Pineapple Mint

Pineapple mint come from Apple mint. It smells so good, I liked the first plant so much I bought more. Mentha sauveolens ‘Variegata’ is a creeping plant that spreads across the ground like cover. This mint can be taken over by green leaves and if it does is reverts back to apple mint. I plan on cutting off the apple mint sprouts and planting them in other places. I thought it was neat that this plant has the potential to be two different types of plants.

You see, pineapple mint is a variegation of apple mint. Which means that it should produce cream and green leaves, if there are sprouts of only green leaves coming from it there is a possibility that it can take over and you will be left with only apple mint. I quite like both so I plan on cutting off green off shoots and planting the apple mint elsewhere. I also enjoy the fact that it is a mint and that means it is easily propagated.

I enjoy that it is a perennial and being a mint is able to grow in our soil. Turns out, our soil is not as full of clay as I had originally thought. Mints do amazing in our soil and if I neglect to water them for a day or a week they seem to bounce right back. This mint does not smell as minty as the others. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it smells like a fruit punch.

The butterflies seem to love it and fly around the flowers that I have planted it around. I have caught many different butterflies all around it. I started this off with one and planted it in our fairy garden. It did so well that I quickly obtained around six to eight more plants. Other mints have grown very well in other parts of my property but I used these as fillers in between trees and berry bushes.

All in all this mint can be used for many things. From teas to potpourri, pineapple mint is a fruity addition to any mixture. Although it can be used culinarily I didn’t see any recipes that specifically called for pineapple mint outside of smoothies and cocktails- not that those might night encourage you to plant some along your garden walkway. That will not stop me from trying to use it as a culinary herb. The reason that people aren’t using it as a culinary herb is because the smell is lost in the cooking process.

They did mention that it makes a good oil and I hadn’t really thought about that. I know that hopefully next year there will be enough that I will be able to experiment a little bit and figure out what these delicious smelling herbs are good for. I truly like the idea of turning it into an oil.

Other articles have said that it can go well in salads, but I haven’t put a leaf in my mouth. I might, it smells good enough to eat. They say that I shouldn’t harvest this until May to October, and I cannot wait. It does make me a little sad that I have to wait a month, but I suppose I can wait until this plant has grown enough that it might survive my collection.

Some sites state that you must keep the soil moist, but I am not going to lie- I don’t always water on time, when I need to or when the plant would prefer. The plants have done just fine so far, who knows this might be a false plant happiness. It’s happened before, I thought it was doing well and the leaves perked up before they dropped and died.

I feel as though this will provide a lovely ground cover and where I planted it- It’s needed. I need these pineapple mint plants to spread like wildfire in between the trees and bushes in order to push back the grass development. As you can see we spread out a large batch of wildflowers each year and this year we have twice as many come back. We hope one day we won’t have to spread those seeds and that the mints that we have planted all over- not just this one.

Some articles claim that picking the leaves early in the morning is beneficial. The reason is because as the sun beams down on the leaves it changes the smell of the plant. The smells returns to it’s original glory the next day, but as the temperatures rise and the sun beams down it does cause the smell to stress out and not seem as potent.

They say that pineapple mint is good for sauces, fruit salads, and other dishes that require a pinch of sweetness.

I looked for recipes and found that pineapple mint goes well with chicken and lamb. There is some mention that it goes well as an added ingredient to a ham glaze, but most people talk about additions to mojitos or other alcoholic beverages. There are a few mentions of adding it to smoothies as well, but I am not exactly sure how that will work and how much pineapple mint will be required for one smoothie.

If you’re looking for something that is deer resistant and attracts pollinators, this mint is amazing. It can be grown in beds, pots and even wild- like I’m doing. It is and easy grower and seems to do well in zones 5 to 9.

And it all started when I put it in our fairy garden. It did not take long for this little herb to spread out and that just tickled me. I bought quite a few more. I planted them so that they could spread out- I gave them plenty of room to spread but this one will be my primary momma. I will not let her spread out, instead she will foster a generation of pineapple mint and with that we’ll cover the ground.

I can’t wait. Until next time…

Last Years Herbs: First harvest 2021

We cut quite a bit of oregano and it was very overgrown. Last year it hadn’t gotten nearly as big so today I went ahead and cut off a bit, my daughter helped me. She only enjoys cutting the oregano because of how it smells and how easy it is to see where to cut. It got us a pretty large bowl that we’ll dry out and use for cooking or whatever we want.

This year my goal is to save up enough oregano to turn it into an oil. I hear that oregano oil is amazing when cooked and using oregano from home is entirely different than the oregano that you get in the store.

Fun fact: the oregano, basil and other herbs that you get in the store are usually multiple different types of those plants all mixed together to make the product. When you use individual types of oregano or sage or rosemary you are changing your dish because they all taste and smell just a little bit different.

I had no idea before October 2019.

This was the reason that we were cutting anything. This has gotten out of control. It was bushing out of the fairy garden which made me think that something happened to make it grow like this. I didn’t add any fertilizer to the fairy garden because I wanted to be able to see the little houses and walking paths that we made.

The sage doesn’t look like a lot but it really is and there is so much more that I left behind. This seems as though it went from one plant of sage to three individual plants. I didn’t think it had spread so fast, but I am impressed. The smell is distinct and I am curious as to what our Tri color sage will look like in a few months or even next year. Especially seeing how happy and healthy this particular sage is in our very neglected fairy garden.

I like to think that the fairies take care of it because I am busy caring for my other plants.

This is my salad barnett and rosemary. I tried to leave the rosemary alone a little bit because it took heavy damage from the winter storm. I dare to say that the rosemary was protected by the other plants that surrounded it. The taller plants (sage and oregano and english thyme) were surrounding the rosemary and although one of my oreganos did die, I contribute that death to keeping the rosemary alive.

The rosemary is spreading out and reaching to the other plants and I am glad, I didn’t know if it would come back this time around. I was extremely nervous because this is one of my favorite plants. Rosemary is something that I would love to spread out all over my property. I planted around six more plants this year and plan on propagating many more throughout this year.

Salad barnett has become the bane of my existence. I am not telling you you shouldn’t plant it in the ground. I’m only saying that this is the most invasive plant in zone 8a I have ever seen before in my entire life. People warn you about mint but they never warn you about this herb right here. We had already cut quite a bit and threw it into the compost, but this is what we can harvest after three days. I was not expecting the kind of growth that I am experiencing with this herb that I don’t even know what I can do with.

Finally, this is my english thyme. I know it doesn’t look like a lot but this really is a lot. The plant grows upward and some of the plant had started to grow to the side. I wanted this to be more of a bush and so I cut a few of the runners. There is still quite a bite there but I will say that this it is delicious. I enjoy every years harvest of english thyme because I can add it to so many different things.

I am excited about the herbs that we are collecting already. It isn’t even half way through April and we’ve got enough of these herbs to last us until May. That is amazing to me.

Each one of these herbs cost me three dollars and they have already saved me at least ten dollars each. That’s return value that tastes much better than anything that you’ll find in the stores.

Strawberry Patches: 2021

By Melinda Hatfield

I love strawberries. They have many redeeming qualities. First, they attract pollinators. They are perennials. They can become invasive and provide a lovely natural ground cover. They create delicious fruits, but my favorite part is how low maintenance they are.

That is why we put in two patches. The picture below is what we tried to do. Originally, we thought we could line out where we wanted our patches but it simply kept growing. We enjoy eating strawberries and the kids have been out there every single day to check on the patches. I don’t there will ever be enough- even if we let them take over.

By Melinda Hatfield

The patches tripled in size within a few days. I am primarily taking pictures of this one because I have more before and after pictures. We spent half a day planting over on hundred and fifty strawberry plants. We divided them into two huge patches one closer to our fruit trees and one closer to our blackberry patch.

My kids have already been commenting how these strawberries taste berry than the ones at the store. We grabbed three different varieties to ensure blooming happened throughout the season and not just all at once.

By Melinda Hatfield

We decided just to put flags for the perimeter because from what I have read- and always do your own research – that they will just spread if I let them. I want to let them spread everywhere.

If I start it now by the time I’m old I’ll have strawberries everywhere. I cannot wait.

By Melinda Hatfield

I will give updates as the patch continues to improve but as for now we’ve already picked 13 strawberries and anticipate many more. Until next time.

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