biofreak


Latest posts by biofreak

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 17/08/2016 at 15:42

Note your keen on the old gin!! - Blight has struck my outdoor tomatoes. Poor little 'Glacier's succumbed within the week, as have all tom crops in our area. Plus Market Gardeners Potatoes hit too, so prices of both high in the shops. Back to imports! - However - Tomatoes themselves seem OK at the present and ripening fast in this heat. First time I have tried this Canadian Tom, really tasty and sweet - Stems like tree trunks and no pruning needed as Bush Variety. very similar to Sungold, but I think have the edge so I shall certainly grow them again (60days it said on the packet and it was correct!) Huge crop of standard size toms. Some Mini four legged Monster munching pea sprouts - Sent Boots the Bengal down there but he came back with another of the neighbour's baby rabbits from their garden not mine! Have I got more voles do you think - or could it be birds? Lots of empty snail shells on plot so very busy birds.


Anyway despite storms (as predicted) brewing  -here is the Lunar Calender 19th-28th August.


19/20th August - Try not to garden on 19th as Full Moon descending and stormy weather predicted.Moon adverse with Neptune.- Flower Days - Sow outside hardy annuals and in nursery bed Pansies/violas/forget me nots and primevera. Graft climbing roses.


21/22/23 August - Leaf Days Sow Winter Salads resistant to cold weather to harvest in the Spring. Sow Spinach and Lambs Lettuce. In mild regions sow Spring Cabbage. Don't forget to sow Green Manure crops on vacant plots. On 22nd don't garden before 7.25am as Moon at nearest point to Earth so harmful force to plants.


24th August - Fruit Day - Cut away leaves from Grapevines and Tomatoes to encourage further ripening.


25/26/27th August - Moon in Taurus - Root Days - Sow Leeks and when sprouted thin them to 5cm apart - Do not prick this batch out as at this time of year it will weaken growth contrary to earlier leek sowings. These will be ready to harvest next May if left in peas and well earthed up. Carry on sowing radishes for late salad crops. In mild areas sow japanese Onions for harvest next Spring - (I sowed under Cucumber Frame and overwintered them there - Best crop I have ever had. Failed miserably with onions before.


28th August - Flower Day - Take cuttings from Evergreen Shrubs. Protect them in Winter. Blanche Celery for harvest in 2/3 weeks time.


Happy Gardening!

Last edited: 17 August 2016 15:43:38

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 03/08/2016 at 16:08

Yes, all well here - hot wet and windy! - Struggling to keep roof on greenhouse and tomatoes upright! Must go back outside now and tend to outdoor toms, as they are about to tumble down as well!


Happy Gardening.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 01/08/2016 at 15:32

Welcome to August! French and English Bio Dynamic Calenders agree that this month will start hot and dry with warm windy conditions mixed with storms particularly between the 11-13th, the weather will be particularly unstable between the north & south regions but rain is forecast for all particularly between the 20th-25th. Following this there will be cooler automnal conditions (already?) with colder and wetter periods leading us into September. Pluto brings warmth in addition to the Sun in Leo followed by Mercury and Venus which move to Virgo after the 27th bringing coolness. Mars in Scorpio brings the stormy conditions strengthened by Saturn particularly around the 13th. I note looking at the sky that we can see Mars and Saturn all night and Mercury, Venus and Jupiter in the early evening. The collision of magnetic forces with most of the Planets at cross aspects -this month sees it as a wild, warm and stormy period. Let's see what happens!


This is the month for gathering seed that should be harvested on the relevant days. (Flower seed - Flower Days. Leaf Seed - Leaf Days etc) Be sure to sow Green Manures immediately you have vacant space in the Potager.


Here is the Lunar Calender for 1st-16th August.


1st Aug. - Moon descending in Gemini - Flower Day. Take cuttings from Flowering shrubs in particular Roses


2/3 Aug - New Moon on 2nd (so you won't see it in the sky) - Leaf days Trim evergreen hedges and brush moss from walls and terraces to weaken second growth in Sept/Oct.


4/5th Aug - Moon and Mercury in alignment encouraging Light Forces - Fruit Days - Cut Raspberry Canes to the ground if they have finished fruiting . Plant new strawberries and keep well watered.


6/7/8/9th Aug - Root Days Choose beetroot/carrots/turnips/celeriac to eat now as they will be at their very best on these days. Lift potatoes and onions.


10/11th Aug - No gardening on the 10th due to adverse effects of Sun entering Leo. Flower Days - Harvest Flower seeds, Plant or divide Day Lilies and Irises. Plant Autumn Bulbs. Prick out bi-annuals sown 22-23rd July.


12/13th Aug - Moon in Scorpio - Leaf Days Start blanching chicory and endive. (Allow 10-15 days for process to complete) Thin out Salad crops to allow light to enter between plants particularly into the Autumn.


14/15/16th Aug - Moon Rising in  Sagittarius - Fruit Days. Harvest Beans to dry (Tip: After podding pop them in the freezer for a few hours to kill grubs etc that might be lurking inside grain) Harvest Summer Apples and Pears (Would these be ready yet?- If so what varieties? - Does anyone know??) Keep picking raspberries and strawberries. Harvest tomatoes for seed. . Harvest Aubergines Cucumbers and Courgettes.


17th/18th August will be  Root Days so buy in Autumn Onion Seed if you have not done so already.


Well that's plenty to be going on with. - I don't like the idea of stormy predictions, but at least I won't have to worry about water supplies! - Keep your comments coming. We need other Bio contributers to share experiences on this Thread. Have just bought myself a natty little book about infusions/concoctions and other treatments in the garden. Will pass on any tips we don't know about already once I've read it.


Happy Gardening!

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 27/07/2016 at 16:07

Just done my good deed for the day - First time ever found bird caught in fruit net (Garden Warbler) dear little thing had got itself in a right two and eight with netting wound round wing and claw - Rushed for scissors and cut all twine away, once finished popped him/her onto compost heap and he/she bounded away happy as larry. - Only found it by accident whilst browsing around fruit bed searching for last raspberries.


Not much to add to Moon Calender up to end of month, can't believe that we are almost into August!


28/29/30th July - Root Days , continue sowing Winter carrots/swedes and radishes.


31st July - Flower Day - Prick out bi-annuals and perrenials sown 25/26th June.


Thank goodness there is rain today -Water Butts empty. Much cooler too which I prefer.


Tomatoes coming on well and 5 baby cucumbers now, have added lemon cucumber this year - no idea what it will be like. Baby Broccoli struggling and new peas sprouting - went back to Kelvedon Wonder despite trying others - this still really works for me. Weeds outnumbering flowers - Plus brambles arriving from nowhere! - Massive pruning and weeding to do this w/e.


Look out for August weather prediction and Lunar Calender this w/e.


Happy Gardening!

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!!!

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