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Latest posts by biofreak

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 12/10/2015 at 15:53

Devastation on Veg Plot - Only been away 2 days to UK and returned to find caterpillars munching their way through brassicas with a vengeance. I had stopped using weekly Tansy Brew end of September thinking that as no sign of caterpillars all now well. With continued warmth and sunshine I was obviously wrong and have made a note to continue spraying well into October which was not what the book said!! (July-Sept sufficient) - So there we are can't turn my back for 5 mins.Dosed everything again including sooty mould on Brussels.

Here is Lunar Calender for 12th -26th October

12/13th Oct - Root Days Moon descending. Harvest all roots not destined to over winter and protect others with cloches or fleece. Plant onions sown 8-10th Aug. (I have just popped in Sunshu Onion sets bought in UK - Packet says Japanese Variety ready June). Cover with used compost Plant shallots for early crops.

14/15th Oct - Flower Days Plant out perennials sown 8-9th June and 5-6th July plus bi-annuals sown 2nd August. If you have already had a frost lift dahlias/cannas/begonias and gladioli. Protect roots of artichokes (Cardboard around roots works well)

16/17th & (18th up to 12.47pm when Moon starts ascent again) Leaf Days Lift Chicory and cut tops to 2 inches and roots to 6inches then replant in a trench outside or pots under cover - water then cover with earth/straw or black plastic to encourage blanched heads.

19/20th Oct - Fruit Days In mild areas sow round (not wrinkled) peas and broad beans. Scraping outer off peach/apricot and plum stones try sowing them in pots filled with sand and bury them against a north facing wall.Some will shoot.

21/22nd Oct - Root Days Under Cloches or in greenhouse sow short variety carrots.

23/24th Oct - Flower Days In front of a Trellis or hedge sow perennial sweet peas. Mark the spot sown as germination will not take place until March or April.

25/26/27th Oct - Leaf Days No gardening before 12.40am on 25th or after 8am 26th due to Moon in alignment with Jupiter and Venus causing adverse reactions. Harvest Lettuce and Spinach. Lay down fleece or tunnels over crops as now time to protect everything. After 1st frosts gather 1st Brussel Sprouts (I'll pass on this one as none to be seen yet!) Cut Tarragon down to 10cm from ground and cover with loads of dry leaves or straw.

So there we are - sounds like Winter's beginning. However, I like to feel that there is a little sunshine left for November, then when that goes I know we're in for the long haul, but if I can sit outside with a mug of tea a little longer I am happy.

Let me know how you are getting on and Happy Gardening.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 28/09/2015 at 14:02

Just got back from Bio Festival des 1001 Legumes - Absolutely superb with lots of like minded gardeners and tons of info. The idea of the weekend was for visitors to potter round the vegetable garden (Only 2 acres!!!) which was designed in small squares showing off ancient varieties of vegetables and companion plants. You could taste tomatoes and choose any one's you liked to take home and harvest your own seed from the fruit to grow on in your own potager. You had a form to fill in which was like a Calender so you could follow the progress of your chosen seed to plant to harvest, and the info has to then be sent back to the Bio Festival for analysis. Tomatoes were not the only things/Cucumbers/Pumpkins/Beans and masses of vegetables I have never come across were being grown. All available from the shop. Lectures included good composting/companion planting/green manures/Bio preperations and how to cook many of the stranger veg. I had a ball, and enjoyed selling my cakes and cookies at the same time. Everyone was talking about the Lunar Eclipse. Had a look at 3am this am - Not Orange but interesting. Now off to plant Spinach Plants bought at Festival (1£ for 20 which I don't think was bad!! - So sad to hear about your allottment site attack - It is so sad that people can have nothing better to do than destroy the simple pleasures of others. Luckily we do not seem to have this problem. I have given up growing parsnips - just don't like me! Monday is my Sunday - Day Off so off to potter round the Potager!! Vine Peaches have just ripened so must pick them quickly, or they will drop and rot as they do not keep.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 22/09/2015 at 16:27


Off to Biodynamic Fair this weekend so hope to report back with lots of info.

Here is Lunar Calender 24th Sept -8th October

24/25th Sept Moon Rising - Root Days Sow radish in full sun for a final crop.

26th Sept Flower Day - Sow Sweet peas (6 to a pot -size 10cm) Winter them under cover and they should be ready to plant out in Spring.

27/28/29th Sept - No gardening after 5pm on 27th or before 10am on 28th Moon at highest point in sky and a lunar eclipse so ineffective forces.

Leaf Days however so on 29th (or in between hours above sow Winter Spinach/Winter Lettuce and Lambs Lettuce under cloches remembering to lay bonfire ash down against slugs. Particularly ash from burnt conifers, at this time of year very effective, and potash useful for these crops.

30th Sept 1st October Fruit Days - Gather mature fruit and start preserving excess as the harvest will be particularly tasty for cooking on these days. In mild areas sow Broad Beans and early peas (My peas never work at this time of year - Any tips??) Broad Beans normally over winter though but am returning to The Sutton as always good for me (Any alternatives??)

2/3/4th October Moon descending and Autumn has arrived with the Sun & Mercury in Virgo for the whole month. However Venus/Mars/Jupiter and Leo are grouped together so warm days expected with particular emphasis on 12th/16th and 23rd Oct. Some stormy weather foreseen after this again with Saturn/Scorpio and Uranus in same constellation.

Root Days 2/3/4th Oct - Sow radish again and carrots for harvest April/May

5th Oct - Flower Day Plant Spring Bulbs except Madonna Lilies. Plant out POt grown shrubs and in mild areas cut off spent hydrangea heads.

6/7th October - Leaf Days Transplant Spring Cabbage sown 3-6th August heeling them in well.

8/9/10th October - Fruit Days - Plant out the last new strawberries. Make holes for fruit trees to be planted out in Nov/Dec.

So there we are another Summer gone. How have you got on - Are you going to follow Lunar ideas next Summer or revert to traditional methods. All  comments interesting. Happy Gardening.


Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 02/09/2015 at 17:27

Well - I didn't think much of that moon, but the gardeners at the Gardening Fair were well and truly smitten, and talked endlessly about constellation liaisons that had taken place the same night. Foxed me a little, I have seen much better Harvest Moons but I have to admit that the potager does look great despite the storms that we had over the w/e. We were in temperatures 32/34C in Higher Normandy at the fair, great sweep of high temperatures shooting up from the South. Home only 17/19C so nice and cool when I got back but wet wet wet!.

Anyway - let me have your thoughts. The Biodynamic Calender for September says warm weather will prevail after the 5th with cooler misty nights commencing on the 17th, rain forecast from 22nd. The Sun Mars and Leo are in alignment at the beginning of the month causing the warm spell, and Pluto is aligned with Sagittarius until 25th assuring mild weather. All sounds good for harvesting and transplanting. Best dates for transplanting are the 6th/16th and 21st, making sure that you transplant the relevant type: Flower/Root/Fruit or Leaf as per usual.

So here is Lunar Calender for 2nd September -21st September. Happy Gardening.

2nd Sept - Moon Ascending -Leaf Day Sow Winter Salad inc Spinach and sow grass seed to rejuvenate worn patches on lawn.

3rd Sept - Fruit Day Gather early pears and apples and Harvest tomatoes cutting balance of leaves off the latter to encourage fruit to mature.

4/5/6th Sept - Root Days Sow last radishes to ensure final salad pickings before colder temperatures commence in late October.

7/8th Sept - Moon Descending - Flower Days Plant out bi-annuals sown 8/9th June and 5/6th July. Plant the first Spring Bulbs Prick out in Nursery Bed Pansies/Forget me Nots and Violas sown 2nd August.

9/10th Sept - Leaf Days Take cuttings from evergreens. Put them under cover and protect with straw against winter cold. Prick out Cabbages sown 3-6th August.

11/12/13th Sept - Fruit Days (Eclipse of Sun on 13th so no gardening on this day before 1pm) Place a slate under pumpkins and last courgettes/marrows to maintain heat and help avoid rotting and slug attack. Plant out new strawberries and layer runners. Plant out container grown fruit.

14/15/16th Sept - Root Days (14th No gardening before 1pm Moon at lowest point so ineffective on Plants) Start planting out onions sown 7-10th August only choosing the largest at this stage as they will have a better start. Leave others to grow on under cover, top and tail the seedlings then roll in liquid mud mix and plant in (winter sun) exposed site (You may have to think back a little to Autumn Winter and Spring sun positions for this one) - Make sure that they are well drained and soil has not been manured recently as they will only bolt instead of bedding down for the Autumn. Harvest beetroot, carrots, turnips, parsnips, leeks and radish.

17th/18th Sept - Flower Days Plant acid loving plants in pots or garden - In particular divide or plant out Lily of The Valley and transplant Day Lilies.

19/20th Sept - Leaf Days Plant out container grown conifers. Blanche endive and celery.

21/22/23 Sept - Fruit Days (This one is a bit complicated as we are going to talk about sowing cereals not fruit) Do not leave any plots vacant but sow Oats/Wheat or Rye now to provide a green manure in the Spring. The organic matter produced from these particular grasses will ensure a good crop to dig in next March & April. Just scatter the seed as for a lawn. They take a while to sprout but have faith.

Let me know how you are getting on. Off to battle with huge snails climbing up Runner Bean Canes now. Birds will be pleased as they have got used to me tossing these beasts onto a bare patch of earth near the bonfire. Boots the Bengal a bit of a hazard though. Keeps bringing fledglings home. Still I belie

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 28/08/2015 at 10:05

No, only 1 hour difference plus I am opposite Jersey so nearky back in UK anyway! I have given all times in Lunar Calender as Britsh Time. If you want to be technical The Northern hemisphere is on Greenwich Meantime and I have only covered Northern Hemisphere info. I do have Australian equivalents but don't think that we need to know about tornados/hurricanes/monssons etc - Although with all the current rain and wind, maybe things are changing!!!

Happy Gardening and Bon Weekend.


Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 26/08/2015 at 16:06

Tansy is a herb ( see previous post) very smelly when soaked in water for a few days - not surprised it has kept things away! Have now added nettles to bucket as a feed for lazy beetroot - Seems to be helping though not sure it isn't just all the rain that we are having! Wish I had grown many more broad beans as never seem to have enough. Sungold tomatoes turning now at last although greenhouse tunnel roof just blown away in storm this morning! Toms don't seem to care though as very warm and I have just ordered another cover as repairs with sticky tape and rope just don't work.

Must also grow more garlic - I know that we can buy tons of it here in France, but you can't beat your own produce.

Don't forget to look out for the Moon on 29th - not sure if they will mention it on TV. Biodynamic Calender says that it is the reason why we are all suffering from this wet and windy spell, also massive high tides due this w/e.

Off to Garden Fair south of Paris  Friday to pick brains for Autumn Planting. Just made Tomato & Basil Scones for produce Stand.

Happy Gardening!

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 18/08/2015 at 15:22

Well I can't say that I'm impressed with Tansy Brew as far as green caterpillars go, keep picking the pesky beasts off the brassicas BUT I do have to say that I have only found one yellow/black cabbage white caterpillar as opposed to a mass on the untreated plot ( I still run 2 traditional patches to compare Biodynamic treatment methods) The tomato crop is not coming to much, perhaps the low light wet Summer has not helped. Sungold as ever shining through but heritage varieties in some cases have not even set. Peas/Beans have been great though, as too have all salad crops. Will certainly grow Chard/Coriander and mixed leaves again.Ridge Cucumbers also doing really well outside whilst courgettes an unmitigated disaster! Tried a climbing variety and none setting at all.

So - here is Lunar Calender for 17th - 31st August. Just one thing to look out for - On Saturday 29th August there will be a magnificent Full Moon at it's nearest point to the Earth it will look magnificent. Keep an eye out for this.

17/18/19/20th August  Moon descending- Root Days. Harvest beetroot/celeriac/carrots/turnips and radishes. They will be at their best during this period. Lift the last potatoes & onions. Avoid gardening on 18th before 8.40am as Moon at lowest point and futile to expect any magnetic forces to aid plantings or sowings.

21/22 August - Flower Days Plant paeonies/irises and new day lilies or divide old clumps.

23/24th August - Leaf Days Start blanching celery and expect to harvest in 2/3 weeks time. Blanche scarole for 10 days then harvest.

25/26th August - Moon ascending - Fruit Days Harvest Beans for drying. Start harvesting apples & pears and autumn fruiting strawberries & raspberries. Gather tomato seed.

27/28th August - Root Days Sow leeks for harvest in May next year. Do not thin them out between sowing and harvest. Growing closely together will keep ground covered during the Winter and avoid disturbing soil by thinning and allowing frost pockets to form.

29/30th August - Flower Days For early flowering next year. Sow in situ hardy annuals. Don't garden after 11.15am on 30th - Moon at highest point so weak forces. NOTE MOON ON 29th.

31st August - Leaf Day Sow green manure crops on spare parts of veg plots to provide ground cover for Winter, to be dug in in the Spring.

So there we are - Summer nearly over, and for some not much of one. But I prefer cool and damp anytime to heatwaves and no full water butts!

How are you getting on - and how have your crops been?

Just a footnote on treatment for mildew - Spray affected leaves with milk diluted with 10% water (Use skimmed milk if you don't like the idea of a sour smell on the veg plot for a few days!) Do this religiously for 3 days. It does work.

Happy Gardening.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 28/07/2015 at 16:20

Interested in what you said about sprouts and broccoli as 1st classified as 'leaf' and second as 'flower' - Somehow I also think of them as 'roots' because they have to be so well anchored. I think that 'gut feeling' has to come into the equation somewhere.

In fact bought a book on individual plant reactions to the moon last w/e and it says that if you transplant brassicas during a descending moon period the roots will anchor better. With this in mind I think that any transplanting can be looked at according to ascending and descending periods, so it may not matter if it is a 'root' 'leaf' or 'flower' day in this context, although choosing a 'leaf' or 'flower' day when the moon is descending would appear more beneficial for brassicas. Just re-read this and hope it makes sense! Off to check tomatoes now - Just beginning to show some fruit , as are cucumbers in lasagne bed- How are yours?


Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 28/07/2015 at 14:01

I crush up tansy leaves in my hands and scatter them over heads of all brassicas - Really works. Tansy Brew was new to me and at present no sign of eggs or caterpillars on baby broccoli or Black Kale. Fingers and toes crossed!

Tagetes does work also if you grow it alongside beans and peas - apparently it deters slugs and snails but I have to say that I hadn't noticed this.

Has anyone else any tips?

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 26/07/2015 at 14:22

Hi - Short break last week and garden gone berserk with rain and winds. So much to do in between showers which I note were predicted in Biodynamic weather forecast. Just did not think that they would go on forever! Good news though NO caterpillars at all on brassicas having sprayed with Tansy Brew - Have any of you tried these preperations?

Weather -The Sun moves into Leo from 11th August so warmer weather predicted after a wet end to July. Prime days for harvesting seed are 14th-17th August. Immediately after harvesting crops sow green manures like field lupin/phacelia /mustard or flax.

Here is Calender for 26th July-18th August

26/27th July - Leaf Days Moon Descending - Just time 26th as end of Flower Days to lift and divide plus replant Irises.Prepare soil for sowing new lawns in September -Thin out endive/lambs lettuce and other salad leaves sown 7-9th July.

28/29/30th July - Fruit Days Start grafting fruit trees and prune cherries plus peaches and apricots (The latter two pruned will allow air to reach hidden fruit and encourage ripening)  Cut back fruited raspberries to allow new growth to form well before Winter.

31st July 1st Aug - Root Days Moon Rising - Sow Winter Radish again and Turnips, keeping both moist to ensure even sprouting.

2nd August - Flower Day and I'm afraid that no gardening advised before 4.10pm as Moon at highest point above earth so no strength in forces.Tie in and graft Climbing Roses, Sow Forget me nots/pansies/violas and other spring flower seeds in nursery bed.

3/4/5/6th August - Leaf Days (No gardening on 3rd until after 8.55am) Sow Winter Varieties Lettuces and other leaf crops including Spinach to ensure autumn cropping before first frosts.

7th August - Fruit Day Harvest beans to dry, Leave them hangingin bunches in a dry outhouse with good airflow. Gather Strawberries and Raspberries - Afraid mine have finished as started really early this year and need to start off new strawberry plants next year I think.

8/9/10th August - Root Days - In mild areas sow red onions like Brunswick and yellow late sowing varieties. Also Spring Onions, for early crops next Spring.( 10th August at 12.08 pm Moon starts descending, hence reason sowing recommences)

11/12th August - Flower Days -Take cuttings from Roses. Prick out bi-annuals and perrenials sown 5-6th July.

13/14th August - Leaf Days- Prune evergreen hedges and tidy up topiary and box hedges again. The growth would have been enormous with the wet warm weather in July.

15/16th August - Fruit Days - Plant new strawberry plants remembering to soak pots first, or if bare root soak in wet mud. After harvesting prune peaches and apricots again.

So there we are - Happy gardening and do let me know how things are going.





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