London (change)
Today 20°C / 14°C
Tomorrow 19°C / 14°C


Latest posts by biofreak

More Peas?

Posted: 24/06/2015 at 11:38

Just finished my first peas sown in March Petit Provencal. Absolutely stunning crop. I have Kelvedon Wonder podding up now and Mangetouts are just climbing frames. Can I get another crop in this Season and which one would you recommend for a decent yield. Packets say sow throughout May/June am I too late to pop in another?

New Potatoes

Posted: 24/06/2015 at 11:33

My pot grown Ratte & Amandine Potatoes have not flowered but have died back. How do I know when to harvest. Do I still water them? Pots feel nice and heavy.

Tips Aubergines/peppers Chillies

Posted: 24/06/2015 at 11:28

I have never grown aubergines/peppers or chillies before having never had a greenhouse. Bought some nice young F1 plants and now they are all in flower and appear to be doing really well. Someone told me that I must take out leaves to the nearest flower like tomatoes. a) Is this correct and b) should I be feeding them and how much water do they need? A neighbour tells me peppers fall off like young apples and there is a danger of some grub making holes in larger pepppers turning them brown? All advice welcome

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 24/06/2015 at 10:57

Here is second part of info re treatments for plants without chemicals:-

Plants used as macerations/decoctions or purins:

Wormwood - strongest insecticide wear gloves during preperation as Decoction. (We would say Infusion) - Used against Cabbage white butterflies/aphids & greenfly

Tomato Leaves - Very strong insecticide use as Purin to spray against ants/moths on leeks/Cabbage white butterfly/mosquitos

Tagetes - Stronger than insecticide use as decoction (Infusion) Spray tomatoes against whitefly and cabbage family against caterpillars

Santolina - Insecticide use as Decoction (Infusion) Spray Fruit trees/potager and roses against red & white spider aphids and caterpillars.

Rue - Stronger than insecticide wear gloves during preperation as Purin against slugs/weevils/aphids.

Chillies - Maceration for use against red spider and whitefly plus aphids

Turnips - Insecticide use leaves only as Decoction (Infusion) spray around tomatoes (not on leaves) against whitefly and aphids.

Lavender - Stronger than insecticide use flowers and stalks as Purin against ants/aphids/greenfly

Bracken - Insecticide use as Purin and spray all plants against slugs/snails/click beetles/vine beetle & aphids

Begonias -Stronger than insecticide use leaves only in maceration on all plants against slugs and aphids.

Rhubarb - Stronger than insecticide use leaves only as decoction (Infusion) Spray Ornamental shrubs and roses against greenfly/Snail and slug larvae and caterpillars.

Ivy - Insecticide as a purin use against greenfly & Aphids on Fruit Trees

ONLY ONE POINT to bear in mind, these concoctions are used as insecticides and they do not differentiate between good and bad insects, so target pests carefully. So much to absorb in this biodynamic list of info. At least it means that we don't have to throw spent leaves on the compost heap all the time. There are other uses! I'm surprised to find that you can use Broom/Cabbage/Wild Sorrel/Dandelions/Meadowsweet & Silver Birch leaves for all sorts of things. Precise recipes available.

Do let me have your comments. Have just pottered round the Potager with a much needed cup of coffee and am thrilled with transplanted beans/courgettes/cucumbers & tomatoes from yesterday. Before Lunar Trials I used to find that transplants looked a bit limp the 1st day and appear to struggle to meet new environment from pot to soil. Is it because I chose Fruit Days as instructed I wonder.

All thoughts please welcome.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 23/06/2015 at 14:39

Good to hear from you. No it does not take time - just a problem getting my brain into gear to work out how to 'treat' each plant and how to 'use' which plant! Will add more info tomorrow. Just rushing today to get last tomatoes/courgettes/cucumbers out. Keep getting side tracked by stray weeds and new self seeded goodies that just 'must' be popped somewhere else. Eating last Broad Beans and 1st Crop Peas tonight. Never seem to grow enough broad beans, will have to try harder!

Received invite to wonderful Bio Potager Fair in September this morning. Have sowed some of their Heritage Tomato Seeds this year with great results.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 22/06/2015 at 15:56

There are 3 methods to make preperations. 1. 'Maceration' Soaking whole plant material in cold water for several days to make mild preventative treatments (Normally used to increase strength in young plants) 2. 'Decoction' Dowsing herbs/flowers and some vegetables in hot NOT boiling water to infuse, then allow to get cold.( Normally used to release oils as an insecticide). 3. 'Purin' Chopping herbs/flowers and indeed some vegetables (cabbage leaves or tomato leaves) into small pieces thus releasing juices and soaking in cold water and allowing to ferment for up to 3 weeks to make extracts.

Whilst we already know about Comfrey & Nettle Brews. I have been introduced to other plants with specific beneficial ingredients used to increase vigour in young plants/ to help prevent rust/mildew and fungicidal problems and to use as repulsants against slugs/caterpillars/red & white spider plus other unwanted creepy crawlies.

To make 'Macerations' Place chopped leaves in plastic bucket (never use wood or metal as there is a reaction between the juices and these materials destroying the purity of the finished product) Add 3 times their volume cold rain water. Allow to soak for 5-10 days (Fermentation commences the 3rd Day) Filter and dilute to 20% (1 part Maceration to 5 parts water)

A 'Decoction' is a faster method to obtain the same result as 'Maceration' and stronger smells to repulse insects/voles - (Yes voles!)/slugs/caterpillars. Once again fill aplastic bucket with plant material and pour over 20 times the volume hot NOT boiling water (tap water is OK for this although a purist would boil rain water. Then allow to get cold completely.Filter and keep in bottles store at 12 degrees C in the dark.

For a 'Purin' Chop plant material insto small pieces including flowers and leaves and place in plastic bucket. Soak in 10 times its volume in warm or cold water for 24hrs at 18 degrees C.Then filter and store.

As an anti fungicide the following plants are used:-

Tansy - Decoction - Spray over Roses/Tomatoes/Potatoes

Elderberry - Decoction - Spray Fruit trees and Roses

Sage - Purin - Spray over Fruit Trees and Roses

Sorrel -Maceration - Sponge over fruit trees against canker

Nettles - Decoction - Spray Fruit trees & Roses

Origano - Decoction - Spray Camelias/Rhododendrons as a fumigant

Garlic - Decoction or Maceration - Spray for Peach Leaf Curl/Rust

Star Anise - Purin - Spray Potatoes against Mildew & Grey Mould

Nasturtiums - Decoction - Spray Fruit Trees against Canker

Chives - Decoction - Spray Cucumbers/Courgettes/Roses/ Currants - against Mildew & Grey Mould

Just a taster of what you can use without resorting to chemicals.







Posted: 17/06/2015 at 11:44

Cover freshly prepared soil with fruit netting  and lay  bamboo canes  on top of netting on either side of proposed row (In my case to protect Boots the Bengal from stomping all over newly sown peas -he means well!) He bagged a pigeon in the Brussel Sprouts last night so a very popular cat today! Re strawberries - Shared our first one yeasterday and 2 raspberries. Dog eats the raspberries and blackberries!

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 17/06/2015 at 11:38

My pleasure! Just received Course Notes from Germany on how to make potions (Purins) from herbs to deter pests to be used primarily from June-August. Will list recipes in detail if you are interested in not resorting to chemicals. Even a good one for blackspot on roses. By the way my Feverfew has attracted all blackfly away from my Broad Beans , shall definately plant more of this alongside bean bed next year.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 16/06/2015 at 16:19

Tansy or Tanacetum Vulgare is a native herb in Europe and also grows wild in East America. Its pungent bitter leaves were used in the Middle Ages to flavour cakes at Easter and used in desserts and salads. It is a herbaceous perrenial with ferny leaves and yellow bobble flowers. Scrunched up in the hands and scattered over brassicas it is a detterrent to cabbage white butterflies. (I did not have the black & yellow caterpillars at all last year but still had green ones, although not so many) It also makes a good insect repellant and is a source of orange dye.


Just in passing if you have livestock - Cut Hay 17th/18th June (Flower Days) for a crop that will stay aromatic throughout the Winter - The biodynamics involved on Flower Days intensify the aromas of herbs and flowers, making horses less 'picky' about their haynet in the Winter Months.


Posted: 16/06/2015 at 13:38

At the expense of upsetting other threads - get a Cat!!!!! Boots the bengal is a godsend. Last year the few gooseberries I had dropped off and were very hard still - hence the question. Will try a few this w/e. Thank you.

Discussions started by biofreak


Earthing Up? 
Replies: 14    Views: 426
Last Post: 04/07/2015 at 07:08

More Peas?

Can I get another crop in? 
Replies: 9    Views: 322
Last Post: 25/06/2015 at 16:54

New Potatoes

When to harvest 
Replies: 15    Views: 522
Last Post: 03/07/2015 at 17:05

Tips Aubergines/peppers Chillies

First Time Grower 
Replies: 8    Views: 325
Last Post: 25/06/2015 at 15:25


When are green gooseberries 'ready'? 
Replies: 18    Views: 451
Last Post: 18/06/2015 at 22:14


How to Succeed 
Replies: 0    Views: 86
Last Post: 15/06/2015 at 11:52


Slug deterrant? 
Replies: 14    Views: 553
Last Post: 28/02/2015 at 18:13

Lost Seed Order!!

Has anyone else lost their's in transit? 
Replies: 5    Views: 334
Last Post: 25/02/2015 at 12:28

Cucumber Frames

How do I make maximum Use of one? 
Replies: 4    Views: 353
Last Post: 25/02/2015 at 10:21

How to get rid of Gorse

Roadside problem 
Replies: 3    Views: 309
Last Post: 10/02/2015 at 11:35

Are Gardening Magazines Overseas related to UK?

Carol Klein & Alan Titchmarsh in France 
Replies: 0    Views: 184
Last Post: 03/02/2015 at 14:50

Old Wive's Tales/Tips and Wrinkles

True or False? 
Replies: 35    Views: 1281
Last Post: 03/02/2015 at 14:29

Moving gooseberries

Will sawfly move too? 
Replies: 14    Views: 975
Last Post: 19/01/2015 at 07:57

Swiss Chard

New veg to try? 
Replies: 20    Views: 773
Last Post: 18/01/2015 at 15:48

Biodynamic Gardening

Has anyone tried it? 
Replies: 21    Views: 746
Last Post: 24/02/2015 at 14:58
1 to 15 of 46 threads