April Newsletter 2006

Welcome to Herbal Haven’s April newsletter. We’ve been busy since January, getting the herbs ready for the season, and although we are no longer suffering frostbite on our fingers and toes, it’s still not really warm. This has meant that plants are taking longer to put down roots and bush out on top, but they are getting there now. The last two weekends have seen us out and about on the show circuits, and its full throttle from now on.  

Out in the garden you should be starting to see the first shoots of herbs that died down over the winter. At this stage they make very tasty pickings for slugs and snails who will keep munching them down to soil level, so keep your eyes peeled.

Plants that are growing in pots would welcome a feed now to give them a boost, and it is a good time to remove any moss or liverwort, and top up with fresh compost. Mints that were grown in pots last year are better off being repotted altogether. They grow very quickly and take all the goodness out of the soil. 

The best method is to tip the rootball out and pull off all the thick white runners that will undoubtedly be growing there. Cut these into lengths not less than an inch long and lay them half an inch down in a fresh pot of compost. It won’t be long before you have a good strong pot of mint growing again.   Apart from a mere handful such, as lemon grass and scented geraniums, all the herbs we have on the stall are living outside fulltime and so hardened off. It is important to remember at this time of year that any plant you grow indoors cannot be put outside and left as the first whiff of a cold night will burn off the leaves, and either kill it or give it a serious growth check. 

Acclimatize them slowly. Parsley is a biennial, and so any planted last year will flower this year and not produce much in the way of leaf for eating. 

The best option is to plant more parsley this year, and leave the old parley to self seed. If it all goes to plan, this years parsley will self seed next year, etc, and you should never have to buy another parsley plant again. 

This is obviously not going to work for the number of you out there, who seem to be able to kill parsley just by looking at it. Think that’s all for now, time to get my hands back in some more compost. Hope you like our new website. It’s brand new for us too, so please forgive any small hiccups we may have, only by running the site will these appear and be ironed out. Lorraine. Herbal Haven.