Tag Archives: darrow

Mint Marauding and Mooli Pods #gdnbloggers

There used to be a herb bed on the plot, only it is now full of mint. Mint truly is a thug, the cliché is true. Unchecked, it runs riot and takes over. With the unbalanced combination of rain and sun, the plot mint has grown quite a bit. This has meant mint marauding, chopping it back to harvest leaves. As you can see, the bouquets were nearly as big as me, and three large bundles of the stuff were harvested. I guess that you can never have too much mint! Having harvested it all and carried it home, Mama F and I spent a few hours at the dining table stripping the leaves so that it could all be frozen. There are several different varieties, with some smelling like spearmint and chocolate mint in there somewhere too. It would take a proper connoisseur to smell out the different mint varieties.

At the moment, I have vague plans to make mint jelly. Usually, the plot mint ends up in chutney; Mum can rest assured, there is tonnes still left for her to use.

The second half of the day focussed on Mum’s mooli pods. She had found that the radishes that she sown had bolted; as such, there were lots of seed pods.

pods1

These are actually edible, and different varieties of radish will produce seed pods of different potencies. For example, seed pods from Japanese radish have a peppery fiery-ness. In the image above, these are pods from an unknown red variety, and these were quite sweet to the taste.  As you can imagine, I was going a little dotty anyway, having plucked away all that mint. However, as Mum had helped me, I was going to help her. All We had harvested less than half of her entire bolted radish crop, yet we managed to fill three troughs of seed pods. How I did not see seedpods in my sleep, I do not know.

Mum plans to cook up the seed pods; the recipe is in sow grow eat!

Other than mint marauding, I was loitering with therapeutic intent as well. I’ve not een to the plot in a while, so have missed the blooms blossom. Shakespeare is well and truly kicking off, and the glads have finally kicked.  I have the standard, as expected six pears on the tree-it’s always six, no idea why-with tomatoes making slow but certain progress. I’m not holding my breath with the tomatoes; there will be a significantly smaller crop than expected, and no puddles of tomatoes like last year. There are fewer plants, and I don’t think the Roma variety will keep their place on the plot. Marmande appears to be the winner as per usual.  All three of the grapevines are burgeoning; lusciously leafy, there are clusters of grapes starting to swell. With raspberries creaking to an end, I was able to harvest a handful of plump ‘darrow’ blueberries. The other two varieties haven’t so much as sneezed this year, the one plant is turning copper and going to sleep.

 

P.S. yes, I know,  need allotment proof nail varnish.

 

 

Promises Promises: Buds to bloom and burst

It is the day after the night before, as Storm Katie ran amok around the British Isles. Mum and I headed down to the plot to see if there was any damage. The poly tunnel and walk in green house are still standing strong. My biggest concerns are always the grapevines and the fruit trees. Somewhat mindful of the potential inclement weather, I had staked the thin wiry trees to give them a bit of a fighting chance. There are puddles on the plot, on the lower part at least. This always happens, and the continuing plan is to raise that part of the plot.It is for that very reason that I have raised beds to help overcome the soggy soil.

Having checked for major disturbances, the first thought I had was about the Peach tree. A A variety called darling, this is a  very new tree to the allotment. Over the last week or so, I have been watching a small cluster of pink fuzz. The rest of the tree is forming buds, but this cluster is obvious because of its brightness against the bark. I have been checking almost daily, to see if the pinkness has burst. I’m not too sure if it is cluster of leaves or an actual blossom. This is a lot closer to success than my previous experience with a peach rochester tree, that didn’t do an awful lot at all. Hence the excitement of this tree actually doing something.

peachdarling.JPG

Concorde Pear also seems to be kicking off. Last year, we had all of two pears. I am not complaining about that, I am very glad for those two pears. They ended up on a chutney. For now the blossom isn’t actually very pretty, it’s fuzzy, spiky and awkward looking. My only concern is that we have a horrible frost and these will get obliterated as they have in the past.

pearconcorde

Last year the Moor Park Apricot formed maybe less than half a dozen leaves. (No that is not the rest of my plot, nothing to do with me.) A year later, there are more green buds forming, and that means potentially more leaves. This, like having a peach tree, was an impulsive experiment. The growing season is still young, so this like the other trees will be monitored and observed closely.

moorparkapricot.JPG

These are Darrow, blue jay and blue crop blueberries. I like my blueberries, least of all because they produced a surprise crop last year. Two out of the three have been there for a year, the third is a recent acquisition. I am comforted by the number of buds though, a good sign. Blueberry gin may well happen again.

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Blueberry Sinking

There were two blueberry bushes on the plot. These were darrow, blue jay and blue crop There had been three, but the third one (Blue crop) had failed to thrive. Today I have replaced the third dead bush with a bush of the same variety.

You can also see the You tube Video is here

I do like having blueberries on the plot. They are a relatively trouble free, despite not being on the plot for very long. I have three bushes in three pots, and the soil is specifically acidic for them. To be perfectly honest, given how much it has rained I have not had to water them with saved rain water. I do wonder how acidic the soil in the containers is, and will have to look into that at some point. There was a small maiden crop last year, a pleasant surprise, as I wasn’t expecting the young bushes to produce masses. They did flower and they bore fruit for quite some time.

I think the variety that cropped the most was Darrow, and the fruit were large plump and juicy fruits. All of which are still in the freezer as I work out what to do with them next.

Plot Productivity Part two- Early August

The poly tunnel is burgeoning with triffid like tomatoes, chillies and aubergines. The tomatoes have had to be defoliated and regularly; they have been become very very leafy. They are being fed, but not every day, with watering more regular. What I have noticed is that since I have been defoliating, there have been more yellow fruit. In defoliating, two fruits ended up coming away in my hands. These are marmande and cream sausage tomatoes.

I have harvested half a crop of blueberries. These are a mixture of darrow and blue jay berries. The blue jay are smaller, with the darrow being large and quite fat. Both bushes are cropping for the first time, and are grown in large pots. I look forwards to the additional crop to be had from the darrow bush.

And we have our first aubergine flower! I nearly missed it amongst the foliage, but did make sure it was tickled today. I had though the plant would be a little bigger, they were last year in the open ground. So we shall see if the plant actually crops.

#NABLOPOMO: Blossom booting up on the plot

I have been some what worried as I wander around the plot, that there was something of a delay with the blossom. There seemed to be blossom everywhere, but my little corner of the universe. So I made something of a close inspection today, to see if there was anything growing. The braeburn, worcester pairmaine and falstaff apple trees have started to send out leaves and blossom. But what really took me by surprise was the presence of plum and pear blossom. The concorde pear tree has blossomed previously, but then lost all it’s blooms. The victoria plum even fruited once, three years ago, but nothing since. Whilst I feel somewhat alarmist, I’m not holding out too much hope this early.

With having hope, I had somewhat lost it with the rochester peach tree. Unlike the Moor park apricot, a recent addition, the rochester peach looks a pale, skeletal thing, about to snap in half. I looked down, thinking that I perhaps needed to weed around the  base. A single solitary shoot protruding from the bark. Al is not, perhaps, lost. In comparison, the moor park apricot is slowly waking and sending out green shoots.

Blueberries were watered today, with saved rain water. Not looking so bad, sending out buds and flowers. We might end up with fruit yet.

#NABLOPOMO: Blueberries and gooseberries on the plot

blueberry gooseberry

There was a lot of soft fruit planted on the plot over autumn. Uptil now, it has all largely been dormant. Hopefully, during this down time, the plants have been setting down root systems in preparation for the growing season. The blueberries are starting to get a wiggle on, and the variety named darrow is still in the lead with buds forming. Blue jay is not too far behind.

In the second picture, and a little harder to see, are the gooseberries. These are three of the hinnonmaki, I think, and all of the hinnonmaki are starting wake up and form little green leaves amongst the spiky thorns. it looks neat and tidy as ma has been ruthless in pulling out grass.

I am trying ye again with rhubarb, this was donated by my aunty. This time, I am putting the crown somewhere it might actually have a chance and not get rained on. Mine must be one of the few that doesn’t have any rhubarb on it. I might even search for a rhubarb and ginger recipe, as I was given a jelly bag by Father Christmas and have yet to use it.

Blueberry budding

darrow_blueberry

There are three blueberries in pots on the plot. What you see above is the Darrow variety, the others are blue jay and bluecrop. The blue crop was the youngest, I think, as well as the smallest. I’m surprised that there are quite few buds on this already. My concern had been that the frost would nip at them, but they do seem to be fairly robust.

All three are in large pots, that have been filled with ericacaeous-how ever you spell it-compost. I did water them in with rain water when they were first potted in. Luckily we have had some rain since to keep them watered.

Planting Blueberries

Having researched over the last week or so, the blueberry plants have been planted into pots. I had found a rather twiggy plant at wilkos, this was the blue crop. The advice is to have more than one variety, so I have also found one called darrow and another called blue jay from a local garden centre. I had been toying with putting them into the clay. But research suggested against this. Advice is to put into pots rather than into ground. Blueberries require ericanaecious compost, or however you spell it. The pots have holes in, so I didn’t need to attack them with a screw driver, and now have the compost in. The plants have been plugged in and also watered with rainwater that happened to be held in a large container. The blue crop from wilkos seems to be the smallest, with the other two plants being much larger and robust. Suggesting that they are at least a year or so old, they did come in fairly big 1.5 litre pots.