biofreak


Latest posts by biofreak

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Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 20/07/2016 at 16:13

Red hot tomatoes!!! - Literally!! - 36degrees outside 42degrees in the greenhouse yesteday even with door and windows open. peppers and chillies loved it. Cucumbers sagged a bit, and tomatoes set some fruit!


Hope all went well at the Village Show? - Yes Nice bad news - Never stops does it? Glad to hide in the garden. French very sympa about Britex - 63% of them in poll earlier this month wanted to leave too! Sorry I'm a stayer even in this heat!! Recipe for Citron & Thyme Cake available if you send me a message.


So - here we are boiling as predicted mid July - hoping for storms to re-fill water butts. Have crystallised more lavender/munched raspberries and blackcurrants plus the odd pea (not many this year just popped some more in -living in hopes on Fruit Day) Spanish beans coming on well (Runner beans in UK). Misting peppers and chillies - Gave up on gooseberries - went to pick them having leered at them every day, to find none left. Stroppy blackbird winked at me, so guess he ate them!


Here is Lunar Calender for 18th - 26th July Happy Gardening!


18/19th July - Moon Rising in Sagitarius. Fruit Days. Graft apples/pears and plums.


20/21 July - Full Moon Root Days - Sow turnips and Winter radish - Keep moist until sprouted.


22/23 July - Leaf Days - Graft all Roses. In Nursery sow forget me nots/pansies & violas Don't garden after 1.55pm 23rd. Moon occluded by Neptune (watch out for heavy storms)


24/25/26th July - Leaf Days Sow all salad crops in shady spots for Autumn pickings and Chinese Cabbage plus Winter Spinach to pick before major frosts.


27th July - No Gardening between 7.30am and 5.45pm Moon closest to Earth so Take a Break and enjoy your garden. I have a very rusty garden chair that I leave out in all weathers and all year (so that I can snatch an odd moment even in mid winter to sit and reflect) I move it around the plot so that I can take in different views and plan strategy for next season (Usually forgotten what this was once I go back indoors!) I say rusty chair because I have fallen through it and off the side of it when the arms snapped this year, but - well - I love it. Have you got a favourite piece of garden furniture or tool that you will not be parted from??


Off to wonderful fair this w/e. Chateau only open to the public once every 2 years, with superb parkland and unfortunately one very lonely swan on lake. The owners tried to give it a friend, but it would not accept one.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 08/07/2016 at 14:54

Actually - I don't know if they do play cricket here - and we've been expats for 24yrs now, so we should know!!! Strategy Planning was to start another thread on Biodynamic Gardening to encourage others to come on board - but to date no joy. It would be so nice to share other gardening methods - Still us Moonbeams are managing OK. Still staggered by the weather being so accurate using BioD Calender by Maria Thun. Have just given the Potager a good spray of Comfrey Tea and Nettle Broth. Plus sworn at the Peach Tree which has succumbed to Peach leaf Curl despite all attempts to help it - Now definately dead. I have a new Apricot Tree safely planted in a totally different area, so hope this does not give up. Mind you with peaches £1.99 Kg in the shops, no reason to bother growing one really I suppose.


Next Gardening Fair end August near Evreux - Have just crystallised some lavender for this event and made lavender sugar for shortbread before the flowers open fully. Such a pretty colour against chocalate icing. Made Lemon & Thyme cakes last week - the smell of fresh thyme is fabulous at this time of year. Must go and gather some Lemon Balm to dry for tisanes. And of course some Borage Flowers to pop into Ice Cubes for Winter Gin & Tonics! Oh the joys of the Potager! Munching our way through raspberries at a rate of knots and blackcurrants nearly ready. Golden Courgettes coming on well, but peas not happy.Still not sure if gooseberries are ready - so hard!


Happy Gardening!

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 05/07/2016 at 15:46

Found variegated agapanthus at Garden Fair near Rouen last year. There is a Specialist Agapanthus Nursery who developed this some 8 yrs ago - It is really stunning. Not very big but bushes up well. Will dig out the name for you amongst my box of 'I bought this' labels.. It's not so much the Tour de France as crowds I don't like. Rather watch major event on Telly, although football is a 'no no'! Cricket and Wimbledon - well now you're talking! - Actually if I'm honest, sitting quietly in the garden planning strategy (and probably falling asleep) is more my kind of thing.


Happy gardening!

Last edited: 05 July 2016 15:47:00

Bio Dynamic Gardening

Posted: 05/07/2016 at 15:39

Bio-dynamic Gardening is a type of organic gardening which focuses on ensuring self-sustainability of the soil, by using special manures and herbal preparations to enhance soil health, integrating plants and animals and encouraging biodiversity. It also covers the study of the Lunar Calender in association with other constellations, strengthening the cosmic forces (Think magnetic/tidal) to encourage healthy growth of plants and fruit during key periods of the year. It is a very popular method used by Beekeepers to predict likely days for swarming etc. the Bio-Dynamic Association has an excellent explanation, but I am particularly seeking fellow bio-dynamic gardeners who can explain the use of preperations etc. and widen the horizons of my Gardening with the Moon Thread. Someone must be brave enough to step forward and give us all some guidance. I think those who will read this thread will be keen to enhance their gardening experiences - sceptic or not.

Bio Dynamic Gardening

Posted: 03/07/2016 at 10:52

Are there any Bio Dynamic Gardeners out there who can open discussions on Preperations and Gardening Methods.


Whilst we have the thread Gardening with the Moon - It would be great to bring other aspects of this in - Also Please Gardeners World - Give us an article or a Piece in the TV Programme on this subject. I feel it never gets covered, and some of us would love to learn more about alternative gardening in harmony with Nature and the Environment.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 03/07/2016 at 10:45

Hi everyone


All well in Normandy despite area heaving with Tour de France fans, meaning I can't get out to the Garden Centre, which brings me to a question - Why when I buy in 'Bio' Plants and transplant them in my organic garden do they turn out weaker and more disease prone than those (despite being late - hence the reason I sometimes kick start with bought in plants) I raise myself. - Do they react to the ground like a foreign body - or does the ground react to them? - Subject to discuss I think, as I have perfectly good home grown broccoli plants and slightly larger bought in one's which yesterday I found had leaves peppered with holes (What's this?). This should probably be on another 'thread' but as most readers of this one are 'Bio' or Bio-dynamic - I feel you may react to the foreign body idea and I prefer a Bio reply. - Also does anyone know why tree bark preperations are used? Bio D Calender mentions putting birch wood with yarrow into earth and cut maple for dandelion - Can find no explanation for this. All ideas welcome. Source: The Maria Thun BioDynamic Calender.


Weather Report


With a wet end to June, I'm afraid July may be warmer but plenty of wet weather predicted after 19th July -= So no water butt problems! Humidity may be our biggest threat, with hotter days predicted after 17th until the end of the month. Watch out for storms due to planetary interactions (primarily Saturn in Scorpio/Uranus in Pisces and Mars in Libra).


So here is Lunar Calender for 2-14th July (No gardening recommended on the 1st as Moon furthest point away from earth so weaker forces)


2/3 July - Moon ascending in Taurus - Root Days - Sow Winter Radish between carrots as they will be less fiery in taste on harvesting - also deflect carrot fly on late crops.


4/5 July - New Moon - Moon descending (so remember now is the time to trim hedges again and transplant plus take cuttings) - Flower Days so take cuttings of all shrubs (I include roses in this as they work well for me at this time of year as opposed to Aug/Sept) Prick out bi-annuals and perennials sown 29/30 May.


6th July - Moon in Cancer - Leaf Day - Start blanching scaroles and harvest 10-15 days later.


7/8/9 July - Moon descending in Leo - Fruit Days Prune apples and pears and take growing tips out of tomatoes/cucumbers/Courgettes. Prepare new Strawberry beds for August planting.


10/11/12/13 July - (No gardening until after 11.30am Moon closest to Earth so damaging forces)


Root Days - Prepare soil for sowing onions in mid August. Lift Garlic/Onions and Shallots leaving them out on soil to dry for 3/4 days (I pop them under garden table when it is wet so they are still on the ground but sheltered and won't mould)  Lift Potatoes if foliage yellowed. Thin out Turnips and carrots sown 23/24th June.


14/15 July - Flower Days. Moon in Libra. De'head rigourously to encourage new flowers. Gather and dry plus crystalise edible flowers. -(Lavender/marigolds/chives) Make syrups and compotes with wild flowers. MY TIP Roll goat cheese or mozzarella in edible flowers - delicious. - Have you any wild flower recipes??


There we go - Off to Medieval Fair in Bayeux now to nose round Bio Apothecary Stand with lots of new herbs to buy - (I hope!!) Still raining, but fine drizzle which is great for tender plants. The purple Phormium fronted by silver Curry Plant and variagated Agapanthus looks stunning against grey sky. - All weather has a silver lining I think.


Happy Gardening - and Keep those Thoughts coming!!! We need to talk!!!

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 28/06/2016 at 14:34

I agree that the digging in is the biggest hassle with grasses, so I chose mustard last Winter and also left sections of my plot covered with last seasons celery and winter radish. All easy to pull up and turn over. I have found the best idea is to cover spare spaces with heaps of fresh compost and let it rot down in situ - Amazing worm count afterwards and only have to rake over - No digging at all.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 27/06/2016 at 12:05

Boots the Bengal would love to send a photo, but not sure how to do it - Please advise!! Whiskers a quiver and paws set to snap a selfie! - On a more serious note - What do you think of Bio Dynamic Weather reports so far that I have done? - I think that they are seriously uncannily accurate. Would love your views! - I took cuttings of all my favourite roses yesterday and lifted daffs that I want to move. Then the Heavens opened yet again!

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 24/06/2016 at 15:47

All well here, despite torrential rain and humidity. Garden heaving with slugs and snails. Pulled Japanese Onions at Full Moon, Best crop I have ever had - Actually look like onions not just stalks with nothing at the end!! Will definately grow these again. Water Barrels nice and full. Boots the Bengal heroically hunting despite storms. One sodden cat arriving in triumph bearing furry gifts at 3am, is not my idea of a restful night - but he means well, and we have no more moles or voles at the moment. he has befriended a baby magpie, that follows him around eating the odd mouse head or tail that he may leave on the lawn. The parents are not too happy about this relationship, and there is a glint in Boots' eye, when the baby comes near. Magpie Pie planned I think!! - First hint of ripening strawberries and raspberries yesterday. - When are gooseberries ready?? - Garlic and Camomile decoction certainly worked against sawfly. - Must now go and tackle whitefly on aubergines with nettle juice. I see that John Harris Head Gardener of  Tresillian Gardens in Cornwall has brought out a book on his gardening methods via the Moon. Think I might buy myself a copy. Comes out in September apparently. www.johnblakebooks.com. - Happy Gardening.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 12/06/2016 at 12:35

Weeding yesterday found first pea pod ready - Munched all 3 peas inside!! - Ok - so not many but 1st is always best!!


Here is the Lunar Calender for 16th-30th June 2016


16/17th June - Moon descending in Libra - Flower Days. Prune Spring flowering shrubs that have finished flowering including lilacs and non evergreen hedges, don't be afraid to cut out older growth and central stems to allow for better air circulation. With Moon descending sap is not rising to damage cut growth but magnetic forces concentrating on strong root growth, so can handle heavy pruning.Plant out cauliflowers and broccoli sown 1-2nd May. Mine are just plant-outable but still mini!


18/19th June - Full Moon Leaf Days. Blanche Chicory. If sunny, cut and dry herbs before they flower, and make nettle and comfrey potions. Plant out Cabbage sown 3-5th May Thin out Salad crops sown 30th May-2nd June.


20/21/22nd June - Moon Rising in Sagittarius - Summer Solstice 21st. Fruit Days. Sow Courgettes in pockets of rich compost for September harvest. Graft fruit trees.


23/24th June - Root Days - Sow Winter Carrots and Turnips


25/26th June - Moon Rising - Flower Days In nursery bed sow all bi-annuals except lupins which prefer to be sown in situ as they don't like being moved (Can't say I agree with this, mine move ok - Any comment?)


27/28/29th June - Moon in Pisces Leaf Days - Sow Lambs lettuce/Rocket/Chinese Cabbage and other Autumn Lettuce. Keep well watered but don't plant too close to avoid grey mould on humid days.


30th June 2016 - Moon in Aries -Fruit Day Sow French and Runner Bean varieties to follow on from existing crops. Keep well watered and sheltered.


With rain forecast for most of the month ahead - I don't think water is our problem!. I shall however feed my plants with Comfrey and Nettle Decoctions and Camomile Calmers, to replenish nutrients washed out by all this rain!!


Happy Gardening. and keep the comments coming - All thoughts are valuable.

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