January 2012

Happy new gardening year!

This month the main task is gathering and harvesting, watering and thinking about which seeds to sow for autumn eating. Mulching, if you haven’t already. Garlic should be curing in a dark well ventilated spot, away from possums and dampness.

So far, it’s been not too hot, so the beans are loving conditions and in Daylesford I’ve had a fresh pea bonanza. Nothing better than these sweet, fresh glistening orbs; better than pearls! Like broadbeans and corn, peas are best picked and eaten direct from the garden (or cooked as soon as possible after picking) to ensure their natural sugars don’t convert to starches (and reduce their taste sensation). Most produce follows this rule; another reason home-grown tastes better than supermarket fare whch has been picked (often unripe or not at peak ripeness, so the sugars aren’t there to begin with), then cooled, then packed, then transported, then stored, and finally sold off the shelf.

So, here’s the biodynamic dates for gardening this month, with thanks to Brian Keats’ and his amazing, ongoing observations to produce the annual Antipodean Astro Calendar. For more info about the planting notes below, see here. To order your own calendar, see Brian’s website.

Gardening Dates for temperate areas of SE Australia:

Leaf Days: 1-2; 10-12; 18-20; 27-30: amaranth, basil, bok choi, cabbage, kale, celery, endive, kale, mibuna, mizuna, orach, rocket, tat soi, lettuce, mustard, silverbeet, chard, spinach, chives, garlic chives, coriander, dill, parsley, rhubarb, clover

Fruit Days: 2-5; 12-14; 20-23; 30-31: amaranth, bush beans, climbing beans, capsicum, chilli, corn, cucumber, eggplant, mustard, peas, okra, pumpkin, rockmelon, snopeas, strawberries, squash, tomatoes, watermelon, zucchini

Root Days: 5-7; 14-16; 23-25: asparagus, Jerusalem artichoke, beetroot, carrots, celeriac, fennel, bunching onion, kohlrabi, parsnip, radish, spring onion, shallot, potatoes

Flower Days: 7-10; 16-18; 25-27: broccoli, borage, globe artichoke, sunflower, all flowers

Moon Opposite Saturn (considered a good date for sowing seeds, applying preps and planting, or 48hrs either side): 13

Node Days (avoid planting if you can): 7, 20

Apogee (moon furthest from earth; less lunar influence):3, 31

Perigee (moon clostest to eath; more lunar influence): 18

New Moon/Full Moon: 23/9

Moon descending:  1-7; 20-31

Moon ascending: 7-20

Apply soil fertilisers, compost, take cuttings, plant seedlings: 23, 1-2, 5-7, 20, 24-25, 27-30

Apply foliar fertilisers: 7-10;11- 20 

Graft: 7-10, 16-18

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