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Planting Mint in Urns

Martha Stewart Living Television

Corsican mint (Mentha requiennii) is quite tough; it tolerates being tread upon as a ground cover or lawn alternative. Despite its delicate-looking leaves, it is also advantageously displayed spilling over the edges of an oversize urn. This perennial thrives in full sun or shade. To release its fragrance, simply rub your hands through the plant or lightly crush its peppermint-scented, bright green leaves.

Tools and Materials

  • Large urn
  • Clay-pot shards
  • Perlite
  • Landscape cloth
  • Potting soil (recipe follows)
  • Mint plants

Mint Urn How-To
1. Drill holes in the bottom of the urn if no drainage holes already exist. Place clay-pot shards in the bottom of the urn for drainage.

2. Fill the urn about three-quarters full with perlite. Put a piece of landscape cloth on top of the perlite to separate it from potting mixture; the cloth allows the water to drain through, but keeps the soil from mixing with the perlite.

3. Add the potting soil, leaving just enough space so the mint plants peek over the side of the urn. Loosen plants from pots, and break up roots with your fingers. Place mint plants into medium and mound the soil around them. Water plants well.

All-Purpose Potting Soil
7 cups soil
The organic matter in soil helps the mix hold water and provides minerals. The soil and peat together provide body to the mixture, giving it weight and adding stability to the pot.

10 1/2 cups peat
Peat has excellent water-holding properties.

7 cups perlite
Derived from silica, perlite is about one-tenth the weight of sand. It has very fine draining qualities but no nutrient value.

5 /2 cups vermiculite
Vermiculite is also very light and holds a lot of water. It contains small amounts of potassium, which promotes good root systems and strong stems, as well as calcium and magnesium.

3 1/2 cups #3 coarse sand
Very coarse sand adds weight to the mixture and provides excellent drainage. Don't go overboard with sand, however, as it might be too heavy for some pots.

1 cup charcoal
Charcoal is carbonized wood that contains phosphorus, which promotes flowering and is essential for good root growth, as well as potassium.

2 cups bonemeal
Bonemeal helps counteract the acidic nature of the peat. It also supplies phosphorus and nitrogen, which encourages vegetative growth.

5 tablespoons lime
Lime also helps to counteract the acidity of the peat.

1/3 cup of Osmocote
Osmocote is a three-month, slow-release fertilizer.

Resources
Corsican mint may be available from Well Sweep Herb Farm. Landscape cloth is available at your local garden center.