Happy 2016, Garlic, Bugs, Heat, Hope

Happy 2016!

I’m hoping this year sees more rain. The garden is managing, thanks to the waterers, composters, mulchers.

dunnolly purple garlicOur garlic is curing nicely under Gayle and Gary’s house. We’ll be selling it on the Saturday of Newstead Live, in a fortnight’s time. Before then we need to clean it up, top and tail and grade it. Are you available from 9am on either Friday 15th, Saturday 16th or Sunday 17th January? Please nominate which day/s suit. It will be a morning job, to avoid the heat.

We also need a roster for selling it on Saturday 23rd: two people for each 2-hourly shift (venue will most likely be opposite the garden in Panmure Street as per previous years) starting at 8am, with last shift 4-6pm. Bring a hat, sunscreen, water and a chair. It’s a gentle, enjoyable time sitting in the shade, having a chat with people and listening to music from the nearby venue… If we don’t sell all the garlic on the Saturday, we may set up again for a few hours on the Sunday…

There’ll also be garlic to share amongst members, pick yours up from the stall at Newstead Live!.

Back to the garden, and you may have noticed the peaches covered with a small greyish bug – Rutherglen Bug. See this info from the NSW Dept Ag below (note they advise chemical rather than biological control) It seems they are a local problem this year. They tend to appear in a dry summer – tick – in plague proportions – tick – but aren’t considered a big problem, though they are a sap sucker and will be feeding on our juicy fruit. Rain, or spraying them off the tree, might help.

rutheglen bug_1


Despite mulching and protection, a few crops have really been blasted by the heat – namely the berries (probably optimistic trying to grow them in Newstead without more mollycoddling). Ah well, maybe next year. Please remember to check the watering roster in the igloo and tick off what you’ve watered and when. We need to keep the water up to the fruit-laden trees, especially stone fruit in the middle of the individual plots.

Finally, another new year gift – Brian Keats has introduced a moon planting App:

Thanks to the generosity of Ben and Naomi Gould (www.blindcorner.com.au) who
gave me the 2015 app BioGarden I now have a new app and it has just been released.
‘Planting Rhythms & Wine Days’ is a 2016 simple Biodynamic Calendar and
moon-planting guide, showing moon phases, the days to undertake different
gardening activities and for the wine drinkers – days that some people consider
to be the better days for appreciating a wine’s aroma and bouquet. The app is
simple to use and easy to reference.

It is based on 2 of the moon’s rhythms; the movement through the sidereal zodiac
and the moon’s movement between the northern and southern hemispheres. The
journeying between the hemispheres is reflected in the app as a fortnightly
movement upwards to a peak and then a fortnightly movement downwards to another
peak. When the moon moves towards the hemisphere that you are in, its path
ascends higher in the sky each day when compared to your horizon. The moon path
gets lower to your horizon daily for 2 weeks when moving away from your hemisphere.

The app adjusts automatically to your timezone and hemisphere with the following
exceptions: Full Moon (F), New Moon (N), Peak North (PN) and Peak South (PS) are set for Universal Time at Greenwich (UT).

The iOS version for iPhones can be obtained from iTunes App Store:

The Android version can be obtained from Google Play Store:

If you decide to purchase the app, and think it has merits, please give it a review! Please note that the app is not a substitute for my detailed hardcopy calendars available from my website www.astro-calendar.com

Regards, Brian Keats

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