July 2014

So you think July is time to sit back in front of the fire with slippers, cuppa and seed catalogues? Midwinter is actually a fine time to get out in the garden and get warm – planting and moving deciduous trees and plants (we’ll be renovating our strawberry and asparagus plots and planting apricots), pruning fruit trees for structure, weeding garlic and other crops, and burning piles of couch grass. Not to mention making biochar – perhaps the couch could become useful biochar?

21 june2014 02It’s not too late for another crop of broadies or winter greens, though they’ll be slow to emerge. With the flush of growth in the first half of June, after rain and mild-ish temperatures, there’ll be plenty of lawn clippings (and capeweed) to make a quick batch of compost – another way of keeping warm. Weeds will also slow down and moist soil makes weed pulling almost enjoyable. Chop them up and compost as well. July is also a good time for planning and designing because the bones of your garden are revealed and it’s easier to imagine and create.

Snails have been an issue for us over the past few years and are usually a concern in winter, although things like copper tape and beer traps work in isolation, we’ve resorted to iron chelate to try and save some seedlings for our own eating. I think the sniff of them (or the look of the bd milk cartons) has kept the slugs and snails at bay because it doesn’t look like they are taking the bait and yet the munching seems to have diminished. So far. Perhaps they’ve all gone next door!? Seems there’s a resurgent interest in snail farming, but somehow I don’t have the heart or stomach for it, though it is amusing to read of gardeners trying to keep their snails in (and giving them shade, shelter and top quality greens)… anyway, think about snails this month.

stone fruit tree after spray for leaf curl - just in time as the buds are beginning to swell

Look for bud swell on your stonefruit (it may already be happening) and treat them for leaf curl – timing is everything, but it works.You’ll need to apply a second lot a fornight later, or when the buds start to turn pink (but before unfurling) Consider a tree paste on your favorite fruit trees.

Brian Keats warns of severe weather from 9 – 15 July with a strong low pressure system on 14-15, so prepare to batten down the hatches, or wear a couple more layers. Don’t forget the Produce Exchange on Saturday 5th July at 11.00am and our Sunday gardening session on the 27th, including a little session to find out more about worm farming, from our resident expert Joan.

Gardening Dates for temperate areas of SE Australia:

Leaf Days: 1, 9-11, 17-19, 26-29: bok choi, cabbage, kale, celery, coriander, endive, mibuna, mizuna, orach, rocket, tat soi, leek, lettuce, mustard, silverbeet, chard, spinach, chives, garlic chives, dill, parsley

Fruit Days: 1-4, 11-13, 19-21, 29-31: broad beans, mustard, peas,

Root Days: 4-6, 13-15, 21-24, 31: Beetroot, carrots, celeriac, kohlrabi, garlic, garlic chives, leek, bunching onion, onion, radish, daikon, swede, turnip,

Flower Days: 6-9, 15-17 24-26: broccoli, borage, cauliflower,

Moon Opposite Saturn (considered a good date for sowing seeds, applying preps and planting, or 48hrs either side): 16

Node Days (avoid planting if you can): 6, 19

Apogee (moon furthest from earth; less lunar influence):1, 28

Perigee (moon closest to eath; more lunar influence): 13

New Moon/Full Moon: 27/12

Moon descending, apply soil fertilisers, compost: 11-23

Moon ascending, apply atmospheric, foliar fertilisers: 1-11, 23-31

Prune, apply tree paste, take cuttings, plant seedlings: 13-15, 21-23 then next best 17-19, 

Graft: 6-9, 24-26

For more information on the astro planting dates (and where to get your own calendar) see the Gardening Notes page.

Dates are a guide for these particular crops. Timing will vary from region to region (particularly with climate change) and even within a garden’s own microclimates. Of course, rainfall, weather conditions and your own schedule will influence when you garden.

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