What if I told you I had enough mint this summer to make a million mojitos? No kidding. Maybe a curbillion.
Seriously – removing 200 pounds of an invasive plant like mint from a drought tolerant/native plant garden is a challenge. In fact, a popular misnomer about “prairie” or “native” or “drought tolerant” gardens is that they are maintenance free. They are not. This took some serious hard work and I had to call in my garden team to help with pulling the over 200 pounds of mint and weeds out of the back community garden. In the video above you see how it was done.
First we pulled out all the mint and weeds. Next, we mixed Organic Mechanics Soil in to the area we pulled all the mint and weeds out of – compost and organic soil mixtures are a fabulous way to boost the native and/or drought tolerant planting area.
After that we worked up a “wave” design and planted Plants Nouveau’s amazing Campanula’ Freya’ and Lobelia cardinalis ‘Fried Green Tomatoes’ plants in the areas which hold more water along the fence line. We worked in Terra Nova Nurseries terrific Echinacea plants – ‘Gum Drop’, ‘Maui Sunshine’, and ‘Phoenix’. They also sent out Veronica ‘Aztec Gold’, Nepeta ‘Blue Dragon’, Eucomis ‘Oakhurst’, Eucomis ‘Freckles’, Heuchera ‘Lipstick’, ‘Hollywood’, and ‘Cherry Cola’ plants in the dryer areas – these plants worked marvelously as strong features in the drought tolerant garden.
Gardens of any kind are maintenance, so be prepared to put in maintenance hours when you design and build your special garden. Think before you put a plant into the garden which might be invasive (a.k.a. mint), because BELIEVE ME it will eventually get out of hand.
What plants do you consider invasive in your garden?
Special thanks to Cathy Demarchi, Josette Cook, Katie Szekely, and Eric Bustria for their hard work in helping me get all those horrid mint plants out of the beds. You see us in the top photo (left to right – Cathy, Katie, Josette, and Shawna).