Latest posts by biofreak

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 03/11/2016 at 16:27

Hi Obelixx - We have chance to buy BioDynamic Smallholding  here, but with Brexit looming - Not sure what to do at present. GWRS -Sorry can't spare Boots the Bengal but can highly recommend the breed for total obedience (well nearly!) -No idea where he is at the moment, gone out with PP!

Met interesting man this morning selling chanterelles -He says that you should only pick wild mushrooms at the New Moon Phase as they are tastier then. Never pick at Full Moon because insects etc are attracted to the caps, and you will find them inedible. We have wonderful Parasols in the fields in October. I have to say I really prefer the Field Mushrooms back in the UK. When we had horses, we often had a good season with dinner plate size specimans -One made an omelette easily. Still I like the little Blue mushrooms we find here 'Bluits' and lots of Inkcaps and Puffballs.

Happy Gardening!

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 02/11/2016 at 14:28

I see text cut off at 13th Nov - so - Sow lamb's lettuce under cloches and the last batch of green manures giving preference to Rye which has long roots which will work the sub soil structure favourably. Adding vetches will enrich the soil with nitrogen and the cover of rye will protect the less hardy vetch.

14th Nov - Full Moon -No gardening recommended as Moon at nearest point to Earth. This is a Fruit Day, so if really mild and your last opportunity, you could risk a sowing of round seeded peas after 5.15pm

15/16/17th Nov - Root Days. If you wish to make use of empty cucumber frames, sow some round radishes and short variety carrots with spring onions. Open frame on sunny days, otherwise keep closed and fleeced during frost.

So - keep the comments and experiences coming. All input is so so welcome. Be brave - tell us what you think, and don't be frightened to ask questions. We're all on a learning curve with this Lunar Thread.

Happy Gardening!

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 02/11/2016 at 14:15

Hi everyone,

Sorry I did not clock in with Weather Report yesterday. Forgot it was a Bank Holiday here and such a super sunny day, just had to spend it finishing garden jobs before temperatures drop. Trimmed and  potted on strawberries/potted up fuschias to overwinter in greenhouse/potted up side rhizomes of favourite bearded irises to transplant to a new bed in Spring and cut back roses. Private Pushkin has found the catflap! - This means extra vigilance on the Potager and potty training for kittens which entails shouting loudly 'no' and clapping hands every time he approaches flower or vegetable beds, and leads to him (hopefully) to follow Boots the Bengal to tiddle etc in the back field normally in the molehills! This gets rid of the moles so very useful exercise!

Anyway - as promised I have the predictions from all French and BioDynamic journals for November weather. Interesting to note that they all say without exception that we have warm weather up until the 9th November, then expect North winds and general unsettled days from 12th with the 15/16th seeing a fall in temperature leading to rain and possible snow from 19-25th. Then it is supposed to turn wintery from 25th with more snow likely. With Neptune in Aquarius rain is the most likely forecast, but the dips in temperature caused by Saturn in Scorpio joined on 11th and 19th by the Sun and Mercury causes very unsettled colder days. Obelixx look out for Calendrier Lunaire 2017 by Michel Gros for 7.90Euros, he is the top man for predictions and has a sound grounding in Organic and Biodynamic Gardening -I find him more accurate than most -He also gives distance guides for accuracy, which you should find useful in the Vendee in relationship to us from Jersey up to Northern UK. The most important thing to remember is that we are in the Northern Hemisphere, so the guidelines above will be generally accurate for all of us. The Maria Thun Biodynamic Calender at £6.99 is a 'must' for those taking things really seriously -A little more difficult to follow than some Websites, but a good read. GWRS you are streaks ahead of me on the allotment! - well done and hope you enjoyed your break.

So - here is the Lunar Calender from 2nd -16th November

2nd/3rd Nov - Moon descending in Scorpio so Leaf Days. Start planting bare root trees and shrubs. Gather dead leaves and burn diseased ones, compost the rest or spread over flower beds to give bulbs a warm blanket. Spread compost on Potager and around roses avoiding really fresh manure. This is best placed in a seperate heap, covered with dead leaves and left to ripen for spreading in Feb/March.

4/5/6th Nov - Fruit Days with Moon ascending in Sagittarius. In milder regions sow Broad Beans and round seeded peas, remembering to earth them up well when sprouted. Harvest kiwis and if you want them to ripen quickly put them in a plastic bag with an apple, which will cause them to ripen faster. Gather the last apples and pears. If anyone is reading this in the Sth of France - harvest olives! 

7/8th Nov - Root Days  - Check stored Potatoes and remove any side shoots. Cover early Carrots and Onions with cloches.

9/10th Nov - Moon ascending -Flower Days Avoid gardening on 9th after 10.50am as Moon crossing with Neptune. Clean and feed indoor flowering plants. Check outside to ensure that all fragile plants are now fleeced and protected against stormy weather predictions on 11th.

11/12/13th Nov - Leaf Days. Harvest Brussel Sprouts/Spinach/ Salad Leaves, and pick last herbs outside before they perish or become dormant, a noticeable bitterness in taste accompanies the period before dormancy even if leaves look fresh. Sow lambs lettuce under cloches and the last batch of

Last edited: 02 November 2016 14:18:58

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 29/10/2016 at 16:30

What's your soil like in the Vendee? My cyclamen are also a bit pasty and we are very sandy, so I have to add loads of leafmould which they love. Hope the move went OK and you are now settled. Our primroses are out!! Have just crystallised some this afternoon. Lots of rogue raspberries in the Potager - I have to ask myself if I really need more! Will have to make a decision on next Fruit Day, when weather willing I shall move the Fruit Bed around a little - Still you can never have too many raspberries! Most Spring bulbs have sprouted already - This always happens to me - Just have to keep covering them up with leafmould. Irises very rebellious!! Welcome Hollyhock. Moon Calenders and Gardening Guides 2017 launched in all the Newsagents this w/e. Must send off to Soil Association in UK for their Info.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 28/10/2016 at 15:45

Great time in UK buying up all supplies for garden not available here, inc magazines which are a fraction of the price than by Europe Subscription. Now ready to tackle wild Autumn growth before - and I hate to say this -Snow!

Bio Dynamic Calender says expect temperatures to drop and potential snow after 19th November through into first half december! let's see what happens, but I'm making plans already, Such warm past winters have meant that I have not always been prepared for sudden falls in temperature - So lots of fleece at the ready, and I am not going to sow early crops this side of Xmas, as my success rate with peas and broad beans sown Oct/Nov is 00000!!!! Have you any tips up your sleeves without a greenhouse and outside? For those interested Private Pushkin (new kitten) is receiving hunting tips from Boots the Bengal -At the moment these include how to destroy my Wellington Boots, and how to disembowel a mouse in the bedroom at 3am! PP not allowed outside yet as initially found abandoned in the garden age appx 9wks.

Here is the balance of October's Lunar Calender

27/28/29/30 October -That's a lot of Root Days!-with New Moon at 5.38pm on the 30th and Moon descending in Virgo - Excellent time to finish planting onions/garlic and shallots. (If your soil is really wet in Winter, make a Ridge and sow in that, remembering to earth up regularly even in Winter.) Lift Leeks/Parsnips/Horseradish and Jerusalem Artichokes according to your needs. Protect bare soil around root crops with straw to encourage last surge of ripening and thin carrots sown 21-23 september.Plant Spring Bulbs, particularly those for shady areas, as shallow soil still easy to work under trees and hedges before frosts.

31st October -Flower Day but no gardening recommended after 2.25pm as Moon at furthest point from Earth so weak and weedy growth can be expected from transplanting/sowing or planting. get storage areas organised for dahlias/gladioli/lilies and cannas instead, and start cleaning and storing tools and pots whilst warmer weather permits work outside.

So there we are - Clocks change on Sunday and I feel that Winter starts now.Luckily here we are never dark in Winter until just after 6pm, but the mornings become horrendous with January seeing us still dark at 9am. How I shall miss the long hours of daylight. On Monday I shall tell you what to expect in November. Have a great w/e and Happy Gardening.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 15/10/2016 at 15:42

Hi Johnny - The Native Americans always used the Constellations to cultivate crops, and even nowadays in France the Young Farmers are reverting to Biodynamic Farming Methods using the magnetic forces of the Moon, stars and planets as a guide to ensure good crops and to plan sowing and harvesting times albeit with the aid of new seed varieties. Life would seem to have come round full circle back to the basics of Nature and Growth. Welcome to this Thread. I don't know where you are based but if you look up The Soil Association or you will find more info, which may well tie up with your current reading.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 15/10/2016 at 15:15

Hi Everyone

Have been frantically planting bulbs, splitting irises and day lilies, topiaring conifers and glowering at last of the runner beans which refused to set, and lettuces that have decided to charge upwards instead of outwards after a spell of really warm days and dry conditions. Tomatoes and Lemon Cucumbers still coming on in greenhouse, and flowers galore in the borders, including some that I had forgot I had sown -like a very delicate flax flower -(Do you ever find lost treasures that you may have given up on in the dim distant past?)

Anyway, I am away next week so here is the Lunar Calender for 17th-26th October.

17th October - Fruit Day - gather as many fruit and nuts as possible for storage as the Full Moon ensures good keeping quality and excellent flavour. Our apples 'Melrose' are just ready - so another job to fit in!

18/19/20th October - Moon ascending in Taurus so Root Days - Sow Carrots and turnips outside fleecing them against frost and in cucumber frames sow Onions. Japanese Onion sets should be plantede now to guarantee a good start, but make sure you keep them throughout the Winter under frames however mild a Winter they like a warm, dry start.

21/22nd October - Moon descending into Gemini so Flower Days. If you have had a frost lift Cannas/Dahlias and Gladioli, turn them upside down and place in a dry place to Over Winter.Protect Artichoke Roots by earthing up and covering with straw. Plant out bi-annuals sown 18-20th August.Continue dividing and transplanting shrubs and perrenials once they have stopped flowering. Keep well watered. Take side shoots for potting on as new stock and throw older centres on compost heap.

23rd October - Leaf Day - Plant out evergreen container grown shrubs Cut and burn asparagus ferns and earth up bed.

24/25/26th October - Fruit Days Moon descending in Leo - Cut back and take cuttings from raspberries for new stocks next year. Plant all container grown Bush Fruit. Pick and throw away bruised or diseased apples/pears/quince.

Happy Gardening

Last edited: 15 October 2016 15:18:08

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 01/10/2016 at 18:04

Hi Everyone

Poised for Bio w/e ahead at festival. Just finished making a batch of tomato/jalapeno/cinnamon & vanilla jam, to offer for sale with fig/walnut and sheep cheese scones - Hope their popular! Quick look at Potager to check last toms and cucumbers, and straighten loose greenhouse cover - munched two raspberries and a tiny stray strawberry. Heavy rain and horrible cold wind today - So pleased to tell you that BioDynamic forecast for October is cooler days all month with warm sunny spells up until 16th when we shall then have mixed weather caused by trian forces of Water Sign Pisces, Water Planet Neptune and windy Uranus. Jupiter and the Sun provide warm forces at the beginning of the month, with contrairy Mercury hovering around all month to bring cool and breezy evenings and early mornings.

So - here is the Lunar Calender 1st-16th October 2016

1/2nd October - Root Days New Moon descending in Virgo. Gather all remaining root crops for storage. Plant out onions sown 16-18th August. Clear weak leaved salad crops as they will not improve now unless under cover, due to decreasing temperatures and light levels. Plant Shallots.(Don't sow seed)

3/4/5th October - Flower Days - Plant out Spring flowers sown 22-23rd July mixing them with daffodils and tulips to create new colour schemes.Plant out potted perrenials and flowering shrubs.

6/7th October - Moon in Scorpio so Leaf Days - Cut back chicory, preserving the biggest roots for transplanting in a dark place for forcing later.

8/9/ up to 8.30am on 10th October - Moon Rising in Sagittarius - Fruit Days - Sow round seeded peas for Spring Crops giving added fleece protection.(I'm sorry but I never have had success with this sowing so late -How have you got on - Any tips?) If you fancy grwoing your own fruit tree from kernels - Scratch the surface away from peaches apricots or plums and plant in pots filled with a sandy gritty mix and bury the pots against a north wall. (Tried this with a Plum once - it does work, but takes years to get a tree! - Fun for children though).

10/11th October - Root Days - Sow short varieties of carrots under cover mixing them with salad radishes that can be harvested in one month leaving the carrots to grow on.

12/13/ up to 7am14th October - Flower Days - No gardening on 13th before 3.50pm Storms predicted as Neptune comes into play (Interesting to see if this happens) Harvest Cauliflowers and Broccoli. Sow sweet peas, annuals and perrenials under cover to plant out April next year, be sure to cover with fleece for added winter protection.

14/15/16th October - Full Moon 5.23am on 16th -Leaf Days Harvest Salads and start protecting balance of young crops. Start cropping Brussel Sprouts if you have a frost as they will be sweeter.Cover tender herbs with earth and straw, they stand a better chance of shooting earlier and stronger next season with this late autumn protection. Taragon in particular works well with this tip. Sow green manures.

So there we are - Look forward to receiving additional info from all of you. Happy Gardening! For those interested in the antics of Boots the Bengal - He has a new pal - Pushkin - One abandoned kitten on our doorstep. Boots not sure whether to eat it or play with it!

Last edited: 01 October 2016 18:07:13

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 29/09/2016 at 16:55

Fantastic Fair last w/e 'Festival of 10001 Legumes' (vegetables)- Learnt that if you plant absynth near your beans it will attract all the blackfly on your plot turning the whole plant black, which in turn attract the ladybirds (Or you can then spray with a Bio Infusion). This weekend Festival of Legumes Oublies (Forgotten vegetables) with a chance to buy heritage varieties and lectures on how to treat blight with plant concoctions. Look out for Lunar Calender and Weather Guide October before I leave tomorrow.

Moving House in Winter

Posted: 27/09/2016 at 15:00

My current Potager was a Hen Pen 23 square metres and we have grown superb veg for the past 6yrs. I have started to pot on treasures, taking babies from around the edges of giant adults. The rose cuttings that I took earlier in the year are doing well. I am however being really hard on myself - I want to create a new garden in a semi-established garden, so my old stalwarts will stay behind having moved 3 times already. I think they should stay here as they are settled. There are so many new joys (varieties) out there that I feel I should take the plunge and have a change. It's the time of year that worries me.

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