint Tea: Steep fresh mint leaves in hot water for a soothing and refreshing herbal tea. Add a touch of honey or lemon for extra flavor if desired.
  2. Mint Mojito: Muddle fresh mint leaves with lime wedges and sugar in a glass. Add rum, ice, and soda water for a classic and refreshing cocktail. Garnish with mint sprigs for an extra touch.
  3. Mint Yogurt Sauce: Blend fresh mint leaves with plain yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. This tangy and herbaceous sauce pairs well with grilled meats, roasted vegetables, or as a dip for pita bread.
  4. Mint Pesto: Blend fresh mint leaves, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon juice to create a unique and vibrant mint pesto. Use it as a sauce for pasta, spread it on sandwiches, or as a flavorful marinade for grilled meats.
  5. Mint Salad Dressing: Blend fresh mint leaves with olive oil, vinegar (such as apple cider or white wine vinegar), honey, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. Drizzle this refreshing dressing over mixed greens or your favorite salad for a burst of minty flavor.

Try These Mint Recipes:

Want To Learn More?

At Backyard Eats, we’re passionate about helping our clients discover and share the magic of homegrown good. Our Harvest Guides will teach you everything you need to know to harvest, store, and cook with fresh produce right from your own backyard! Our Harvest Toolkit Directory includes a list of all our step-by-step guides. Click below to give them a try!

Do you want more homegrown recipe inspiration? Click here to share your own recipe, or below to browse our Recipe Index.