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Latest posts by biofreak

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.


Posted: 15/06/2015 at 11:54

At last thanks to your advice re prevention of sawfly I have gooseberries galore!!! BUT when do I crop them? How do I know when they are ready?


Posted: 15/06/2015 at 11:52

Interesting point about Mesclun (Mixed Salad leaves) which generally does not do well with me. Local Gardening Club recommended the following tips:

Buy packets of seeds seperately and plant in large containers - lettuce/lambs lettuce & spinach together - Endive/Pak choi mustard & rocket together and Chard/beetroot together. Sow the 1st batch every 15 days. The 2nd every 21 days and the 3rd every 42 days to guarantee great pickings. Don't forget to add chive flowers/marigolds and nasturtiums to the salads for colour and taste.

I am trying this for the 1st time as normally I just don't get the seed to grow together, just lots of spindly leaves. Anyone else have experience of this growing methods

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 15/06/2015 at 11:48

High winds and rain last week forced many things to be put off, but I am still pleased with progress of veg. First peas ready to eat today and brassicas shooting ahead. Just dreading arrival of caterpillars. Will scatter tansy amongst leaves as per last year which worked well, and probably cover with environmesh just to be sure. Tuscan Black Nero Kale coming on well, and planted tomatoes out yesterday saving some in greenhouse for earlier crops. Still a bit sceptical about Bio dynamic Weather predictions although they have been accurate for the past 3mths. Will carry on keeping personal diary and may add relevant points to Moon Calender after further research.

Anyway here is Lunar Calender 15-30th June 2015

15/16th June - Root Days Sow winter radishes and swedes. Renew sowings of carrots and parsnips.

17/18th June - Moon descending Flowers Days. Layer Wisteria and divide daffodils and tulips. storing best bulbs or replanting in new positions Plant out broccoli sown 12th May

19/20th June - Leaf Days Plant out celery sown 16-18th April Cut back the leaves and roots a little to give strength to new growth.

21/22/23rd June - Fruit Days Prune fanned fruit trees taking out non fruiting spurs to 5th leaf. Pot on tomatoes/cucumbers and courgettes for last time and trim leaves.

24/25/26th June Root Days Moon at lowest point in sky after 1.20pm on 24th June so no gardening. Harvest 1st early potatoes according to your needs as they don't keep well. Lift Garlic Onions & Shallots if leaves have yellowed. Thin out carrots and winter radish sown 6-7th June. plant out leeks sown 10-11th May.

27/28th June Flower Days Plant out cauliflowers sown 12th May and bury them up to 1st leaves water really well and keep moist for balance of Summer.

29/30th June Leaf Days Plant out Brussel Sprouts and Autumn Cabbages sown 13-16th May. Thin out lettuce and endive sown 9-12th June.

How are you getting on now that we are nearly 6mths into this year's Moon Calender. Impressed? Not impressed? - I'd love to know. Personally I am about 3 weeks ahead of traditional gardening calender - So really chuffed.

Talkback: Caterpillars

Posted: 02/06/2015 at 13:34

My spindle tree has been attacked this year too - It recovered really well last year with no treatment - Caterpillars have to eat something! and it's better than losing the cabbage family!! Talking of which, scrunch up some tansy leaves in your hands and scatter them over your brassicas. Cabbage white butterflies don't like this. Whilst writing BIG THANK YOU for last year's advice re sawfly. Those gooseberries that I replanted in matting have not been attacked - Treated those left behind in fruit bed with tons of soapy water - worked well.


Posted: 27/05/2015 at 11:12

That's the problem with the big boys - Very little support. A great shame particularly as NGS charities are such a good cause. Short sighted I think.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 27/05/2015 at 10:59

Hi everyone - So so pleased to get my Computer back today - Just can't handle keyboard on Tablet! Thank goodness you all seem to be up to date. I popped Mangetouts in last night and am delighted with 1st and 2nd crop peas. Spent w/e at Gastronomic Fair and met nice young biodynamic gardener, who agrees with me that us Moon gardeners are easily 2/3 weeks ahead of anyone else! He made the most amazing nettle jam, which I shall mix with creamy goat cheese and turn into savoury muffins . Anyway onto Calender 29th May-14th June

29/30th May Root Days with moon descending. Plant out leeks sown 24-26th March, remembering to trim tops and roots before re planting to ensure stronger growth (I always worried about weakening the plant but actually this does seem to regenerate it.) To counter attack potential carrot fly plant these leeks in between your rows of carrots. Thin out beetroot sown 10-11th May.

31st May 1st June - Flower Days Cut out unwanted spurs from climbing roses/clematis/honeysuckle and wisteria - Will grow strongly now as moon coming to full and changing to ascending position so drawing on sap levels to generate new growth.Thin out cauliflowers & broccoli sown 12th May. Firm soil down well (I am trying Biodynamic method of growing these in blocks of 6 closer together to keep ground covered and leaves will give shade to ground thus needing less watering if Summer turns out hot.

2/3 June - Leaf Days Trim hedges in particular evergreens. Prick out cabbages sown 13-16th May Thin out salad crops and keep damp to give disturbed roots a 'lift'

4/5/6th June - Moon ascending Fruit Days - Sow all types of beans in pockets of 3-5 seeds where they are to crop. Sow nasturtiums beside them to to attract pests away from growing shoots (Excellent Blackfly deterrent if mixed amongst Broad Beans) Sow sweetcorn for the beans to climb up or as supports for tomatoes. (This is practised in the South of France) and works really well,

7th June - Root Day Sow chicory to force later in year. Sow carrots again especially mixed colours as sprout better if sown later than standard origianl varieties.

8/9th June Flower Days Harvest and dry flowers for tisannes and decorations. Sow Bi annuals and perrenials in nursery bed.

10/11/12th June Leaf Days No gardening before 10.50am on 10th as Moon at highest point so magnetic forces too weak to draw up plants Moving in front of Pisces Cancer and Scorpio this is the ideal time to cut herbs/nettles and comfrey to make brews to rev up the production cycle in your garden. Sow Chinese & Italian Salad crops . Renew lettuce sowings with varieties that will put up with heat and dry conditions.

13/14th June Fruit Days Sow Outdoor cucumbers/ gherkins and courgettes in pockets of 3/4 seeds. Sow sweetcorn again and more beans.

There we are back up to date. Weekend off thank goodness, so can leap into potager and weed flower beds!! Garden looks wonderful, but on close inspection lots of baddies to be pulled out!!! Happy Gardening.


Posted: 27/05/2015 at 10:21

Actually over the moon with the seed and germination quality - Just the service or lack of!

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 20/04/2015 at 12:19

Went to first major plant fair of the Season here in Normandy and treated myself to 3 Echium Pininana 'Blue Steeple' - As an exhibitor I picked them up for £12 instead of £21 so really chuffed. Wonderful Nursery near Calais which I must make a note to visit when I next go through the Tunnel. Thrilled and stunned to see cucumbers/courgettes and Cosmos sowed only days ago sprouted in greenhouse!! Peas are peeping through and German Salad Turnips sprouting! How are you getting on?

Here is Lunar Calender 21April to 3rd May Note Moon rising until 22nd April then starting to descend. So descending moon from 23rd April -7th May good for sowing and transplanting fruit and veg and flowers that need time to establish root systems.

21/22 April - Root Days Sow salsify and scorzonora/Parsnips & Summer Turnips, covering with a fine soil and keep moist.

23/24 April - Flower Days In mild regions plant out annuals sown 22-23 January. Plant our Cauliflowers and Broccoli sown 19th Feb. I shall be planting much closer together than 70cms recommended. My Broccoli are only 20cms apart and thriving plus giving super crops - Also easier to cover against pigeons and Cabbage ahite Butterflies in groups (Squares in preference)

25/26 April Leaf Days Plant out salad crops but keep covered for added protection against sharp frosts which can be indicated by an Orange tinge to the moon and/or a halo from 18th April - 12th May.

27/28/29 April - Fruit Days Plant Aubergines/Chillies/Peppers and Tomatoes sown 15/16 Feb. Plant Cucumbers sown 14/16 March and Courgettes and Pumpkins/Squash sown 10-12th April to larger pots or Nursery Plot to grow on a little before final places. Hold back if too cold and wet (A spell of this weather is predicted at this time) Do not garden on 29th as Moon at closest point to Earth and in conflict with Scorpio.

30 April 1/2/3 May - Root Days Prick out all root crops coming on including celeriac sown 25-27th Feb.Don't garden on 1st May before 3.50pm then transfer young crops to final positions. Thin out parsnips sown 24-26th March and Carrots & Turnips sown 13-14 April Hoe well between rows and mulch squares between plants or sow radish to keep ground covered.

Good Luck and Happy Gardening.

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1 to 15 of 46 threads