Horrors of Mint

What's Left of My Iris Bed

Years ago, and I’m talking maybe 10, I stupidly thought I wanted some herbs. I planted some chamomile, basil, lavender, sage and… mint.

The lavender came up and did okay the first year, but it just struggled the whole time and never came back. The basil was wonderful, but isn’t one that apparently comes back and I never planted more.

The sage did beautifully for several years, but we pulled it when we needed to rework the bed it was in and I never planted more because it attracted way too many bees right outside my back door. I still haven’t figured out where I want to plant again that won’t be an issue for Hubby and mowing.

The chamomile is beautiful when it takes over and is in full bloom but looks dead and scraggly pretty quickly. It made it really difficult to keep the bed we had it in free of weeds because we couldn’t put down any pre-emergant if I wanted the chamomile, so even the chamomile eventually went away.

The mint though… it NEVER goes away. No matter what you do to try to get rid of it or kill it off. It creeps and hides underground and spreads worse than most weeds. You can’t pull it out as it breaks. You can try digging it out, but there are so many teeny tiny roots that will still remain and sprout new plants when you least expect it. Weed killer (which I really hate using) takes care of some, but you have to be so careful not to hit any plants that are anywhere near where you are using it. We thought we had finally gotten rid of it and I cleaned that bed out and filled it with irises. We hadn’t gotten rid of it. It came back and nearly took over, choking out my irises, which is actually kind of difficult to do. I’ve now come to the conclusion that I could probably concrete over the crap and it would still find a way to grow.

Today, I dug out every last iris in that bed, cleaned every speck of dirt off the rhizomes and roots and put them in buckets to wait replanting in the fall. So many of them were not in good shape and I don’t know what is going to survive. Luckily, all the irises in this bed were ones I had in other places around the yard so I shouldn’t lose any one variety.

Sadly, I have another tier in this bed that has a few more irises and a few lilies that also need to be dug out because Hubby plans to reset the walls on those tiers, but I am so done for the day. Now, it is up to Hubby to do whatever it is he needs to do to get rid of that stupid mint once and for all. Even if that means digging out and hauling off 6 feet deep worth of dirt and completely replacing with new topsoil. Or, you know, drop a bomb on it. I don’t care as long as that crap gets out of my yard.

Author: TJ Fox

Slightly sane artist, book addict, wife and mother of 3 who is forever rethinking her place in this world.

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