Latest posts by biofreak

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. - 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.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 01/06/2016 at 16:43

Major event today - Ate 1st Onion!!! If anyone watched The Good Life imagine one onion placed gently in centre of table and ceremonially trimmed, then chopped, then grilled and added to Steak sandwich. Absolutely yummy!

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 31/05/2016 at 15:33

I have never tried layering, as I find most things do it on their own, and I just chop them off and give them to friends or move to another place. Not many lily beetle this year thank goodness, and I treated sawfly with a mix of camomile and garlic and it does seem to have worked - Lots of gooseberries coming anyway. I hope baby broccoli ready to move on 7th - microscopic at the moment!! Early peas just podding up and perpetual spinach superb as easy pick salad. Don't bother with lettuce anymore, have let rogue dandelions self seed, and we eat those instead. Making Nettle & Sheep Cheese scones tomorrow, as so many nettles near compost heap, so good to make use of them plus leave some for decoctions and butterflies.Happy Gardening!

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 31/05/2016 at 15:03

Well here we are with June tomorrow already - Don't know where May went! So much to do in and around the garden and yet that wonderful earthy feeling of 'growing' leaves one vibrant and satisfied at the end of each day at this time of year, instead of lack lustre and worn out in Winter. The Bio Dynamic Weather Calender forecasts a bright June but fairly cool weather until the 17th, particularly at night. Saturn is in Scorpio and the Water influence is strong, particularly with Uranus in Pisces so rain is highly likely. Jupiter in Leo ensures warm humid weather from the middle of the month, so beware of mildew, and allied problems due to humidity. Make sure greenhouses well ventilated and good spacing between pots to allow for airflow..

Best dates for transplanting are from 6th - 20th June. Star gazers look out for Jupiter/Mars & Saturn at night and Mercury in the morning.

Here is the Lunar Calender from 1 - 12th June - Happy Gardening!

1 - 2nd June - Moon rising in Pisces so likely to be wet - Leaf Days.Sow Summer lettuces in part shade. Sow Chard/Sweet Fennel (bulbing) herbs and Rocket.

3rd June - Fruit Day Sow cucumbers and courgettes outside in pockets of compost.

4/5/6th June - New Moon on 5th in Taurus so Root Days - Sow Winter radish between Carrots - Not only will the carrots be sweeter, but the radishes give off a sulphuric aroma disliked by carrot fly. Sow swedes and more parsnips.

7th June - Flower Day Moon descending. Take cuttings from flowering shrubs, and layer wysteria and honeysuckle. Gather and dry flowers for tisanes. Transplant broccoli sown 1/2nd May.

8/9th June - Moon in Cancer & Jupiter Leaf Days. Transplant celery sown 6/8th April, trimming the leaves and roots a little to kickstart fresh growth. Keep well watered.

10/11/12th June - Fruit Days. Moon in Leo. Take out old leaves and unwanted side shoots tomatoes/cucumbers and pumpkins. Pinch out centre fruit of triplets in apples and pears, thus allowing others to grow on. Take out smaller apple of pairs to avoid damage from rubbing.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 30/05/2016 at 09:09

Hi GWRS - Have sent you a separate message. Look out for Lunar Calender tomorrow. Boots the Bengal USELESS at moling, came home with 2 baby rabbits instead which I released back into the wild - He is furious with me. Sent him back to the mole hills! - although I did use 1 or 2 for potting on base when I split some primulas yesterday. Chucked rest on new compost heap as too much grass only on there.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 27/05/2016 at 09:07

What a cracking plot - Looks really good and much tidier than mine!! So much to do at the moment. Aquilegias are stunning and irises just coming out. Walked around Potager at 6am this morning as exhibiting at Hunting Shooting Fishing Fair for 3 days lunchtime so lots of baking to do - It was like walking around fairyland - So still and magical following rain - I love that earthy smell, you can feel everything growing. I even whispered good morning to the slugs and snails - Somehow everything was perfect. Boots the Bengal followed me and tiptoed around sniffing the wallflowers and twirling his whiskers - then he spotted a molehill which had arrived overnight, and I left him down there on Mole Duty!

I have not been to Monets Garden but if you can give me the dates - I can let you have other Fairs and Gardens to visit on your route nearer the time. Contrary to the news, we have full petrol tanks and no riots in our area. It is only Paris and Marseilles plus other major cities as usual playing up. Glad to be staying near home though. Motorway Stations are shut. I think President Hollande is glad that he is tucked away in Japan. Talking of which, I have a Japanese Maple, any special care required?

Still do not know how to upload photos onto this site. -Sorry. Technology and I do not get on.

Have a good w/e and Happy Gardening.

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