Tag Archives: pear

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.


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.



It’s all kicking off #gdnbloggers

Hold the front page! We have blossom on the Apricot! (Yes, my nail varnish is also chipped)


For the first time since it was plugged in, the Moor Park Apricot is in blossom. I did check, and there were all of three delicate looking white blooms. Three!

Alas, I am not holding my breath. Last year, the peach tree also blossomed-it’s getting leafier as I type-only for the frost to nip at it. Therefore, I am not holding out too much hope that the Apricot will set fruit; I probably should drape it in fleece. Only I end up having a full scale heated debate with Mama F as to the why’s and wherefores. That, and it looks as though Casper and friends are floating through the plot. I will keep an eye on the Apricot and see whether additional blooms burst and then make a decision about draping the tree in fleece.


The pear tree is also looking a bit frilly with blossom, the stella and morello cherry trees aren’t too far behind. In contrast, the apple-falstaff and braeburn-appear to be behind and are only just starting to get leafier. As with Apricot, there has been limited success with the pear. Last year, we had all of two pears; they met their end in a chutney. I am therefore, a little surprised by the arrival of blossom.  I might find myself fleecing things sooner rather than later.

In other news, Mama F has sunk this years spuds on her allotment plot; leaving me to fiddle with the raised beds and plot this year’s course of development. At the moment, I have seedlings on the window sills.

At the moment I have clara and money maker aubergines. (My thanks to Gifts You Grow for the money maker). As well as Roma and Marmande tomatoes and an assortment of Cayenne. These are precariously leggy in some cases; sown when light levels were at bit rubbish, this was always going to happen. I am hoping that moving them from one side of the house will help the plants fill out and become robust.

So what is going to happen next?

There a plans; the sort that change and with reflection.

In the long term, I would like to fix my poly tunnel and get some more raised beds. Having one half of the plot, that is open ground and not very productive doesn’t feel right. So before the end of the year, the second half the plot-the one where we have the roses and trees should have some raised beds on it. This will mean negotiating with the raspberries and strawberries that are are currently ‘up there’ someplace.

I am looking into a new cover; though I might have to borrow Mama F’s poly for this growing season. She likes aubergines, I do not; so she can play with them…and my chillies…I will  of course babysit them accordingly. I do get rather precious about my chillies.

On the seed sowing  front, I would like to sow some more tomatoes. There was an rather conservative sowing at first, so more Roma and Marmade are on the cards. I would also like to sow runner beans and climbing French beans; it is too early yet, I made that mistake last year. I might even try peas, though that is debatable.

Before long, it will be May and I will nervously eyeing the closing of the frost window.  I will be deciding on this years squashes; we have yet to sacrifice a pumpkin from last year, so there will be seed selection.

I have had a good look at the current raised beds. One third of them are cleared, with the others full of stubborn grass that will need an aggressive intervention for removal. It is simply not the sort to be pulled out by hand.  Over all, there does feel a more systematic and organised approach to doing things this year. It would be easy to be defeated, and I think for me personally I need to take a step back and take time to do things slowly but surely. It will all get done, just not at break neck speed.

Now, if you’ll excuse me; I have counselling key terms to generate-spiral notebook, ink pen-and maybe some Buffy season seven to put on in the background.

I might even re-paint my nails.

And yes, if anyone knows of allotment proof nail varnish, send it my way….seriously!

Weekend Welly

20130504-045718 PM.jpg20130504-045745 PM.jpg20130504-045809 PM.jpg20130504-045832 PM.jpg

20130504-045911 PM.jpg

20130504-045935 PM.jpg

With the heralding of the May Day bank Holiday, you would have been forgiven this morning for being bah humbug as the heavens opened. Everytime I went to even think about putting my wellies on, the heavens opened. It was noon before the threat of rain dissipated. Having spent over a week away, this was an opportune time to see how the land lay as Mama H had been watering in my absence. I have also resisted, in clearing my window sills.

So down we pootled, my mother and I. You go to do one job, mum finds you another 76 to do. The one urgent job to do was to plant out the caulis from
Aunty Tish and net them. There was also a Sunderland Kale that needed to be put out too.So mama H did that as I was charged with watering things. As you can see, lots of fenugreek and various spinach like seedlings are germinating in a carpet of green. Looking good there.

With being charged with the watering, if did so. The potatoes are still asleep, no green shoots there yet. There is still a threat of frost. Frost, that hopefully will leave the blossoming Concorde tree alone. Last year, this was the one tree that stood there sulking; with the apple and plum flowering and fruiting. Something positive to take note of there.

Carrying out a couple of experiment, early direct sow. Dwarf French beans. Varieties sown were purple queen and borlotto dwarf. These are somewhat speculative, as we only just into may. The other experiment, is the laying of shredded paper as a mulch on a potato bed. That one is for further observation.

The Garlic, looks lovely! As do shallots. They in particular seem to have bloomed out of nowhere. Looking fairly sorry for themselves, they have taken on a whole new look for themselves. Some of the spring planted garlic is starting to send out some green shoots as are the onions. These were all mulched today, I really don’t fancy the weeds that have started to pop up.

Finally a few splashes of colour. Not as many as last year, but the tulips are blooming and looking lovely. More anemones were sunk today; whilst racked with pansy envy. There are no survivors on the plot, but at home we have about five or six that were pinched by Ma and put in pots. Providing a burst of red, white and purple.

So much to do. Really would have wanted to plant out a couple of squashes. Might try with a couple later this week. Another experiment….

Have a lovely may bank holiday where ever you find yourselves.


Wear Sunscreen.

Yours in anticipation,

Horticultural Hobbit