Latest posts by biofreak

Best Free Garden Design App

Posted: 18/10/2017 at 09:45

Thanks for update. Sketchup certainly fits the bill for me. No major earthworks to do so don't need all singing and dancing app, just ideas for planting in very different sections of garden ranging from gravel to a very very boggy area where I have plonked a Gunnera who is very very happy -Now I need some plants to add to him that will put up with sudden rise in water level after rain. Would marginal plants work best for this -Worried about suffocating roots.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 17/10/2017 at 15:01

Well-wasn't yesterday interesting?!! - Golden garden late morning then 2pm pitch black and had to drive to town with lights full on. Just like the Eclipse. Did not really get light again all day, and this mornng stayed dark here until 9.15am.(8.15pm with you) Windscreens covered in dust and did you see the red sun? Brilliant experience. Hope none of you suffered from Ophelia damage.

Here is the Lunar Calender 17-31st October

17/18/19/20th Oct - Root Days Moon descending with New Moon 8.12pm on the 19th.Harvest all vegetables that don't like frost and cover winter hardy shoots with cloches or fleece. Plant shallots and onions sown 3-4th September, and thin out carrots sown 1-2nd October. Start spreading compost on veg patch and on flowerbeds.

20th (From 2.49pm)/21/22nd Oct. - Moon descending in Libra -Air Sign so Flower Days. Plant pansies, violas and other spring flowers sown 9-10th August. Finish planting out Container grown shrubs and perennials. (Think I might just pot on Baby Lupins/Irises and Larkspur letting them overwinter in pots polystyrene boxes on terrace) Chop down Dahlias/Cannas and Gladioli and lift them to store if you are in cold wet areas. (I usually leave mine in preferring to cover with straw and practice 'survival of the fittest' Have to admit that being near Jersey does give us milder Winters, so think carefully about this one.

23/24th Oct - Leaf Days, Moon in Scorpio. Start blanching chicory.

25/26/27th Oct - Fruit Days. Moon in Sagittarius. No gardening before 8.30am Moon apogee. In mild regions sow Round Seed Peas (Not wrinkled)  and Mangetout. Earth up well several days after they have sprouted. (I fail dismally with these crops -Just lose out to mice and voles and very weedy sproutings from balance) -All tips welcome. (Cats on strike at this time of year -preferring bed!)

28th October -Root Day -Sow carrots and radishes under cover.

29th No gardening recommended before 11.50am Noeud descending. After this time Root Day still so as 28th

30/31st Oct - Flower Days with Moon ascending. In mild areas Dead Head & Prune hydrangeas, cutting to 1st bud under flower. (I usually wait until April, so birds can pig out on insects that seem to gather on lacy remains of flower heads.

So there we are another month gone. Brace yourselves for cold and snow during November with warm wet patches. More about this end of month.

Looking forward to hearing all your news. Thanks for info re Clover Paul. Do any of you lift your Raised Beds and overwinter the wooden frames? Do you cover them outside otherwise. Maintenance tips welcome.

Happy Gardening!

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 02/10/2017 at 16:02

Hi Everyone and welcome Paul - Where did you get your Clover Seed as sounds ideal. Fete des Legumes Oublies was great. The main feature was a lecture on wild forraging and there was a lovely Raised Bed Garden designed to show off; 1. Forgotten types of nettle (Only one stings apparently) -Some used originally to make cloth as we do with Flax (lin -linen). 2. Original wild varieties of vegetables from which our current veg are derived (eg wild cabbage) 3. Weeds used for dyeing cloth 4.Plants used in Witchcraft! and I have never seen so many varieties of pumpkins and mushrooms. Obelixx which variety did you grow up trellis and how did you support the fruit when it got 'top heavy'? There were lectures on composting and making the most of different weeds for Companion Planting.There were authors signing books on Self Sufficiency/Composting/Cacti and their Medecinal Benefits. and much much more including Lunar Gardening Diaries for 2018, so I'm all set for next year!  

Despite storm and tempest predicted it stayed fairly dry and I sold loads of cakes with Rosemary & Chocolate proving to be the favourite which was really rewarding as I had made the recipe up! Well done O/H to GWRS, on the scones.

Well, with October here the Lunar Weather Chart shows days alternating between fresh and humid with sharp frosts predicted for the 24th with unseasonally cold winds. We shall see. I hope it gets drier as not sure how to stop Raised Beds getting sodden with Winter Planting. Think I might have to overwinter Japanese Onions in Polystyrene Boxes on the Terrace instead of planting them out.

Here is the Lunar Calender for 2-13th October

2/3/4th October - Moon ascending -Flower Days Sow perennial Sweet Peas at base of Trellises.They may not sprout until the Spring but the wait with thise early sowing will benefit from early flowering.

5/6/7th October - Full Moon 7.40pm on 5th Moon in Pisces so Leaf Days. Sow Winter Spinach (I sow Perennial Spinach and Welsh Onions now plus Liveche which is a wild Celery type plant good for Spring Salads) Sow Lambs Lettuce, Winter Hardy Lettuces and Green Manures. Cover with tunnel if you are in a really cold exposed area.

8th October - Fruit Day (Sorry only one!) - Sow Broad Beans. Harvest fruit before the 1st Frosts (predicted for 24th)

9/10/11th October - Moon ascending in Taurus so Root Days -No gardening before Midday as Moon perigee (at closest point in cycle to the Earth) Sow last Salad Radish under cloches. Sow some Beetroot for fresh leaf salads ignoring Roots totally.

11th (from 1pm)/12th October - Flower Days Plant out bi-annuals and perennials sown 12-14th July. Plant Spring Bulbs and Iilies (Apart from Madonna Lily too fragile to overwinter outside). Bed straw around artichokes to protect lower stalks and roots.

13/14th October - Moon descending in Cancer so Leaf Days again - GWRS you beat us to it! -Cut down and burn Asparagus stalks. Weed the Asparagus Bed and top with compost and wood ash. Plant out cabbages sown 11-13th August.

So there we are -lots to be getting on with. Will try and send you lots of rain Obelixx, because I don't want any more!!

Happy Gardening and keep those coments and cheery notes plus your advice coming

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 27/09/2017 at 10:25

Just back from Festival of 1001 Vegetables( 'Festival des 1001 Legumes' sounds better!) absolutely brilliant - Obelixx -I was shocked to find out that in the Eure (South of Paris) they have not had any significant rain since 25th July so Half Acre of Raised beds looked really poorly. - Found out all about pumpkins and how to grow them up trellis Mine is enormous and now sprouting fruit -Far too late but apparently you can eat the flowers like courgettes so new culinary challenge! - GWRS do you want to borrow a Bengal?? Boots would be happy to dispatch rats! -although not seen any here yet as we have no barns nearby and no apples now.

Pushkin has never met a rat -Current sport Dragonflies -we are inundated with these beautiful green and turquoise adults from the lake next door, but Push will jump up and catch them, says much more fun than moths and butterflies!

Still finding caterpillars on broccoli but plants are doing well so I hope to have good crops. Runner Beans coming out of our ears and tomatoes still going strong.

Festival of Forgotten Vegetables (Fete des Legumes Oublies) this Sunday -so looking forward to it. Adding Rosemary & Chocolate Cakes and Savoury Scones to my range to sell as very popular last w/e.

The Oven calls and then back into the garden to continue planting Bulbs and preparing bed for Japanese Onions I bought in UK last week. Arrived in Folkestone and told O/H to drive immediately to Garden Centre!!!

Will give Weather Report and Lunar Calender October on Monday, plus tips from Fete.

Happy Gardening.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 16/09/2017 at 09:23

Hi Everyone

Have you tried Green Manure before GWRS? I haven't but would like to give it a go. Which one are you using? - My compost heap is coming on well so will definately cover new flowerbeds with that. Not sure which green manure for Raised Beds -So many to choose from. Gunnera thriving in this wet weather. Off to Rennes this w/e and UK for 24hrs Wednesday so here is the Lunar Calender 18th-30th September, as I have Festival of 1001 Vegetables 23/24th September at Chateau Beaumesnil in Bernay and Festival of Forgotten Vegetables at Routot 1st October , so felt I should keep you up to date today, to avoid an unforgiveable gap last month.

18/19th September - Moon descending in Leo so Fruit & Grain Days. Plant strawberries and other Bush Fruit. Place bricks or slates under courgettes/pumpkins/marrows to encourage further ripening and to protect them from damp ground. (My pumpkin plant is now 12ft high up trellis -wonderful flowers but no fruit setting -will try one earlier next year -Great ornamental plant)

20/21/22nd September - New Moon 6.30am on 20th -Root Days. Start planting White Onion sets or prick out those sown 6-8th August. (The Japanese Onion Sets make great Salad Onions -I am going to get them from UK next week as can't find them here at all) If pricking out, trim top and root like leeks to ensure a stronger plant.

23/24th September - Moon descending in Libra so Flower Days. Plant out acid loving plants and evergreens. In shady and woodland areas plant out Lily of the Valley and divide last years. Obelixx I bought some super tulips and daffodils from Lidl and Super-U in the Euro Sale last week. Busy planting them out now in new border.

25/26th September - Leaf Days Plant out Conifers and POtted Shrubs. Blanche Endive and Celery.

27th September -No Gardening before midday Moon apogee.

28/29th September -Moon ascending in Sagittarius -Sow Peas in mild areas, Earth them up 15-16th October and they should get through the Winter (Not sure about this one -Might try it, most of my Autumn plantings don't get through Winter and greenhouse not up yet -Any tips??) Perhaps fleecing would be good? Try raising Peach/Apricots and Plums by stratifying (Scratching) surface of stones and planting in pots of sand, place next to a North facing wall. (I have tried this and have a lovely little Peach Tree 4yrs on -Very long wait though! Harvest Fruit on these days as they will keep better.

30th September - Root Days Start spreading compost heaps on veg patch and flowerbeds.

Hope this will keep you going.

Happy Gardening!

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 08/09/2017 at 15:58

Off to exhint at Annual Garden Fair situated in lovely French Manoir grounds on clifftop not dissimilar to Land's End -In this weather!!! High winds and rain forecast all w/e and we are outdoors!! Just made tons of heavier than usual cookies that will NOT fly away, instead of my usual delicate Fairy Cakes! -garden thriving -Bog Garden turning into small lake! Gunnera in Heaven. Frozen down more Runner Beans. O/H fed up with being force fed with them!

Happy Gardening.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 01/09/2017 at 13:57

Hi Everyone

Weeded the new garden border yesterday as O/H banned from this job (Pulls up anything green! -Safer to let him loose on mowing the lawn only!) Everything looks much tidier. Glad you both have dry weather as Moon Weather prediction in this garden sadly wrong -although I am glad of water obviously. Still have some plants in pots from move and keep walking around with them, wondering where to put them ultimately. OK to have a blank canvas, but it can lead to daft decisions -like putting something in the shade in April which is no longer in the shade now, so plant gasping for breath as no air here on hot days! No wonder they say leave all alone for nearly a year to see what happens! -I am going to wait to put greenhouse up however, as still cannot decide on right place, and don't really need it at the moment as we have a covered hacienda type terrace which has been brilliant for the tomatoes, cuttings and drying bulbs and herbs (No room for us to sit though!)

Anyway on with the Lunar Calender 1st-15th September

1-2nd Sept - Moon ascending in Sagittarius so Fruit Days. Pop dried Beans that you have harvested in freezer for several days to kill parasites, then thaw and store.

3-4th Sept - Root Days Moon in Capricorn - No gardening before 2.35pm on 4th as Moon in Noeud Lunar descendent. During this period scientists have noted that there is a systamatic change in weather and magnetic forces. In trials it has been shown that these harmful and negative effects can be seen in sowing/harvesting and even working the soil so put your feet up!. In milder regions sow onions for Spring Harvest.

5-6th Sept - Full Moon 8.03am on 6th - Flower Days. Sow Hardy Annuals. Graft Roses.

7/8/9/10th Sept - Nice long period of Leaf Days as Moon ascending in Pisces. Finish preparing new lawn surfaces and sow grasses, remembering that a rye mix is the hardiest for constant footfall. In the veg patch sow green manures ready to dig in in Spring. Sow Lambs Lettuce and more Spinach for Autumn Salad Leaves.

11/12/13th Sept - On cusp of 10th/11th a Fruit Day creeps in between 2.43pm on 10th until 7.21am on the 11th - If you get time cut leaves away from balance of tomatoes and Grapes to give fruit last chance to ripen on the vines. Root Days quickly follow although no gardening on 13th after 12am on 13th as Moon perigee (at nearest point in cycle to the Earth) Sow radishes, and keep them moist if no rain. Sow leeks allowing good spaces between them as at this time of year they will not prick out successfully. Leave in place for harvest next May.

14/15th Sept - Moon descending from 2.02pm on the 14th - Flower Days Plant bi-annuals sown 15-17th June and begin planting early flowering bulbs. Prick out Pansies and violas sown 9-10th August (Ahh -I did not tell you to do this as I was not here -sorry!) - By the way my primroses are flowering???-Should they???

16/17th Sept- Moon descending in Cancer so Leaf Days. Prick out in Nursery Bed Cabbages sown 11-13th August (Um -missed this too -Sorry) - Take cuttings from evergreens and conifers. Put them in cucumber frame and protect from frost.

My secret Carpark Cuttings have nearly all taken so I have 6 creeping rosemary/4 Buddlea/6 Cystis and an unknown conifer doing really well -Now have to decide where to put them!! Not very good at thinking ahead. Friends bought me some lovely Sedums yesterday as 'get well' present. delighted -They will go well on the Bank. Gunnera very very happy in Bog Garden, will just have to shunt things along a bit as he gets bigger -2 New leaves coming out of ground after only 3 days. -Pumpkin has gone berserk growing up trellis - I am thrilled. Nursery Man tells me I may still get a pumpkin before end October. Cucumbers and courgettes setting

Last edited: 01 September 2017 13:59:21

Best Free Garden Design App

Posted: 29/08/2017 at 15:49

Thanks Mozigual -Will take a look, although current plans in brain going well. All Taller shrubs and grasses now in place, now working on smaller in-between planting. Looking to mow paths that will weave around lawn to Potager with Raised Beds flanked by Companion plants and Herbs. Leaving hedgerows fully intact as have been picking wonderful blackberries and cobnuts, and the Shrubbery that backs onto the house is full of berries for the birds so just a gentle trim except for the variagated dogwood which is very pretty but seems to grow outwards like a Triffid at an uncontrollable pace! As a biodynamic gardener, I am keen to integrate flowers and fruit next year, so would be interested to know some companion plants for currants and gooseberries?

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 29/08/2017 at 15:38

Hi Everyone

That was a shock! One minute I was fine and tonselitis on the mend, the next heart went weird and I was carted off to hospital!!! -Anyway all corrected and dosed up with new pills and no other problems thank goodness. Thank you so much for best wishes. O/H kept the garden under control bless his heart and bought me 2 beautiful purple grasses (He lost the labels I'm afraid!) and a GUNNERA for the small (3 x 2 metres)Bog Garden -Did not dare tell him that it just might get too big!!! Can you prune them back??

Anyway, what a month August turned out to be -So much for dry predictions! I daren't tell you that September is supposed to be overall hot and dry from 1-11th with a tendancy toward heavy thunderstorms. From the 12th it will become automnal with temperatures dipping away and fog between 22-27th. Alot more rain forecast from 15th and particularly 29/30th. - Lunar Calender certainly got August wrong, although in all fairness other months to date have been pretty accurate. -I hope we don't get Huston's weather in about 14 days when it usually travels this way.

Boots and Pushkin delighted to see me home, no controlling the number of furry presents bought in in 48hrs!! Local Tomcat appears to have tried to move in as well. Very smelly Terrace. Beautiful Yellow tomatoes ripening -Bought them as 'Yellow Tomato' Plants for 1Euro each (about 96pence) so unfortunately no name and hardly any seeds, will certainly buy more of these from Bio Market Garden next season. Freezer about to be filled with Runner Beans -So many, and of course it is now Salad Weather so w'ere not wanting to eat meat and veg!!

Lunar Calender until end August says Plant and divide Herbacious Paonies and plant out pot grown perennials between 27-28th -29th and 30th Leaf Days. Start blanching celery by wrapping cardboard around the stems and they should be ready to harvest in 3-4 weeks. Blanche scaroles and they should be ready in 10-15 days. Gather Autumn Apples and Pears on 31st and strawberries and raspberries.

Will write September Lunar Calender later in week when I have finished weeding and planting and harvesting all the bits and bobs that have got out of control in my absence.

Happy Gardening!

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 22/08/2017 at 18:13

 O/H  writing a quick note for me to say that I have been in hospital following bad reaction to second batch of anti biotics. Back home to write latest Lunar Calender news beginning next week. Sorry for silence.

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