I planted mint in my garden a few years ago and it turned out to be a mistake. I should have grown it in a container.

I've been pulling out mint each year but can't get rid of it, so I dug up the wooden barrier surrounding the garden, and found mint vines had grown in all directions out into the back yard. I've spent a few hours on my knees digging in the grass trying to pull out all these underground vines.

Is there any easier way to get rid of mint?

  • 1
    thanks, i ended up building a deck over the area with the mint. That solved the problem :)
    – Reactgular
    Commented May 24, 2012 at 1:11

6 Answers 6


Mint does not care for being mowed. If you just assert your ownership of that bit of the lawn, and mow and weed whack as you prefer, eventually it will be less minty. Oregano, in contrast, seems to decide to become a creeping ground cover in the face of endless mowing, which isn't entirely a bad thing. We have fragrant walking paths.

Sure, while there are still full mint plants somewhere nearby, plants will continue to pop up in your lawn. But it's not like poison ivy or something. Mow them and enjoy the smell.


Oh boy! I made the same mistake and now mine occupies about 3-4 times the area in the pic on the right here (that was taken last Oct). It's hard to tell if you're really done pulling it out, because the stolons could have propagated quite far.

I don't know of an easy way (I doubt there's one...). The approach I'm taking now is to mercilessly cull most of it (leaving only what I need). Later, when it pops up in a new area, I dig around and cull that. That way, I don't break my back trying to dig in places where I can't be sure if it's there or not. Besides, as Kate mentioned, it's not really a bad thing — I don't mind its smell, and it certainly has uses. So I'm not desperate to get rid of it in one sitting.


I have experienced the same problem where the mint started taking over the raised bed and also started expanding beyond that. I did not want that problem to re-occur so I basically removed all the mint from the roots. So, it involves hard work where you will have to pull out the mint and all the root system. It may take 2-3 attempts because you will inevitably leave some roots the first time around and they will sprout. Once you go through that process you will have a mint free area. If you want to keep the mint, you can always transplant some of the one's you are removing to a pot (note that I have not tried this)


One of the best ways is to use a combination of digging it up and then applying only vinegar to anything that shoots up on hot days so the vinegar will soak into the plant


Solarization. Plastic sheeting over everything you want gone. Seal out air with bricks of other heavy objects. It takes about 6 weeks in the hottest weather. You can google more about it.

  1. There is no problem on earth that cannot be solved by the proper application of high explosives.

  2. Consider a dog. I've heard more than one story of dogs digging up mint and their roots.

  3. More seriously:

There are several ways to kill mint without the use of harmful chemicals, which should always be a last resort. Many people have had luck using boiling water to kill mint. Others swear by using a homemade mixture of salt, dish soap and white vinegar (2 cups salt, teaspoon soap, gallon vinegar). Both methods will require frequent applications onto the mint over some time in order to kill it. Be aware that these methods will kill any vegetation that it comes in contact with. - Gardeningknowhow.com

  • 3
    Don't use salt to kill your mint! You can get rid of the mint this way, but you won't be able to grow anything there after it's gone.
    – bstpierre
    Commented May 21, 2012 at 16:54
  • You're doing it wrong.
    – Ben
    Commented Jul 24, 2013 at 7:01

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