biofreak


Latest posts by biofreak

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 06/01/2016 at 13:57

Right I'm back!! AND with a vengeance - Just so, so excited having read lots and lots of different books and articles over the Xmas Period -Great with just two of us, we just pull the shutters down for nearly a fortnight and catch up on lots of reading interspersed with mugs of Vin Chaud and good food.

So - First and foremost Happy New Year and Happy Gardening 2016 to all Moonbeams! (Think that is an apt name for us) Here is the Lunar Gardening Calender for 6th January - 28th January 2016, which will be interspersed with sessions on understanding Biodynamics/Weather/Constellations/Planets -and NEW Tidal Effects and how the Chinese work all these factors into their gardening/medecine etc (probably another Thread on the latter!)

First I know that you have been waiting with baited breath re Weather, and I do need to do some explaining about how Biodynamic gardeners establish these predictions (It is quite long winded so just for this message I shall stick to January and general 2016 Weather Calender Predictions)

The first 3 weeks of January see more rain and gales, turning colder from the 8th with a tendancy towards snow 13/14th. In the last 10 days of the month getting colder with gales, but temperatures rising again after 27/28th - So if you haven't already fleeced Plants/Shrubs/Trees, now is the time to do it during the few calm moments in the days to come. If like me, you have been having a constant argument with flyaway fleeces, and my polytunnel roof - Call on the 'man or woman that does' in the household, and use brute force and lots of Rope (Tights work well as they give to the sway of the tree/shrub - my young eucalyptus looks very dashing!) With a cold start to Feb with warmer days 4-10th, watch out for snow and plunging temperatures after the 18th (Lucky this is a short month! - That's as far as I am going but a sneaky look at the end of the year shows me end Nov and most of Dec wintery conditions and Snow - We shall see.)

Now:- 6/7th January - Moon descending Leaf Days Prepare the asparagus bed by adding lots of manure and compost to surface - Or if a new bed dig a trench no less than 1ft (30cms) deep and fill with fine compost. If you have no frost yet, continue to prune trees but paint fungicide over cut surfaces to protect from extreme weather conditiond and bugs etc (Or spray with Bordeaux Mixture).

8/9/10th January - Moon ascending from 6.55pm on 8th so changing from Leaf to Fruit Days. - If no frost, take cuttings from fruit bushes and push down into spare ground to take root in late Spring (Preferably against a North Wall -Does anyone know why?? - French Gardeners say it is to stop cuttings budding up so exhausting potential root growth) Cut existing cuttings taken last year down to 30cms, to encourage better root formation for transplanting to Fruit Beds in late Spring.

11/12th January - New Moon and Root Days, so sow radishes and short carrots in cucumber frame if temperature no lower than 10degrees. Mix the seeds together and harvest the radishes first leaving carrots room to grow. Also confuses carrot fly, as radish roots give off a bitter aroma when pulled.

13th January - Flower Days. Sow cauliflowers on hot bed or in heated propogater 15-18degrees. keep them warm when thinning out in February and plant out under a Tunnel in April for harvest May/July.

INTERIM LESSON

14th January - No gardening after 10.40am - This is when the Moon is changing from the New to Full Moon on an ascending cycle and is situated BETWEEN the Earth and the Sun, so the New Moon cannot be seen. And is why on a clear night we sometimes say ' but I can't see the Moon'

15th January - No gardening before 7.20am (Still dark here!) as Moon is 'perigee' - at its closest point to the Earth on its ecliptic path. When you can see it - it looks larger . In most cases it is

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 06/01/2016 at 11:44

Just got Internet up after 4 days gales and regular Power Cuts. Quick Lunch then back to reveal all about 2016!!!! Have been studying new books by candlelight and made lots of very weird wonky notes in the dark!!! Back Soon.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 28/12/2015 at 14:33

Hope Thomas tasted good!! - Our goose was stunning and headless which made a change. The French seem keen on you seeing whom you are eating - I specifically asked for the head to be cut off, as we used to have 2 geese, and I was very fond of them until a Pine Martin popped round and bit their heads off.

Anyway - Took sneaky look at BioD Weather Calender, and looks like staying mild but wet,wet,wet - which will be dreadful for those poor people up North. More info soon.

Happy Gardening.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 24/12/2015 at 15:43

Hi - Just been out hunting for holly WITH berries on in hedgerows, but yet again birds have beaten me to it. Tons of mistletoe though. Christmas Eve is celebrated here as opposed to Christmas Day. The meal is 5 courses, starting at 10pm and finishing around 3am (Sometimes eaten a little earlier for those wanting to go to Midnight Mass) At midnight all presents opened. Christmas Day a much quieter affair with a late lunch. Boxing Day doesn't exist. They have a Fete des Etraims on the 27th which is similar, when you give unwanted presents away!

We stick rigidly to an English Christmas. Tried the French one but could not keep up the pace! With just the two of us, it is nice to potter, chill out with a good bottle of wine and our traditional Christmas Goose!

Could not resist weeding just now and found the LAST Spring Onion, to go with our Seafood Salad tonight and a glass of Fizz. Picked a few deep purple beetroot leaves to brighten up scarole, and resorted to cutting some red berried shrub (Skimmia?)to match Kilner Jars full of our own conifer hedge trimmings. Actually good replacement for holly. No tree this year as far to expensive. We light up the conifers in the garden and they look really great.

The moon was stunning last night - Looking forward to opening new Gardening Books and allied presents tomorrow.

Merry Christmas.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 22/12/2015 at 14:57

Quick potter round plot as gale force winds meant re-stacking log pile and sticking tear in polytunnel corner yet again! Delighted to find (and eat) 2 raspberries! My Sprouts are dreadful this year, but Black Italian Kale looks fantastic, so think we shall have that Xmas Day instead. Chard still producing good salad leaves (sorry don't like the stalks cooked - tried all ways, but then we don't like cooked spinach) Loath to lift beetroot whilst so mild as still growing on well. Onions doing well in cucumber frame. Might try the radishes as per Moon Calender. Can't find horse radish, but it was a baby, and I did keep treading on it! - How do you make horseradish sauce?

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 21/12/2015 at 11:20

Well , I have to say that so far these bio-dynamic weather predictions have been pretty accurate!! However seeing bluebells coming up, and lilacs budding seems really weird. Carol Singing tonight with no hats/scarves or coats is taking December a bit far, but I am actually really really chuffed, and just hope snow and horrors don't arrive in June!!!! - Actually I do know what is supposed to happen , but will save it up for telling you after Xmas.

Here is Lunar Calender 21-31st December

21/22 December - Moon rising Fruit Days. Sow Broad Beans outside.

23/24/25th December-Root Days Sow radishes under cover, protecting young shots from slugs, by popping bonfire ash or better still pine needles around them. (Fallen needles from Xmas treese would work well here) You should be able to harvest them in 1 month. Work out plans for 2016 and make sure you get Bio seeds ordered quickly as there is a strong demand and lots of variety available prior to the New Year.

26th December Last Flower Day of the Month. Plant Amaryllis in pots for New Year cheer.

27/28th December Leaf Days Trim dead leaves away from last salads in potager to allow maximum sunlight to reach last of the crops. Do the same to perrenials but leave grasses alone to give shelter to insects and mammals. (Boots the Bengal keen on this idea! - Voles are a constant delight for him, as unfortunately was a sleepy robin last week)

29/30/31st December Fruit Days. Plant bare root trees and Fruit bushes. No gardening after 3.10pm on 31st. RELAX and have a wonderful Christmas.

Bonne Annee!!

Happy Gardening!

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 28/11/2015 at 10:29

Great to know you're out there. Thank you for your encouragement and kind words.

Keep your notes coming, they all help to build up a picture of this 'alternative' approach to gardening. I have just received my Maria Thun Biodynamic Calender for 2016 as an early Xmas present - well worth having (Author Matthias Thun - Printed by Floris Books ISBN 978-178250-106-0) £6.99. so not much to spend on bags of (slightly complicated) info. I really must get to grips with 'preperations' for next year to stimulate growth etc These infusions/decoctions can get quite weird! And I certainly don't understand how they all work - but they do seem to.

Happy Gardening.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 27/11/2015 at 15:07

Biodynamic Weather Forecast for December is quite cheering, although plenty of rain forecast up until the 20th with the Sun in Scorpio, moving into Sagittarius from the 20th and joining Pluto in Sagittarius and Jupiter in Leo bringing unseasonal warmth from Christmas Day until the end of the month. Sunny winter days are foreseen with Mars remaining in Virgo all month. Venus is in Libra from 13-29th December and Neptune is in Aquarius bringing bright days. Following the accuracy of November's cold snap around the 20th - I have to say that I am beginning to have a little more faith in this side of biodynamic forecasting. May take a gamble with some of the recommended (unseasonal to me - sowings/cuttings)

Here is Lunar Calender from 30th Nov-14th Dec as I am away next week.

30th Nov/1st Dec - Moon descending so remember to continue spreading and digging in compost. Leaf Days - Cut down Bamboo Canes and store for use next year. Start forcing chicory and add further root protection to tender plants.

2/3/4 December (No gardening after 1.30pm on the 4th) Fruit Days. Cut back exposed Fruit trees situated in direct line of Winter gales and brush off moss and lichen and burn it to avoid spread of fungal disease. Add compost or Bio granules to roots and if there is no frost plant new bare root stock, remembering not to bury the graft point.

5/6/7th December (No gardening after 9.50am on the 5th as Moon at lowest point in sky so ineffective) Root Days - Harvest Jerusalem Artichokes/Parsnips/Salsify & Horseradish. Hold back some of the best specimens for replanting next Spring. In mild areas, plant white and violet garlic and shallots in all regions. Loosen soil on  potager and in flower beds without turning it  as frost will help to crumble it.

8/9th December Flower Days - If no frost prune summer flowering clematis. Cut back every other shoot 30/40cms from the soil.(Mine are trying to flower again!

10/11th December - Leaf Days If mild, cut out crossing branches of larger trees and cut out mistletoe. Mask scars of more than 5cm with antifungal tape.

12/13/14th December - Moon Rising - Fruit Days. If no frost cut hardwood shoots from strong fruit bushes and once labelled, plant them in a line against a north wall, to gain new stock for next season, which will be transplanted to new areas next year.

Note:-For those of you planning to decorate your home early  the best time to cut greenery for decorations and Christmas Trees is on Flower Days as they will stay fresh longer.

Best transplanting dates and times are 12th Dec 6am (sorry!) 25th Dec from 8am (I know Xmas Day!) right through until 8th Jan (So perhaps you can give Xmas Day a miss!)

Happy Gardening!

 

 

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 23/11/2015 at 15:22

Joy of joys - Popped head round door in Polytunnel this morning and Garlic has sprouted!!! Great excitement. garlic may be good to eat in France (Huge bulbs) but difficult to grow here in the North. I tried Isle of Wight bulbs (garlic) last year and produced feeble little things. Am trying big fat cloves from Provence and they are up!

Yes Paris was worrying but a long way away. We have many friends there though. France generally on alert and no more migrants allowed in - Might be a bit late though.

What a world we live in now.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 20/11/2015 at 16:41

Well temperatures have dropped and I am starting to fleece up tender plants just in case there is a snow flurry. Certainly lots of rain. Here is the Lunar Calender 19-29 November

19th/20th November Flower Days - Keep warm and turn your attention towards house plants. Putting a layer of grit under bowls so that they do not get too wet and start to rot.Better to keep plants dry in Winter.

21/22/23rd November Leaf Days -No gardening after 8.50am on 21st and after 3pm on 23rd. In the meantime harvest Brussels/spinach and salad crops and put fleece over tender crops. Sow chick peas/lentils/cress and soya in the house for tasty salad snacks rich in vitamins.

24th November Fruit Day (Sorry only one!) In mild areas and choosing a sheltered spot - sow round peas and mangetouts.

25/28/27/28th November - Root Days Sow radishes under cover and short varieties of carrots. Protect against slugs.

28th (after 4.11am)/29th November Flower Days. If no frost plant bare root shrubs and roses. Earth up artichoke roots against wind rock and frost pockets.

Happy Gardening.

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