How to Grow Mint
- Choose a site where mint can roam freely without disturbing other plants in your garden. It's happiest in partial shade and in moist, moderately rich, slightly acid soil, but it will grow in any light from full sun to full shade and in any kind of soil you happen to have.
- Buy mint plants at the nursery for planting in early spring, as soon as the ground can be worked. (Mint does not grow well from seed.)
- Plant mint in its ideal conditions if you want a vigorous ground cover. To contain its enthusiasm, give it a less-than-perfect home (for instance, full sun and soil that's on the dry side).
- Set plants 12 to 18 inches apart, depending on the variety. To control their rampant ways, plant them in bottomless containers sunk into the soil. Clay drainage tiles, about 10 inches deep and 6 to 8 inches across, are ideal.
- Keep the soil moist until the plants are established.
- Pinch stem ends off each spring to keep plants bushy. At the end of the gardening season, prune plants back to near ground level and top-dress with compost.
- Harvest sprigs as you need them throughout the growing season.
- Tip: if you want your mint to be more under control then grow in a container.
How to Grow Rhubarb
For delicious rhubarb from January to April try forcing rhubarb from November time. Follow our simple and quick guide below to extend the rhubarb season in your garden.
- Clear the area around your rhubarb plants for forcing, making sure the area is free of weeds and that any old leaves or damaged parts are removed from the plant. Cover the crowns with a layer of well rotted, dry compost to feed and insulate.
- Using a forcing jar, bin or pot to exclude light place over the rhubarb plant. Ensure that there are no holes letting in the light. In colder areas or for quicker results pack straw around the outside of pot to insulate.
- Rhubarb should be ready for harvesting approximately 8 weeks later.
- Tip: cumfry and nettle fertiliser are great feed for rhubarb.
- After forcing your rhubarb give your rhubarb a good rest for the rest of the season to help it to recover.