Spring might still be a month away, but the signs that it’s on its way are all around. The first leaves of trees are starting to appear and little plantlets are popping out of the ground everywhere.
A lot of the early spring herbs are already starting to come up - look out for the young shoots of nettles, chickweed and cleavers.
Like before, evergreens like rosemary, thyme and sage can be harvested in moderation.
Many of the herbs around this time of the year have a powerful detoxifying effect, and make a great tonic that’ll help our bodies prepare for the busier and longer days of spring and summer. Quantities and proportions are pretty flexible, simply gather leaves of any of the herbs listed below, chop them up and cover with apple cider vinegar. Let them infuse for 4 weeks and strain. You can then take this tonic straight, diluted in water, or as a salad dressing. Herbs that’ll work really well in a spring tonic include: Dandelion leaves, Nettles, Chickweed, Cleavers, Plantain, Yarrow leaves, Rosemary and Parsley.
IN THE GARDEN
Finish any jobs you didn't get around to doing in winter - clean pots and seed trays in preparation for spring, order seeds you want to grow, etc.
Take advantage of the beautiful weather we've been having and start to get things going in the garden - turn the compost pile, mulch trees and shrubs, make room for a new herb bed or make improvements to the garden - why not set up a rainwater harvesting system, or make a small pond or wetland?
Put some bird food out. Natural food supplies may be in short supply now and birds such as sparrows, blue tits and greenfinches will be grateful for the help.
It’s still a bit too cold for starting new plants outside, but you can get a head-start by growing seedlings on a windowsill and transplanting later on. Parsley, Dill and Coriander are all great candidates for a pre-spring sowing. Those will also tolerate growing indoors if you don’t have outdoor space to move them into.
// Words Camila B //