Mango in Mallorca. | R.I.

Here we are well into the month of April, enjoyed Easter but still no April showers although the spring temperatures have suddenly dropped with freezing cold nights and a really chilly northerly wind which means even the midday temperatures are too uncomfortable to be able to work in the garden.

Yes gardening is certainly dictated to by the weather although most of the garden and terrace plants seem to be holding up.

This was in fact what I have recently refered to when suggesting that tender young seedlings that have just been transplanted should not be put outside just yet in case a sudden drop in temperature affects them. Some new young leaves have been scorched by the wind and the lack of rain means we must get down to some watering as the wind really dries the topsoil.

To continue with the topic of the weather, here again there is an old saying in both the English language and Spanish ‘Don’t cast a clout till May is out’ or ‘Hasta el cuarenta de Mayo no te quites el sayo’

Avocado in Mallorca

They both mean the same, don’t put the winter clothes away until after the month of May, which indicates that there could be sudden drops in temperature and the garden will surely be where it is felt more than anywhere.

I have frequently seen the sprinklers on over the fields of La Puebla on a cold night helping avoid the air frost from burning off tender plants.

Here is as good an excuse as any to play around with something new that I had never thought of myself before but find that it is not infrequent. Growing a tree from an Avocado is an old one but I had never tried the same with a Mango. There are always Mangos on the fruit stalls, mostly imported from a tropical climate although I have read that there are some grown in Almeria.

So how do we go about that?

Its a messy job to start with, even eating a mango, I am told the best place is over the kitchen sink if you don’t want the juice all over the table cloth. There is the skin that is not edible before coming to the flesh which needs to be really ripe to be flavoursome.

You end up with a large flat stone still covered with the remains of the yellow flesh. Here it really is better to work over the sink whilst trying to prise open the woody shell of the stone.


Inside there is the kernal or seed , a kidney shaped nutty texture that could well already have a little root or growing tip forming. It is suggested that this inner nut is carefully wrapped in a damp tissue then kept in a plastic bag to keep the nut moist until these growing tips form and you can tell which is up and which will be the root growing down.

Now will be the time to plant this new growth into its own plant pot, a job for either a terrace gardener or for later transplanting outdoors. At least it is something to do on a cold day when the weather doesn’t seem inviting enough to work in the garden or even on a terrace.

I mentioned nothing of the usual gardening this week because there is really nothing new to do if we already have the spring seeds in the ground other than to keep them watered and keep an eye on the slugs and snails.

Some of the early fruit to ripen once the Citrus fruits are over will be the Nispero/Loquat, it can probably be considered the very first fruit to ripen locally. They need to be really ripe to be juicy and sweet otherwise they tend to have a bitter flavour.

A good indication as to whether they are ripe or not will be the birds, they are always attracted to the best fruit on any tree, unfortunately there is little one can do about them although the average Nispero usually has more fruit on its tree than anyone can ever eat so there will be plenty for the birds to feed on and for us to pick.

And if you are into bird-watching you may find that the birds are building their nests , some amongst the hidden away leaves of the trees, others just where they can, on a window ledge or on the blades of a ceiling fan or outlet of the kitchen extractor fan, its all part of spring time and the joy of a garden.

If you are into bird-watching you may find that the birds are building their nests, some amongst the hidden away leaves of the trees.

It really is better to work over the sink whilst trying to prise open the woody shell of the Mango stone.