Escape to the Chateau's Dick Strawbridge has revealed his smart tip for planting mint in a raised bed.
Dick Strawbridge shot to fame alongside his wife, Angel Strawbridge, on Channel 4's Escape to the Chateau. Together they have renovated and restored a 45-bedroom, 19th-century chateau in the Pays de la Loire, including the walled garden.
In a video for Homebase, Dick demonstrated his smart solution for how to grow mint and make sure it doesn't take over your raised beds. All you need is a large empty plant pot.
Mint is one of the most popular herbs, and with good reason. Brilliant in cooking and tea, and coming in many varieties, it's also very easy to grow. Maybe too easy, in fact, to the point where it can wreak havoc with your planting scheme.
If you want to know, you'll need to know how to contain it. Otherwise, one day soon there will be just mint in your garden – something Dick Strawbridge knows all too well.
'You should only ever have to buy mint once,' announces Dick in the video – 'it lasts forever and spreads like a weed.'
Mint is so vigorous that, as Dick reminds us, if you just plant it wherever in your garden it will 'go everywhere and be a real pain in the neck.'
You've probably heard this about mint already. What you may not have heard is that 'mint spreads by putting out tentacles left and right,' as Dick puts it, which is why it makes sense to plant it in a plastic pot before planting it out in your raised garden beds or borders.
Be sure to take the bottom out, though – 'I don't mind my roots going down,' says Dick. 'The further down they go, the more goodness they find.'
All you're doing with this method is preventing your mint from growing sideways.
Now just place your pot inside the bed, so that the top is level with the ground, and plant your mint in there.
Dick recommends planting mint close to garden paths, for the simple reason that you will have easier access to it when you want to pick some. And if you love mint as much as Dick and his family, that will be often.
The avid gardener and cook explains that 'mint is not just for lamb'. He reveals that the family also use it in teas, Greek salads, and a melon and mint salad.
'There can never be too much mint,' Dick says – just so long as it doesn't take over your kitchen garden ideas.
Anna writes about interior design and gardening. Her work has appeared in Homes & Gardens, Livingetc, and many other publications. She is an experienced outdoor and indoor gardener and has a passion for growing roses and Japanese maples in her outside space.
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