Grow your own ‘living pot’ of herbs instead of adding one to the supermarket trolley. You’ll spend between £1-£2 for either a seed packet or a pot, but the pack gives you 10 pots. This really matters when we’re all reeling from the effects of Putin-caused spiralling inflation.

That aside, supermarket pots have been thickly sown and brought on under strict light and watering regimes, so may not take kindly to life on your windowsill. Use them quickly and fell in a single cutting.

But home-grown herbs are acclimatised to our homes in Scotland and can often be used over a longer period.

Keep them going by selecting individual leaves or snipping off bunches of leaves at least 3cm above the compost.

Sow annual herbs like dill, coriander, basil and parsley, indoors.

As a general rule, herbs take a fortnight to germinate and many are ready to cut in 6-8 weeks. Depending on sun and light levels, a few, like salad rocket germinate quickly and may be ready for cutting in a month.

Because species grow differently, it’s best to give each type its own pot. Use 10cm ones, fill with peat-free multi-purpose compost, tamp down, water and sow seed thickly. Coriander and dill are big seeds so should be sown individually. I make a small hole with my finger and pop the seed in.

I scatter small parsley and basil seed and sprinkle compost on top. Place in warmth and light.

Remember not to overheat the pots. Black plastic gets very hot in direct sun and inhibits germination and compost will dry out very quickly. Ideally, pots should be placed in a ceramic planter. This helps buffer temperature swings and makes them look more attractive.

Here in Scotland, always keep basil in a greenhouse or a windowsill but you can move others to a sheltered patio.

Plant of the week:

Blackthorn, Prunus spinosa, flowers early in the spring.

The white blossom usually appear before the leaves and can be so thick the bushes look as if they’re covered in snow.

With fewer pollinators in cold springs like last year, you get a poor harvest of sloe berries. Even when the little fruits set, they drop off since they weren’t pollinated adequately.

Sloes are very bitter but apparently mellow if rehydrated or exposed to hard frost. If I liked gin, I might be tempted to add sloe gin to my fermenting list, but leave that ‘treat’ to others.

Dense and spiny blackthorn is an excellent hedging plant. It’s a good windbreak and gives birds a welcome sheltered nest site.