Welcome to this post about how you collect mint seeds. Collecting the seeds after the mint plant has gone to bloom is really going full circle with gardening. You now have the ability to continue on the string of mint that you have growing at home. But it is not very common practice doing this with mint for most people. So if you are curious then you can follow along down below where we will cover some of the common concerns.
If you want to read a complete and comprehensive guide to growing mint at home then have put together an article just for that, you can find it here, How To Grow And Care For Mint.
How Do You Collect Mint Seeds
The only real way of collecting mint seeds is by letting them go to bloom and then waiting for the small pods that will develop to turn brown before you pick them. Mint will usually bloom some time in late summer. Before that it will have hopefully enjoyed a warm and nice summer season providing plenty of harvest.
One thing you might want to do to be able to pick more mint seeds is not touching it whatsoever like the last month of summer. This will let it develop more flowers that will in turn become more seeds. You might also be aware that if you want the plant to bloom then it will not taste as intense as before. This is because most of the energy will go toward making sure it can bloom and get pollinated.
Another thing that is really good if you have mint blooming and developing seed pods is to pick them anyway. Mint can pretty easily spread to other places so preventing it from doing that can help you not have such a hassle later on next year. If you have read some of our other articles here on the site then you would know that mint is a fierce competitive herb that can choke out neighboring plants.
So to reiterate a bit again on the question. The only way of collecting seeds is letting the mint go to bloom and develop seed pods. Only pick these when they have turned brown. After that you should dry them outside for another 2 – 3 weeks before considering squeezing the seeds out.
Knowing how to grow a mint plant from the seed is a very important lesson to learn. In this article we will talk about exactly that. Find it here, How To Grow Mint From Seed.
How Long Are Mint Seeds Viable
Most of the seeds you buy at the store or online are not from the last season. This is because seeds usually can last for quite some time. But the fresher they are the better they will grow, for the most part, there are exceptions of course. But if you collect some of your mint seeds one year and you want to wait. Then you can rest assured that they will be viable in early spring, ready for sowing.
As for storing mint seeds, you should really do it like any other. A dry place where no moisture can get to it will be perfectly fine. If it gets wet or damp it can harm the seed and it can actually rot. It would be a terrible shame to let all that hard work from the season before go to waste. We like to keep the seeds we collect in a small container, labeled with the contents inside in a cabinet. If I feel a bit worried about the moisture content then I like to put a small piece of paper inside to suck up whatever would sneak in there.
Having a bushy mint plant is often a sign of a very healthy one. In this article we will talk about some techniques you can apply to achieve this. Find it here, How Do I Make My Mint Plant Bushy?
What To Do With Mint When It Goes To Seed
Once your mint plant has gone to seed then the only real thing you should do is either collect the seeds or cut it down. As it has gone to seed, the overall flavor of the herb will be dulled. This is because the mint plant spends more energy focusing on blooming and spreading itself to its surroundings. So it won’t taste fantastic at this point.
Much like in its normal habitat, it will wilt down eventually after modern nature has done her thing. So cutting it down at the end of the season is a good idea. It will let it rest a bit to come back even stronger for the next year. If you are cutting it down you can also consider taking some cuttings. You can propagate these indoors. I like to do this to keep myself busy when winter comes around and I want something to do on the side.
I want to leave you with this advice, that you should really consider picking away the seeds that have either fallen off or are about to. This is just to prevent you getting mint growing in your garden where you don’t want it. Like we laid out before in this article is that the herb can really start being evasive and preventing other plants from growing properly. It steals some of the nutrition and pushes them out. So the best prevention is to just remove and pick up the seeds and either save them or discard them.
How does mint really spread? If you are wondering this then we have the article for you. Find it here, Does Mint Spread By Seed?
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