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How strong are mint roots; will mint damage my driveway?

Hello,

I have mint at the bottom of my back yard, which came from the neighbor's. It had actually invaded his entire yard! An older lady moved in and put gravel everywhere now.

As for me: on the one hand, I'd rather the mint didn't invade everything, so I'd like to eliminate it from that back yard; but on the other hand, I make tea from it almost every day, so I'd like to keep some.

I'm considering moving it to a flower bed in front of the house. It's 12 by 50 inches (32 x 135 cm). On one side, there's the fence separating my driveway from my neighbor's, at the bottom of which the asphalt is already damaged/missing, allowing weeds to grow on a 12 inch wide stripe from the house to the sidewalk. There are dandelions, poppies, bindweed and more. And on the other side are 2 steps leading up to the house, at the bottom of which I also have lots of weeds.

Here's what it looks like :
http://www.hostingpics.net/viewer.php?id=793849IMG20170411123652.jpg
http://www.hostingpics.net/viewer.php?id=528966IMG20170411123256.jpg

My question: I know mint can be very invasive, but that's due to the runners above ground, right? I think if I put it there, the stolons wouldn't be an issue. It's the roots I'm wondering about! What are they like? Deep, shallow? Fragile, strong? Basically: if I put the mint in that flower bed, will it go run all the way in that unasphalted stripe and damage the asphalt further? Or will it not, and I will then be able to continue drinking delicious mint tea forever?

Looking forward to your insights! :)

Last edited: 11 April 2017 19:03:03

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Posts

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,347

    I grow lots of mint - I think it would be fine there - keep the soil level lower than the edging and the running roots won't be able to creep over the edge.  Your driveway will be fine image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • I can't edit my post, but "flower bed" wasn't the right term. It's a... planter? That can not be moved.

    Apologies for my English...

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,368

    I don't really understand what ids happening with the mint.(I can be very slow)

    Last edited: 11 April 2017 19:14:47

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,347

    As I see it ... mint has come in from next door and is taking over the poster's back garden - she doesn't want it in the back garden but would like to keep some and is asking if it will be ok in the planting area next to the steps by the front driveway.

    I think it'll be fine there image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Oh, you posted before me Dovefromabove. Really? That's brilliant! I'll be able to keep drinking my beloved mint tea AND have a less unruly back yard then, that's perfect. :D

    And yes, your summary was exactly it!

    Since you grow lots of mint: the planter faces West, will that be okay? I'm in western France, on the coast (just beneath Britanny) so we have nice sunny summers... Then tons of rain in the Fall and Winter...

    Last edited: 11 April 2017 19:21:44

  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 5,543

    It spreads very fast but it won't damage the tarmac - the roots are quite shallow. So yes, mintTea, as you suggest, if you can contain the runners you'll contain the mint. 

    I think that's what you're asking image

    It grows in sun or shade, more or less any soil

    Last edited: 11 April 2017 19:23:02

    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • Oh, you posted before me Dovefromabove. Really? That's brilliant! I'll be able to keep drinking my beloved mint tea AND have a less unruly back yard then, that's perfect. :D

    Since you grow lots of mint: the planter faces West, will that be okay? I'm in western France, on the coast (just south of Britany) so we have nice sunny summers... Then tons of rain in the Fall and Winter...

    Last edited: 11 April 2017 19:24:22

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,347

    Mint needs its roots to be dampish, so you may need to water it in the summer, but otherwise it should be fine.  It'll die down in the winter - in early spring chop whatever remains down to ground level and it'll shoot up again.

    Every three or four years dig it all out of the bed, keep the youngest pieces of root and replant and throw the rest away.  

    Lovely part of the world ... I spent a lovely summer in the  Dinard, Quimper, Nantes area with my children a long time ago.  image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,113

    IT'S THESE ONES YOU HAVE TO WATCH OUT FOR.

    image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Sorry about the double post, not sure what happened there.
    raisingirl says:

    It spreads very fast but it won't damage the tarmac - the roots are quite shallow. So yes, mintTea, as you suggest, if you can contain the runners you'll contain the mint. 

    I think that's what you're asking image

    It grows in sun or shade, more or less any soil

    Last edited: 11 April 2017 19:23:02

    See original post

    Thanks! So... if I decide to be greedy and to plant the mint not just in the planter - after all, it's not that big, and I use many leaves!, but also in that unasphalted stripe on the side of the driveway, would it still be okay, do you think? Or would I be living dangerously? imageimage

    @ Dovefromabove: "in early spring chop whatever remains down to ground level and it'll shoot up again"

    Can I still do that? I've mowed around it so far this year, maybe I should'nt have...

    (I'm closer to Nantes, in the Saint-Nazaire / la Baule area. Glad you enjoyed it! image )

    Last edited: 11 April 2017 22:46:21

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