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Can You Grow Mint in a Garage?
No herb symbolizes “refreshing coolness” more than fresh mint. Fresh mint enhances the visual appeal & flavor of salads, dips, drinks and desserts. Having fresh mint leaves, whenever you need it, would be wonderful. So can you grow mint indoors in your garage?
There are 3 ways to grow mint indoors in your garage; 1) in pots from seeds or cuttings, 2) in water jars from cuttings and 3) in a garage hydroponic system. Use Fluorescent or LED grow lights instead of the 6 hours of sunlight that mint needs.
Mint is a staple in Greek & Mediterranean cuisine, especially in lamb & poultry dishes. Cool down on a hot summer afternoon with a mint based mojito, cucumber juice or watermelon salad.
Mint is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and has anti-inflammatory properties. Mint eases irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and improves digestion. A mint tea before bed will relieve stress and help you sleep better.
How to Grow Mint in Pots from Seeds or Cuttings?
Prepare the Container
Pour the seed starting potting mix in a large plastic tub or bucket. Add water and knead with your hands or mix with a trowel. Get it nicely moist but not too wet or soggy.
I recommend using Miracle-Gro Seed Starting Potting Mix. It is specially formulated for fast root development.
Use a 1 gallon (or slightly larger) plastic container with an 8 ” or larger diameter. Fill up the container with the moist potting mix up to around 2” from the top.
Planting the Seeds / Cuttings
Sprinkle just a few seeds in each container. Cover the mint seeds with a fine layer of potting mix. Sprinkle some more water.
Mint seeds take around 2 weeks to germinate. You can hasten the process by planting cuttings instead. Get them from the gardening section of Home Depot or Lowes.
Remove the leaves from the bottom 3” of the stem and plant it an inch deep in the pot. Sprinkle enough water to get the potting mix really moist.
Mint Needs Light & Water to Grow
Cover the pot with a large plastic bag to hold the moisture. Remove the plastic bag after the first 3 weeks. Mint is not very water demanding but you need to ensure that the potting mix is moist at all times. Else the leaves will turn yellow and wilt.
Does your garage door face east or southeast? Place the container near the garage door and keep the garage door open each morning. Mint needs lots of morning sunlight to grow.
If that is not possible in your garage, place it under grow lights. Use T5 Fluorescent grow lights such as HYDRO PLANET T5 Grow Lights. Choose the size that works for your set up Use a mix of cool white and warm white fluorescent tubes to mimic natural sunlight.
Mint grows equally well under LED Grow Lights. You could use Monios-L T8 LED Grow Lights.
Managing Growth & Harvesting
You need to prune the mint plant often. This will encourage the plant to grow bushy. Use a pair of scissors to snip off the stem just above a set of two leaves. Two new stems will grow from the point the old stem was cut.
If you do not trim and cut the stray runners often, the mint plant will become unwieldy and less productive. Regular harvesting will actually increase the life and volume of your mint plant. If you see signs of flowering, pinch the top and discard. This will stop the plant from seeding.
How to Grow Mint in Glass Jars Filled with Water?
Mint can even be grown in jars filled with water. Take a stem cutting from the mother plant, remove the leaves from the bottom end and pop it in a jar of fresh water.
Replace the water every 5 – 7 days with fresh water. The stem will develop roots and new leaves will start sprouting.
This is a very simple method and creates no mess as no soil or potting mix is required. Mint grown in a water jar does need sunlight and frequent change of water.
However, the mint plant will last only a few weeks, so it is only suitable if your needs are small .
How to Grow Mint in a Garage Hydroponic System?
Mint is easy to grow in almost any garage hydroponic system. You could use the Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) Hydroponic System or the Ebb & Flow Hydroponic System quite effectively for growing mint in your garage.
The quickest and the easiest way to grow mint in a garage hydroponic system is to start from a cutting. It will save you time. Peppermint and spearmint are preferred as they are most popular anyway.
Maintain a temperature of 55–75° F for best growth. You do not need intense light for growing mint but you do need to have the lights on for anywhere between 12 to 16 hours each day.
The best lighting for growing mint hydroponically is T5 fluorescent lighting. You can use LED lighting as well.
Mint does not require any special nutrients and will do well in any standard hydroponic nutrient. Nutrient solutions with a high level of nitrogen and a pH level of 6.5–7.0 is ideal.
Mint is arguably the easiest herb to grow indoors in a garage. Mint grows vigorously. It will take over your entire backyard if not managed well. So growing it in containers or hydroponically is actually a lot better.
Including mint in your list of vegetables and herbs to grow in the garage is an excellent idea. Freshly picked mint beats grocery bought mint, by far, for visual appeal, flavor & fragrance.
Thank you very much for reading the post. I do hope you found it informative and useful.