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Great to have you behind me on this one! Yes, most French Gardeners are Bio/and Lunar followers, in particular Bio-dynamic gardening uses the constellations and this is being introduced on the Radio and TV this year.
Anyway, back to the Moon's track across the sky and when you DON'T garden.
When the moon is at it's highest point and furthest away from the earth it is called 'apogee' - When it is at it's nearest point it is called 'perigee' - In both instances it is deemed harmful to plants and seedlings grow weakly and are prone to sickness. The primary cause is because if you imagine 'high and low tides' which we know are caused by the gravitational force of the moon/earth - At the highest and lowest position of the moon, it is effectively ineffective - neither pulling or pushing growth.
So these 2 points are known as 'noeuds lunaires' or knotted moons. ie. Fixed and doing nothing.Thus it makes sense to do nothing but basic maintenance on these days as indicated in the Calender.
Each Constellation favours Roots/leafy veg & herbs/Flowering veg/Seeds & fruits, and as the moon passes through the Constellations, strengths and weaknesses are denoted in growth
As the moon rises and passes through Capricorn & Taurus, and a descends through Virgo it covers Root Vegetables such as: Garlic/Beetroot/Carrots/Celeriac/Shallots/Turnips/Onions/Leeks/Potatoes & Radishes.
As the moon rises through Pisces and descends through Cancer & Scorpio it affects leafy vegetables such as: Asparagus/Cabbage/Spinach/Lettuce/Leeks/Chard/Rhubarb and aromatic herbs.
As the moon rises through Aquarius and descends through Libra & Gemini it has a favourable action on Flower-Vegetables such as: Artichokes/Broccoli & Caulifowers.
As the moon rises through Aries & Sagittarius and descends through Leo it favours the maturity of seeds and fruit such as: Aubergines/Cucumbers/Courgettes/Beans/Peas/Melons & Tomatoes.
This makes perfect sense to me as the higher it goes in simplistic wording - the more it pulls plants upwards, and the lower it goes it forces roots down. Following the course through the constellations would indicate it's strengths and weaknesses through each constellation on the relevant veg family.
Hope you are following this so far, because then you can begin to understand how the Calender works.
Calender to follow in next couple of hours - Plus some answers to questions (I hope!)
Lunar Calender 1-8th February 2014 (Moon rising)
1st Feb:- In greenhouse 20-22C sow begonias semperflorens & geraniums. Do not cover the begonia seeds Sow cauliflowers.
2-4th Feb:- Sow under heat white cabbage.(Calender says you should be able to plant these out 9th April for cropping in June/July) In Cucumber Frame sow early lettuce and batavia.
5th Feb:- No gardening between 7.40am-5.45pm (descending noeud lunaire)
6th Feb:- In all regions sow round as opposed to wrinkled peas and mangetouts. In mild regions sow Broad Beans.
7-8th Feb:- Outside -Sow Red & Yellow Onions 1-2cms deep.You should be able to harvest these July-Sept.
I have some cauli seeds but it says on the packert not to sow till May, it's a winter variety, will there be another time to sow them or do you just get the chance to sow seeds once
The moon's phases come round again every month so you can follow what suits your latitude, exposure and températures. I find this on line site easy to use - http://www.the-gardeners-calendar.co.uk/moon_planting.asp
Sticking with this thread, as so many of my own questions to ask on other subjects!!
I agree obelixx, you will get another chance (or several!) to sow and plant etc. Obviously a certain amount of common sense comes in. If the weather is horrendous, none of us would set foot outside to do anything! One thing I have noted though is that 9 times out of ten last year - on a non-gardening day, I would not have gardened anyway, due to weather. Equally, yesterday for example was calm and mild. the wind had dropped and yes I did use up last year's opened packets to pop some seeds as per Calender in the Cold frame. (I'm still a little sceptic!!)
What would be great is if we could compare notes as we go along. So, for example if one of you was brave enough to sow something already this week, diary it, and let's both see if it does come up/crop better etc and when.What shall we call ourselves? I am sure someone will be 'clever' and say 'loonies'! How about 'Lunites'? - Any ideas?
Just in passing, husband reminded me that we are 1 hour ahead of you in France, so I have adapted the FrenchLunar Calender to English time.
Moonlighters maybe ?
That's a good one - any more ideas? By the way - just in passing if you download (FREE!!) Stellarium it is great for looking at the sky where you are at any time of night or day.
In between gales and before we get a power cut! - Here is Lunar Calender for 9th-15th Feb 2014
9th Feb - Moon still rising until 3.20pm continue to sow onion seed outside 1-2cm deep.Sow leeks under cover and radishes and turnips to force.
10th Feb - Same as 9th until 4.43pm when moon starts to descend, then running into 11th Feb - thin seedlings from previous plantings earlier in the year. Plant anemones & renonculus, Divide snow drops in the green.
12th Feb:- Don't garden before 10.15am as moon apoge (Furthest point from earth) After this you can commence as per 13/14/15 Feb.
13 14 15th Feb - Moon descending. If no frost Prune climbing flowering plants like wisteria. Prune fruit trees and bushes.and if no frost plant new or infill leafy hedges with naked root specimens (not potted) and (as though we all need it!) water in well.
Any queries - Please ask.
Here is the Lunar Calender for 16th-22nd Feb 2014
16 Feb - Fruit Period ending. If the weather is mild plant or prune new and old fruit trees and fruit bushes.
17-18-19Feb - Moon descending Root Period - If no frost plant shallots and Rose Garlic in soil that has not been manured.
20th Feb - No Gardening Day Moon approaching reaching lowest point.
21-22 Feb - Flower Period Earth up Artichokes with compost. Plant Bare root roses Prick out begonias sowed 1st Feb.
Putting next week's calender up this afternoon. Feels like growing weather but just too wet and windy - Anyone else tried yet?
Did a lot of weeding and pruning and transplanting of several shrubs on Tuesday. Took lots of clematis cuttings from those prunings and had a word with some of the roses.
It's been too soggy and/or windy since but I'm hoping to get OH in the garden tomorrow to clear away my piles of clematis prunings and turn the compost heaps.
Not sowing seeds of anything just yet.
Well - Good luck everyone here's the Lunar Calender 22 Feb - 1st March Let's hope for a chance to start! I note the mags here are now adding ' If not too wet!' in addition to 'if no frost'! Briitany underwater at the moment so perhaps that's why!!
22-23 Feb Prick out lettuce sown 2-4th Feb. Trim conifer hedges and carry out topiary
24 Feb Moon at lowest point 1.25am, After 7.33am sow tomatoes/aubergines/chillies and peppers.under heat
25-26 Feb Rising Moon sow Peas and Broad Beans outside.
27 Feb Sow carrots and Radish undercover before 2.50pm Radishes can be cropped before carrots allowing latter to grow on.
28 Feb-1st March in Nursery Bed sow Summer cauliflowers & brocolli
So there we are -weather willing seems we can start the veg off!!
Don't hesitate to ask questions.
Well despite weather and in between showers I did sow 38 The Sutton Broad Beans this week as per Lunar Calender, and the Rose Garlic. I have to admit to not trying anything else yet. Just too awful in the Potager and at the moment I only have a cucumber frame, so not much going on in there other than Winter Storage.
Anyway - Here's to March bringing better weather and growing opportunties.
!st March is The new Moon at 7.59am - after this the Calender for the week ahead is very active. With a rising moon it is time to concentrate on sowing seeds, so here goes:-
2-3 March Sow under cloches Spring lettuces, broccoli and summer cauliflowers. Sow Rocket & Spinach outside, and sow impatiens/petunias and nicotiana in the greenhouse
4th March Do not garden after 2.45pm today. before this sow tomatos under heat.
5-6 March Sow cucumbers and melons under heat.Sow turnips & radishes under cloches and onions & autumn leeks.
7-8 March Sow celeriac in greenhouse, keep moist until they sprout.
Let me know how yu are getting on.
Well I did get the onions in - so that's a start!
Here is the Calender for 9-15th March. Happy Lunar Gardening weather willing!
9/10/11 March carry on as per 8th March until 0.40 after midnight running into 10th then all changes to flowers as moon descending. Prune roses, and prick our cauliflowers in the Coldframe sowed 1st Feb and pot up geranium cuttings. Do not garden after 2.45pm on the 11th. Moon at lowest point so no strength to benefit plantings.
12/13 March Plant asparagus and cover with 5cm earth to gain maximum strength from moon pull. Water well. Plant all container evergreen shrubs.
14/15th March After 5.54pm on 14th a good time to deal with Fruit. Finish pruning and remove suckers. Prick our aubergines/chillis and peppers sown 28/29 January into pots. Hoe peas sown 5-6 february to encourage root growth and stake climbing varieties.
16th March After 3.42pm Roots take over from flowers.Plant out early potatoes 10cm deep.
Has anyone else managed to start Calender yet?
Too early for sowing here but I have been doing lifting and dividing and replanting or potting on root days.
I assume I can sow my newly arrived chilli and tomato seeds on fruit days now that things are warming up.
Hi obelixx - yes chilli/toms and aubergines have the go ahead!!
Herewith Lunar Calender for week 17th - 22 march 2014
17-19th March Root days. Plant out first early potatoes but cover with fleece. Also plant out jerusalem artichokes and horseradish. Don't garden after 11.30am on 19th.
20 -21st March Flower days back. Continue pruning roses/buddlea/perovskia and other summer flowering shrubs. Plant out cauliflowers if sown beginning january. Thin out Impatiens (Busy Lizzies) sown 1st March. Sow dahliasand perrenial flower seed in warmth.
22nd March Leaf Day. Plant or divide herbs and rhubarb. Thin or prick out spinach and lettuce sown 1-4th March.
Happy gardening! Brace yourselves for week 23rd -29th It's all system's go for EVERYTHING!!
Well Spring Onions and Red onions s 19th March set out 6th March. Broad Beans sowed 26th Feb sprouted 20th March. here's Calender for week 23rd-29th March. How are you getting on??
23rd March Up to 1.37pm thin out spinach and lettuce sown 1-4th March. Plant or divide herbs and rhubarb.
24/25th March Fruit Days. Sow round (as opposed to wrinkled) peas and broad beans. Cover with fleese if cold. Sow tomatoes/peppers/chillies/aubergines again in heat.
26th/27th March Root Days.Sow carrots/radish and beetroot. Do not garden after 1.30pm on 27th .
28th Flower day. Sow hardy annuals like allysum/clarkia/busy lizzies where they are to flower and sow perrenial sweet peas.Sow dahlias and other perrenials under heat.
29th March Leaf Day In nursery bed sow cabbages and brussel sprouts for Autumn crops.
Let me know how you are getting on - want to compare notes!
Thanks Biofreak? So far I've been concentrating on weeding, lifting, dividing and transplanting and waiting for the goodies I have stashed in the greenhouse over winter to harden off to go outside and make space for babies. If all goes to plan, I shall be sowing my broad beans, toms and chillies this week. Maybe some flowers too depending on space and time.
I've been preparing a new allotment site, so have concentrated on building a fence, and digging up brambles, only started digging the plot over this week, weather permitting the first beds go in tomorrow so hope to start planting in April.
I've been really slow at sowing seeds at home but the dates to sow seeds from 24th fit in with my plans, so could be growing by the moon through default rather than design, I like the idea of not being able to garden after certain times it means you can just sit back and enjoy.