If you are determined to grow your own mint plant, you need to know a few essential things, including how to harvest mint. Though the process itself isn’t complicated, if you are unsure how to go about it, you could kill your mint before you even get the chance to try it.
If you are a mint lover, then why not grow your own? Growing food is fun and easy if you do proper research first. Mint is a perennial herb with a signature fresh flavor, perfecting cold and hot teas (Types of Teapots).
Though it may seem a little intimidating, this herb is incredibly easy to pick regarding how to harvest mint. As long as you follow a few simple guidelines and make sure you have the right tools, you have nothing to worry about. Learn how to harvest mint the right way.
How to Harvest Mint
To harvest mint leaves
- Use a pair of clippers or sharp scissors to cut off stems at any length you want. I typically use these very sharp garden snips.
- Make your cuts right above a leaf node- where new leaves are coming out at either side of the stem. Mint is typically difficult to pinch through with your fingernails, so make sure to use snips.
- Rotate through your mint plants at each harvest if you have more than one, but don’t worry about your plants making a comeback! Constant pruning is great for mint.
- You can use fresh mint leaves immediately or put the stems in a glass of water for 3-5 days.
- For longer storage (about a week), wrap them in a damp paper towel, put them in a plastic bag, and store them in your refrigerator.
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How To Harvest a lot of Mints
- Leave ½ – ⅔ of a plant when cutting it back, but mint can take a much more severe prune. Use a pair of garden clippers to cut down your mint plant(s) about 1-3” above the ground.
- After this big harvest, you’ll need to let them recover, but your plants will regrow and give you a second large harvest at the end of the season.
Once your mint has regrown several inches, you can go back to picking it regularly.
How do you pick mint without killing the plant?
This herb is incredibly easy to pick when it comes to how to harvest mint. All you need to do is clip off stems of any length and strip off the leaves in your kitchen.
It is difficult to kill mint by harvesting it. As long as you leave some growth on your plant, it most likely, presents any issues. Enough for mint means at least one inch of the plant is still above ground.
How do you harvest and preserve mint?
Hang a bunch of mint stems upside down in a dark, well-ventilated space. Cover the leaves in a brown paper bag and leave the bunch to dry. Mint leaves take around 1 to 2 weeks to dry. Once the green leaves easily crumble, carefully remove them from the paper bag and separate the leaves from the dry stem.
Does mint regrow after cutting?
To take cuttings from mint, use sharp scissors or pruning shears to cut stems about 3 to 5 inches (8-10 cm.) long. Remove at least two or three leaves from the lower part of the stem but leave the top leaves intact. New growth will appear at the nodes.
Where do you cut mint leaves?
Harvest mint leaves at any size by pinching off stems. For a large harvest, wait until the plant blooms, when the flavor is most intense, then cut the whole plant to just above the first or second set of leaves. In the process, you will remove the yellowing lower leaves and promote bushier growth.
How to air dry mint?
For air drying, you’ll want to harvest 6-8” long stems.
- Gather the stems into small bundles and tie them together at their cut ends. Large bundles are more prone to mildew.
- Hang your bundles in a warm and dry place from direct sunlight. Placing a paper bag with holes cut it in for air circulation over your mint can help protect them from sunlight, which degrades their taste, and keeps any fallen leaves in the bag.
- Mint typically takes 2-3 weeks to dry fully.
- When the leaves are crispy, take them off the stems but leave them whole. Store in airtight containers away from heat and light.
How to dry mint in the dehydrator?
- Preheat your dehydrator to its lowest setting. Low is usually 95ºF-115ºF.
- Place clean mint leaves on a single layer on the dehydrator trays.
- Dry until the leaves crumble easily.
- Store in a dark, cool location.
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Can you dry mint in the oven?
You can dry mint in the oven, but it may not taste as well as if you use a dehydrator.
- Remove clean mint leaves from stems.
- Place the leaves flat on a paper towel, but don’t allow the leaves to touch.
- Cover with additional layers of leaves and a paper towel.
- Dry in your oven on its lowest setting. This may take 1-4 hours, depending on the humidity.
- Store in an airtight container in a dark, cool location.
What can you do with mint?
- Make mint tea. Add a spoonful to a tea strainer, drop it in your favorite mug, pour boiling water over the top, and steep for 3-5 minutes. You can also make fresh mint tea.
- Add mint to a bowl with fresh watermelon chunks and feta cheese for a delicious summer salad.
- Make mint jelly.
- Add your mint to fresh fruit salads.
- Make mint yogurt salad dressing.
- Make your own mint extract using dry or fresh mint.
What are some mint varieties?
- Licorice mint plant
- Hummingbird mint leave plant
- Pineapple mint live plant
- Apple mint
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Peppermint is packed with flavor. It’s both sweet, cooling, and refreshing. They are used fresh or dried in tea and lemonade.
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Additional Tips on How to Harvest Mint
- Always clean your gardening snips to ensure you don’t accidentally transmit plant diseases.
- If you want to harvest many mints, you must do it in the midseason. It will give you a large batch of mint for a recipe or for drying and storing.
- Leaves are at their most aromatic during midseason, and flowering will cause the leaves to start losing flavor.
- Harvest a substantial quantity if you want to dry mint tea for homemade mint tea all winter.