strawberry, mint, cucamelon
Start sowing the ingredients for this delicious jelly in spring Photo: Jason Ingram

The combination of strawberry and cucamelon flowers in this pot is irresistible to pollinating insects. Start off the seeds in mid-spring and add the plants in mid to late spring.

The fruits of the cucamelon and strawberries should be ripened and ready to begin harvesting by midsummer. You can pick the mint leaves all season long.

As well as being a twist on the popular summertime drink, this grown-up dessert is a seasonal show-stopper. Use an old-fashioned jelly mould to make it more sumptuous.

Plant the pot

Ingredients

  • 2 x strawberry ’Flamenco’
  • 1 x spearmint (Mentha spicata)
  • 1 x packet of cucamelon (Melothria scabra) seed
  • 1 x 18in (45cm) diameter container
  • Multipurpose or soil-based compost
  • General organic vegetable fertiliser


Strawberries should be ready to harvest by midsummer (Jason Ingram)

Method

  1. Position the prepared container in a sunny, sheltered spot in mid-spring and plant the strawberries, one to each side of the centre-front edge.
  2. Plunge-plant the mint in a 6in (15cm) pot (to restrict its roots) in the middle at the back.
  3. Last, prepare a 3½in (9cm) pot and thinly sow the cucamelon seed, covering it with ½in (1cm) of compost. Leave in a greenhouse or on a sunny windowsill to germinate.
  4. Once the seedlings are large enough to handle (about 3in/7cm) and all risk of frost has passed, plant one cucamelon in the container, at the front in the gap between the strawberries, to allow the vine to trail over the side.
  5. Water regularly and feed with tomato fertiliser once the strawberry plants are in flower. Cut back the strawberry runners, so that the plants focus on producing a bountiful crop, and mulch with a layer of straw under the strawberry foliage, to prevent the compost from staining the fruits.
  6. Nip out the growing tip of the cucamelon once it reaches about 8ft (2.5m) long and reduce its side shoots to about 16in (40cm). Regularly pick the mint to keep it compact and stop it from taking over the container.
  7. At the end of the growing season, lift the cucamelon, repot it and leave in a frost-free, dry place, ready to plant out again in the following spring.

Recipe

Refreshing Pimm’s jelly

More one pot recipes

Grow the ingredients for a mouth-watering strawberry smoothie

Grow the ingredients for a delicious courgette and fennel tart

Taken from One Pot Gourmet Gardener by Cinead McTernan (Frances Lincoln, £16.99). To order your copy for £14.99 plus p&p call 0844 871 1514 or visit books.telegraph.co.uk

Charlie Dimmock

Gardener at BBC Gardeners World
Charlotte Elouise "Charlie" Dimmock (born 10 August 1966) is an English gardening expert and TV presenter. She was one of the team on Ground Force, a BBC gardening makeover programme.