using mint in compost?

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by Crystal Lil, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. Crystal Lil

    Crystal Lil Junior Member

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    Hello everyone

    I have just cleared out a patch of mint and am wondering how best to compost the remains? I don't think it's going to be possible for me to build a hot compost heap - I don't have enough materials. I have an open compost pile that I am adding layers to when I have enough stuff and also a black plastic 'dalek' type bin. Could I put it in eiether of these, or do I have to somehow kill it first?

    Also - does anyone have any clever ideas for what I should plant in the space I've just cleared? It's a triangle that probably covers almost a square metre at the northern most point of my patch, so it gets reasonable sun. The soil is fairly heavy clay, though I have a bit of home-made compost I can add to it. At the moment it's covered in a thick mulch of straw.

    Some thoughts I've had include:
    *Just leave it under mulch until Spring (a couple of months away)
    *potatoes (to break up the soil) - plant them in august?
    *build a herb sprial
    *put in a little pond (in an attempt to invite slug/snail predators, though there are many cats that roam the back yard, so that might be a little optimistic?)
    *cover crop (mustard/phacelia/buckwheat or broad beans/wheat/rye)

    If I don't put in the pond (because it would be better in a shadier spot? because the cats would destroy any chance of frogs coming to live in it?) - my main goal would be to improve the heavy clay soil.

    Anyway - any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    If you put it in the compost you'll have mint EVERY where. Put it in a bucket and soak it for 2 weeks, or in a black plastic bag in the sun for 2 weeks. That'll kill it so you can them compost or worm farm it.

    If you don't already have a pond, I'd start with that. Getting beneficial frogs, lizards and birds in before you invite the pests by putting out a feed for them. If you lock the cats in at night the frogs will have a decent chance. Plant lots of strappy leafed plants like lomandra around the pond to give them places to hid during the day.
     
  3. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    I never put mint in the compost, ever, for the reason eco gives. I'd put it in a bucket of water too, or a black plastic bag (although I'd leave it for over a month myself). Or just leave it under cover somewhere to die, again leave it for a long time. Then you can put it in the compost or on the garden.
     
  4. Crystal Lil

    Crystal Lil Junior Member

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    Thanks guys. I've stuck it in a bucket, which will hopefully fill with rain before too long. It's been pelting down for about a week now. I'll put a lid on it when there's enough water in it.
     
  5. adrians

    adrians Junior Member

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    i can think of worse things than mint everywhere
     
  6. 100%Organic

    100%Organic Junior Member

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    Hello Crystal,

    When I read this I just had to reply becuause I am a compost fanatic, crazy about designing edible yards, and I also have a fondness for mint; strange all these topics would be in the same thread. In my herb garden there is a segregated section just for the various types of mint I enjoy for making tea. So, I would like to propose that you make tea --by boiling the steams and leaves in with your favorite lose-leaf or bag tea-- rather than toss the mint out; what a waste. Also, mint can be cut and stored in a plastic bag in the fridge for 3-5 days before it goes bad.

    On the topic of the idea you included, I think they are all quite good. As mentioned above, I think yards that are as pretty as they are edible are the best sort-- so of course I would reccommend growing something edible vesus a pond; and if you did do a pond then grow edible pond herbs/flowers in a mini eco system you create as part of the pond. What do you think?
     
  7. Crystal Lil

    Crystal Lil Junior Member

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    Hi everyone. Thanks for your replies.

    100%Organic - yes it does seem like a bit of a waste to get rid of all the mint - but I really do have more than I know what to do with. Aside from the patch I just pulled out, there's plenty more where that came from, coming up all over the place.

    I really would like to put in a pond, but I think maybe there is a better spot for it in another part of my small patch. I read somewhere that too much direct sunlight would lead to lots of algae - and it's quite a sunny spot. I'd like to grow waterchestnuts - if anyone has any other ideas for edibles to go in/around a small pond (when I say small, I mean it could only be less than a metre across), I'd be pleased to hear about them!

    I'm thinking now, maybe potatoes should go in my ex-mint spot. At the moment, it's just sitting under a straw mulch while I decide.
     
  8. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Bear in mind that the mint bed will probably regrow and it might take several weedings over time to get it mint free. Whatever you plant has to allow you to keep weeding at some point.

    Ponds can be edible!
     

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