biofreak


Latest posts by biofreak

Border along our long drive; What to do?

Posted: 27/06/2017 at 17:20

We have a long drive too, flanked by a mowed bank on one side and a flat lawn area running along the hedge. I have turned the latter into a fruit bed with a row of raspberries then red and then blackcurrants which has worked well and can be mown on either side. The bank I have started to put shrubs and grasses along the top strimming the grass in between so maintaining the lawned look. I have put cowslips and rock roses plus some smaller ornamental grasses on the slope itself and will intersperse with bulbs in the Autumn -In theory this all sounds great, I just hope I can maintain the parklike look which I love!. - I have left the brambles in the hedge so that we can taste the blackberries and see if they are sweet enough to keep semi cultivated or whip them out to make more room for the sloes and hazels that are there already.

Best Free Garden Design App

Posted: 27/06/2017 at 17:08

What about Paid For ones?

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 27/06/2017 at 17:02

Just to finish the Month -Here is the Lunar Calender 27th-30th June


27/28/29th June - No gardening recommended prior to 12.20pm on 27th Moon descending in Leo so Fruit Days. Prune and shape espalier apples/pears and grapes. Take tips off tomatoes once they have reached 5 trusses to encourage fruiting. Take tops out of aubergines/cucumbers and chillies to accelerate fruiting.


30th June Root Day Moon descending in Virgo. Plant out leeks sown 17-18th May. Thin out carrots sown 13-14th June and Winter Radish sown 21-23rd June.


Keeping a watchful eye on broccoli as cabbage whites fluttering around hopefully! Broad Beans setting pods now and third Raised Bed up and running with second batch of peas and 1 pumpkin, which I am advised will try and take over.! Tomatoes doing very well on Terrace. Have decided not to put greenhouse up until I have been here a little longer, as still cannot work out prevailing winds. Don't need it yet anyway so may well leave it until next year in its box.


How are you all getting on?


O/H has informed me that lawn too big and has given me Carte Blanche to infill with shrubs borders and other joys!!! Hurray! Only one hiccup. Neutral clay soil, hot and dry -Any ideas for Winter colour and Autumn bulb planting? Turned out daffodils from pots once they had died back so have about 60 of these to put in thank goodness from last garden. Thought I might naturalise them in waves so chopping corners off lawn and creating a pathway. Would you add any other bulbs to blend in?


Happy Gardening

Last edited: 27 June 2017 17:04:31

Best Free Garden Design App

Posted: 27/06/2017 at 16:28

Have looked at a few Apps on the Internet but none really appeal -Any ideas?

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 20/06/2017 at 15:09

Hi Everyone


Watered Potager at 5am then off to Farmers Market. Put Stand up 6am and then walked dog along the beach, wonderful still morning, an artist's dream. Strange to see the Moon in the sky all day on Sunday -did anyone else notice this? Bought myself 2 Musque de Provence pumpkin plants this mornig for the princely sum of 1Euro -86p!!. Apparently they are great for roasting and soups plus keep until April. Tomatoes are fruiting up on the Terrace, the broad beans are flowering and at the moment the Cabbage White's have not found my broccoli plants. Raised Bed No 2 nearly ready for Petit Provence Peas that have sprouted well in pots. -So despite moving I am catching up well with vegetable growing. Just need to buy courgettes/cucumbers/beetroot and celery plants as too late to guarantee a crop from sowing this year, although may try a few as indicated on dates below.


So here is the Lunar Calender 19th-26th June


19/20th June - Moon ascending in Pisces so Leaf Days. Choose the middle of the day to pick herbs for drying before they flower. Sow all salads.


21st June - From 5.45pm 20th June onwards Fruit Day as Moon slips in front of Aries - Sow cucumbers courgettes outside and set some melons off in the greenhouse. (I think I shall try sowing some cucumbers as have a packet to use up)


22/23rd June - Root Days with Moon ascending in Taurus. Sow Beetroot again for Autumn crops. Sow Swedes and Winter Radish like 'Mooli' On 23rd avoid gardening as Moon perigee (at closest point in monthly cycle to the Earth.


24/25th June - New Moon 3.31am on 24th Flower Days Prune shrubs that have finished flowering Layer Wisteria. Plant out Broccoli sown 19/20th May.


26th June - Moon descending in Cancer Leaf Day - Generally tidy up leaf crops and weed areas thoroughly as this is the time when weeds can take a hold . Make a purin with prele (Mare's Tails) to give all plants a 'lift' particularly during warm weather. It refreshes the structure of the plant and is particularly effective on Leaf Days.


Just taken a quick glimpse at weather predictions for July -Stormy and humid, but more on that next time!


Happy Gardening!

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 14/06/2017 at 08:59

Supposed to be really hot today. Watered at 6am much to the delight of cats who had shower at same time!! -Bengals LOVE water. Rescued Pushkin from Magpies last night. Found him wailing up tree being pecked at. That'll teach him! Broad Beans and Runners and Roses smiling at me this am after nettle bath. Making Nettle and Goat Cheese scones today for Farmers Market tomorrow. The oven calls!


Happy Gardening!

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 13/06/2017 at 15:30

Hi - O/H definately enjoyed Calva Distillery!! I have made Raised Bed Number 1 successfully -Filling it with Runner Beans and Perpetual Spinach. Lined it with newspaper initially directly on top of lawn, then added old compost to line it, then lawn mowings. Then  a bed of nettle tops and then 4 x 50litre bags of good organic compost. Watered each layer and left it for 24hrs before adding next one. Now watching with baited breath Oh size -1.20m x 1.20m.30cms deep.


Here are the plants to use as fungicides and there are some surprises!


Onions (Infusion dilute to 20%)


Nettles (Purin dilute to 15%)


Prele (Mares Tails Maceration dilute to 15%)


Horseradish (Decoction diliure to 20%)


Tarragon (Infusion dilute to 20%)


Tansy (Maceration dilute to 20%)


Insecticides


Garlic (Maceration and left for 3-4days dilute 15%)


Bracken (Purin dilute to 10%) Useful against shrews and voles)


Pyrethrum (Maceration and left 1 day dilute to 20%)


Elderflowers (Infused and diluted to 20%)


Tansy (Decoction dilute to 20%)


Tomato Leaves (Maceration and left 3-4days dilute to 15%)


Insect Repellants


Absinthe( infusion or Decoction diluted to 15%) Also good against slugs


Nasturtiums (Decoction diluted to 25%)


Euphorbia (Maceration and left 5days diluted to 15%) Good against slugs and moles


Lavander (Infusion diluted to 15%) Good against ants.


Ivy (Maceration diluted to 10%)


Rue Maceration left 6days diluted to 60%) Particularly good against rats & mice


Plant Stimulants


Achillea (Maceration left 2-3days dilute to 10%


Thistle (Infusion diluted to 25%)


Camomile (Decoction diluted to 10%


Comfrey (Infusion or Purin diluted to 5%)


Nettles (Infusion or Purin diluted to 5%) (I have one rain barrel devoted to nettles which I just throw in every time I weed -Works wonders against blackspot in Roses)


Dandelion (Infusion of Purin diluted 5-10%)


So - Don't just chuck those weeds away -Make use of them -they really do work.


Dilution example:- 20% equals 1 part product to 4 parts water.


Happy gardening!

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 06/06/2017 at 15:25

Hi Everyone - Computer crash put pay to 1st June weather report - Back from technician this am, so now up and running again. Calvados Distillery was a joy, not for the Calva starting at £50 a bottle!!! But for the stunning 16th century chateau where we were exhibiting and the wonderful baby plants that the head gardener let me have during a walk with the dog through the shady parkland.


Not sure May weather went according to Lunar Plan! Seemed to be wetter than predicted. June is supposed to be cooler until the 7th with changeable yet humid condition with heavy shower periods until 13th. 14th-16th should be warm but thundery. 21-23rd fresher but still wet days. From 24th hotter weather will arrive and a hot and dry Summer is then predicted. -I do have to add that the Calender that I followed from the 24th december until 12th night has actually been accurate which is interesting.


Now is the time to gather elderflowers and make an infusion to water over thrips and blackfly (20% dilution - ie 1 part product to 4 parts water ) and joy of joys I have found prele (Mares Tails) growing along the stream This is invaluable as a fungicide (Mashed up in boiling water first - then left for 3-4 days and diluted to 15%) Used against mildew and blight.For those interested I can give you a list of plants to use as fungicides/insecticides and plant stimulants from the notes of my last Biodynamic Course.Best Lunar dates for making preperations to prevent disease are 4th/24th/27th and 28th June. best date is 24th June for preparing purin for fertilisation.


Here is the Lunar Calender 6 - 17th June.


6/7th June - Moon descending in Libra - Air so Flower Days. Thin out cauliflowers and broccoli planted out 19/20th May Earth up and firm soil well around stems.


8/9/10th June - Full Moon 2.09pm on 9th - Leaf Days. Thin out salads sown 21-23rd May Prick out Brussel Sprouts and Winter Cabbages.


11/12th June - Moon ascending in Sagittarius so Fruit Days. Sow more French/Runner Beans and Peas and Mangetouts adding a row of nasturtiums in front and behind to attract blackfly. Sow Sweet corn . Start to harvest strawberries and raspberries.


13/14th June - Moon ascending in Capricorn so Root Days - Sow chicory and carrots.remember to water carrots as they emerge with a maceration of garlic to deter carrot fly that relish warmer evenings.


15/16/17th June - Flower Days (Avoid gardening on 15th before 8.45am as Noeud descending) If good weather start to gather herbs and flowers for herbal teas. Lime/Camomile and Mallow particularly good at this time.Sow biannuals. forget me nots/pansies/violas and hardy perennials.


Once again sorry for time lapse - Beaten by technology I'm afraid.


Happy gardening.

Bog Plants

Posted: 31/05/2017 at 16:23

Thank you so much for all the input -I thought we had about 15feet square, but after the storms at the w/e this has stretched to about 30ft long by 12ft. We have cornus flanking the garden on 2 sides and a stream (well a wet ditch really) between us and a marshy field. Did soil test at front on clay 'neutral ph' at the back 'slightly acid' -will all bulbs rot -or are there some that will do well in Spring?? Lily of the Valley is thriving. Will Lilies like it? The whole plot is about Quarter of an acre so loads to play with. Putting in Raised Beds for veg, as many parts will be too soggy -Are there any veg that don't mind damp?

Bog Plants

Posted: 24/05/2017 at 16:44

Large chunk of lawn in sunny s/w facing  really boggy spot. I have never grown plants in a bog garden and know that Gunnera will be too big and don't like dark green nothingy type plants. Apart from Irises and Astilbes, and ideas? Hostas/Ferns and Cornus are thriving there. Is there a small type opf Gunnera plant that I could try?? All ideas welcome _ I dont want to drain anything as this could be a soakaway for the house. Only been here a month!

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