Hey gang, I'm back. And it is confession time. I made a huge mistake! It's a mistake a rookie in herbs would make too. So here's what happened. Last year I got a start of a pretty neat mint called Kentucky Colonel Spearmint. It is the official mint used in the making of Mint Juleps. And I had a really hard time finding this. Suddenly it was in my possession, and I went kinda crazy and said to myself, "Ok, we are putting this in the ground where it can be safe away from my husband's lawnmower. I'll only keep it in my flower bed until the next spring where I will find a permanent bed."
Yeah, you already know the score, don't you? The number one rule is, never and I mean never, plant a mint plant where you don't want it to over-take the bed. By early this spring, my Kentucky Colonel had taken over half the bed. I tried to get some of it out, and I did, but a lot still remains.
Trouble is, I am afraid of losing it if I try to keep it in a pot. So here's what I can do. I can plant it in some out of the way spot and let it go to town, or half-bury a pot in the ground and try to keep those little roots from escaping. While I'm deliberating, I'm thinking of all the icy drinks I can have this summer with a few sprigs of either Peppermint or Kentucky Colonel added.
Kentucky Colonel spearmint (Mentha spicata) and Peppermint (Mentha ×piperita), are both great added to jellies, tea and baked goods. This year I'm going to try drying both to use primarily as tea but for other purposes too. To dry them, pick the leaves on a nice sunny day when it is dry. Pick the leaves off the stems and lay out on a baking sheet. Turn your oven to the lowest setting. Check after 6-8 minutes and at that time turn off the oven and keep the door closed for half an hour. After that time, check the leaves. They should be completely dry and able to be crumbled. Let cool, label and store in a tightly sealed container. You'll have tea whenever you want and DON'T make my mistake. I have a feeling I will be weeding out little starts of Kentucky Colonel for a long time to come!