Latest posts by biofreak

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 01/11/2015 at 09:54

Felt I had over-run on text so have started another Post for Lunar Calender 1st-18th November 2015.

1st-2nd November (up to mid -day) - Moon descending - Flower Days After 1st frosts lift begonias/dahlias/cannas and gladioli, storing bulbs in dry and airy place. Lift and throw away spent annuals.

2-3rd November Leaf Days On 2nd from Mid-day Blanche celery/chicory and scaroles. Weed out dandelions and other tap rooted weeds as particularly weaker now. If you like salad dandelions blanche these instead (Just pop a flower pot over the top and block top hole with flat stone) Make a note to harvest these crops in 3 to 4 weeks (I have trouble with slugs - any ideas??) Cut and burn asparagus stalks, Turn and tidy Compost heaps.

4/5/6th November - Fruit Days Gather spent bruised or wrinkly fruit from trees and burn them to avoid spread of fungal disease. When leaves have fallen spray with Bordeaux Mixture against Peach Leaf Curl and other fungal problems. Take Fig Cuttings after the leaves have fallen. Lift and replant stray raspberries.

7/8/9/10th November - No gardening after 10.50am (UK time) Moon at lowest point in sky so ineffective) In very mild areas plant shallots with just the tips showing.( I find that we are just too cold here - but I might try some in the greenhouse in polystyrene crates). Also try white or violet garlic. Cut down all foliage to ground level on Jerusalem Artichokes, Salsify, Horseradish and Parsnips. Cover with straw so that you can still lift roots from frozen ground (Didn't know this - Have any of you tried it?) Thin carrots sown 1-4th October. Check and rub off sprouts from stored potatoes.

11/12th November Flower Days Clear Borders, cutting down dried stalks except on perrenials and seed heads which must be left for birds. Leave grasses alone to die back gracefully as they provide homes for insects and continued bird food. Plant out wisterias and clematis. Cut back shrub roses and treat with Bordeaux Mixture after leaves have fallen.

13/14th November Leaf Days - Force chicory and plant out cabbages up to the base of the first leaves treading in well. Plant hedgerows and climbing ivy.

15/16th November Fruit Days- Moon commences rise from 12.35pm on 15th. In mild regions sow Broad Beans and non wrinkled peas. (Peas never work for me - Voles just too clever -Boots the Bengal no good prefers fireside now or Moth catching!) Broad Beans in greenhouse always seem a safe bet. Earth up several days after they have sprouted and put up climbing frames for climbing peas. (Are any of you going to try this?) - here's optimism -Now is the time to gather olives and take them to the mill for transforming into oil (Wish I could!)

17th 18th November Root Days Check all stored root vegetables and throw away any that are wrinkly or turning mouldy. Rub fingers over sprouting potatoes to remove shoots.

So there we are. Do keep adding Posts - It's good to talk! Happy gardening.



Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 01/11/2015 at 09:19

Tansy again recommended as a spray against whitefly but you could also try, boiling some crushed garlic cloves, allow water to cool and pass through a sieve, using resulting concoction undiluted as a fine spray in the early evening so sunlight on garlic water does not cause the victims leaves to burn. I have the same problem with the sprouts and empty the washing up water over them regularly from a great height flushing through the 'heads' - tend to soak myself through as well though! Garlic does work (you will need about 10 cloves to make a decent 'brew') The Bio-dynamic Weather forecast relates to our Northern hemisphere and not just to France I'm afraid. Don't forget that I am opposite Jersey so nearly in UK anyway. As it moves through the Zodiac, in the Northern Hemisphere the Moon is ascending through the constellations from Sagittarius to Gemini, and descending from Gemini through to Sagittarius. When it passes through Air/Water & Fire Signs particularly when in alignement with other planets, the forces of those constellations are strengthened, and this can affect our weather patterns, which naturally have a knock on effect on our plant/seed and growth in the garden.

The forecast says (and I have noted October pretty accurate) that the Sun stays in Libra from 2nd Nov - 20th maintaining overall Spring like warmth and bright days with some showery ones between 8th Nov - 19th due to Neptune in the water sign Aquarius. Venus and Mars begin the month in Leo but on the 2nd move into the cooler airy Virgo.Mercury and the Sun join Saturn 19th/20th November and the added forces of Uranus in the Water Sign Pisces re-inforces the strong possibilities of heavy rain or snow . However Pluto and Jupiter in fiery Sagittarius offer a warmer end to the month. (Source Info: The Maria Thun Biodynamic Calender) I still find alot of this info difficult to understand but on the face of it - it makes sense when you follow the simpler Lunar Calender, which for me has proved very accurate. My Japanese Onions have been up for a week now, so I have popped the Cucumber Frame over the top in case this snow turns up! If you look up Stellarium on the 'Net' the constellations are clearly seen, and I can follow the diagrams  weekly, which so far this year have worked in exactly as forecast in the Bio Calender. Would love to have other people's input on this. Does any one out there know more??? Please join in this discussion with us mere mortals!!




Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 29/10/2015 at 16:25

Both sets of info really useful. Thank you. Looked out for Venus/Jupiter/Mars alignement this am at some ungodly hour - Could not see Mars! Wet. wet wet today but really really warm. Bio Calender says snow from 20th November and Xmas will be very warm. I must admit I don't remember wearing a T shirt end Oct.

Look out for Lunar Calender tomorrow.

Happy Gardening

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 24/10/2015 at 15:51

Well done 'Moon'! I have sown my favourite The Sutton Broad Bean in base of old compost heap which is sheltered yet sunny, and tomatoes always do well there in a 'mini micro climate' Must try Root Trainers - Would they be OK all Winter, or should I transplant them albeit in cold greenhouse once sprouted?

Just beginning to put tender pot plants in greenhouse, but always seem to end up with no room for me!! Prefer to fleeece where possible or put in cold frame. Talking of which what would you grow in cold frames now? All ideas welcome.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 20/10/2015 at 13:52

A much loved spotty tiger!!! - Now on anti-vole duty in the greenhouse. Seems keener on large hole that has appeared in one corner though. Last year we had 'country rat' that tried to move in there with half our apples! Boots the Bengal given strict instructions not to let this happen again.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 17/10/2015 at 15:36

I resort to common sense and do NOTHING!!!! There is always another 'day' in the month that we can use instead.

Pleased to say emergency Tansy Dose has worked on Grey mould and latent caterpillars. Now just throwing potential plans of snails to overwinter in Brussel Sprout heads out of the window, by feeding these pesky pests to friendly thrush. Happy Gardening! Boots the Bengal has strict instructions not to eat this bird! Seems keener on catching baby rabbits and bringing them in the house to tuck behind the sofa for midnight feasts! So far have rescued 2 live ones and returned them to back field.

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

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