Mint can be grown from seed, or purchased as a small plant from the garden centre, however it is very easy to propagate by dividing existing plants, so ask your allotment neighbours and if they are growing mint you will probably find they are only too happy to give you some for free.
Mint is usually upright growing and usually reaches a height of between 30-60cm, and plants should be set between 25-30cm apart. Mix in plenty of well rotted manure before planting, and if planting in pots as recommended it's also worth using some water retaining gel in the compost mixture.
To combat disease cut off shoots to ground level each autumn, and if it has cropped heavily add a top dressing of well rotted manure.
Mint's growing season can be extended by dividing the plant in late summer and potting up a few new plants, which you can bring inside and grow on the windowsill.
Best Culinary Mint Varieties
Applemint - This is one of the milder varieties and one of my favourites as a result. It makes a wonderful addition to salad, or chopped and mixed with some new potatoes (with butter or olive oil!), and excellent for Mojitos. The large furry green leaves also look great as part of a herb garden.
Spearmint - This classic flavour is a must. This mild and sweet variety is great for jellies, use in cooking, and great for adding to summer beverages.
Ginger Mint - Great for adding some zest to beverages, and also good for adding a distinctive flavour to baked goods, such as gingerbread.
Mint is a truly versatile herb. It can be dried, preserved in vinegar (mint sauce), made into syrup and jellies for use all year around. It can add interest to even the most boring of meals, and is great for making cocktails, or just adding to a jug of cold water.
It can also be used in cosmetics, herbal remedies, and even in household uses (makes a good insect repellent!)