Herbal Haven Newsletter April 2013

Welcome to the first newsletter of 2013.

Hasn’t this spring been so unbelievably cold – it has been snowing again here in April but the weatherman is promising that after the weekend of the 6th and 7th the temperatures should start to rise. Apart from the fact everyone is fed up with working in layers of thermals, the temperature has meant the herbs are taking ages to root and grow. The mints grown from cuttings this spring are looking particularly miserable and cheesed off, sitting sadly in their pots and refusing to budge, whereas the salads, although slow, are still looking cheerful, happy and bouncy.


Cuttings ready for potting

  • Eau de cologne mint 2cm high six weeks after potting.

The team for this year are all here now and have been braving the elements at shows since the 16th March. Rose has come all the way from Australia and two weeks ago was at a show in Essex – she was the only person excited by all the snow that was falling, taking pictures of snow laden roof tops and pretty landscape scenes and once we got back to base proceeded to make a snowman so she could send a photo home. The rest of us had disappeared somewhere warmer to recuperate.

Ellie has designed us a Facebook and twitter page which can be found at www.facebook.com/herbalhaven  and https://twitter.com/HerbsFarm which we have been adding some comments and photos to, so have a look and like us please.

 

We seem to have solved the mice problem that has plagued us for a couple of winters – with the buying of sonic repellents. In the smaller tunnels we have silent to the human types that plug straight into the mains – and in the large tunnels solar ones that emit an audible noise. It took around a month for the mice to decide they definitely didn’t like them and since then we have had no trouble at all. I would definitely recommend them.

 

The weather has delayed plant growth this spring and so herbs that died down for the winter aren’t all starting to shoot yet - but one that normally arrives quite quickly is mint, you should be able to see the first green shoots. A lot of people grow mint in pots to stop it invading the whole garden and spring is the perfect time to tip it out and re-pot it. As it grows very quickly, any planted up in pots last year will have completely filled them and used all the goodness in the soil. The whole pot wants tipping out and literally chopping in half – a knife would do it or a spade. You can simply put one half back into the pot and refill with fresh compost (the other half can be thrown away or put in another pot).  Alternatively you can pull the thick white fleshy roots off from around the root ball and place these about 1 cm below the surface of a brand new pot of compost. It is worth incorporating some long life fertiliser into the compost too which will save a weekly feed. Before long you will have a big luscious pot of mint ready for making mint sauce, for new potatoes and lovely cool summer drinks.

 

Our friend Ali has been helping at some of the talks we give to local gardening groups and the like – as she is an amazing cook she has been talking about the dishes she creates with herbs. She has given me four of her recipes Lavender and Chocolate Chip Cookies, Black Peppermint Chocolate Truffles, Poached Chicken with Curry Plant and lastly Lovage and Apricot Stuffing. I have put these on the recipe section of the journal – please give them a try.

 

We have adverts out in our usual magazines this spring Grow Your Own, Kitchen Garden,

Grow It, The Edible Garden and The Garden. There is a 10% voucher code off during April on all herb internet orders. As readers of the newsletter you can use the voucher code herb07 until the 31st May to receive 10% off all internet orders.

Think that’s all for this newsletter, have a great spring – hopefully a lovely sunny one!

Lorraine