Spring Herb Watch

As we reach March, despite the cold wind, the signs of spring are now quite apparent.  The days are slowly getting longer,  the birds are singing beautifully.   Every morning and every evening I am accompanied, as a walk  around the farm, by the most beautiful song thrush whom I am pleased to say has a follower or friend near by.  Their song is so breath taking it makes me stop, listen and marvel .

Everyday  I can see  the signs of spring. The seeds of nasturtiums that I sowed  back in November are really beginning to grow away and flourish, they should be ready in time to adorn our retail stand at the RHS Chelsea which, as it is again situated on the main avenue,  has to look spectacular.  The French Tarragon that I bought into the glasshouse to  bring on so that I could start cuttings early is ready.

Photograph taken on 10.2.13

In our unheated tunnels  many herbs are growing well.  This Spanish mint has not been put off by the cold, grey  weather and  it is ready for picking to make a refreshing cup of tea or a mint sauce to accompany a  lovely English or Welsh lamb chop.  This mint is part of  our mint collection and will be able to be seen in the Herboretum at our Herb Fridays, when you will also be able to buy herb plants. 

Spanish Mint

The true signs that spring is on the way is in the garden,  many herbs are just begging to  emerge, chives, mint and  this buckler leaf sorrel  which can even be gently picked to add  a zing to a winter salad, or pep up a green sauce.

IMG_6566So, with spring in the air, it is time to get sowing, get potting and get outside.

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9 thoughts on “Spring Herb Watch

  1. Thank you so much for your latest email, yes spring is certainly on its way even here in the midlands. Your pictures again are really beautiful and inspiring. Thank you again, Maureen. Date: Sat, 2 Mar 2013 11:40:46 +0000 To: mb.willetts@hotmail.co.uk

  2. How lovely to find your blog! I always read your Herb of the Month articles with great pleasure and was sad when they stopped. Delighted to see new articles here though! I shall add you to my blog roll if that’s alright?
    Good luck at Chelsea!

  3. Can I ask a question please? I love mint and had several varieties, in the ground, but last year, despite the plants being strong and healthy, they were demolished by (of all things) ants!!! I garden organically and could not stop the little blighters and ended up with hardly any mint at all. I’ve read that mint is supposed to be a natural deterrant against ants, so was shocked to see this happen. It was definitely ants, not anything else. Is there something you could recommend or suggest to stop this happening again this year? I don’t want to use chemicals. Thank you in advance.

    • Ants are a totally menace. I have found it very difficult to eradicate a nest organically. My advise is to lift the mint, wash the roots, removing any soil. Boil a kettle of water, find a container that is large enough to hold the roots, put in the roots then pour over the hot water ideally it should be around 44 C for 8 mins this will kill off any bugs/ eggs and mint rust. Re-plant somewhere else in the garden. The patch that had the mint and the infestation. Dig over well, advise double digging if possible, this will give you a chance to see if the nest is still alive, if you come across the nest, pour over boiling water. then feed the soil well with well rotted compost to build up the eco-system again. Re being a deterrent, it is the crushed leaf , i.e the smell of peppermint or spearmint which is the deterrent not the roots.

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