You should be enjoying the last flush of autumn growth, especially from greens and ‘leafys’ if you have them in. Now’s an important time to plant more greens, because growth will slow from here on in ’til September and even October. Kales are fabulous for central Victorian gardens as they are frost hardy and very nutritious. Every garden should have some silverbeet, kale and spinach (though a bit more temperamental) for green staples. Get your broadies in if you haven’t. Time also for onions, chives and leeks – but especially onions.
Think about a winter green manure for heavily cropped beds. Use a mix – cereal (oats, wheat, spelt, rye, barley) for organic matter, a legume (lentils, peas, lupins (on alkaline soils) or chickpeas) for nitrogen and mustard as ‘fumigant’ or disease controller. All your perennial plants, especially citrus, will benefit from a worm tea tonic (dilute to the color of weak earl grey) or a handful of castings mixed with compost.
Winter is the time to prune for structure in fruit trees and to transplant or plant many deciduous plants, including berries. Consider an application of biodynamic tree paste after pruning. Make your own from 4 parts cow manure, 2 parts silica sand or diatomaceous earth and 3 parts potting clay or bentonite. Stir into a sloppy paste with either stirred BD500, liquid manure tea, or rainwater and apply with a paintbrush as high as you can reach. Apply the biodynamic preparations again this month.
Enjoy the meditative nature of winter in the garden this month.
Gardening Dates for temperate areas of SE Australia:
Leaf Days: 2-5, 11-13, 19-22, 9-30: 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: 4-7, 13-15, 22-24: broad beans, mustard, peas,
Root Days: 7-9, 15-17, 24-26: Beetroot, carrots, celeriac, kohlrabi, garlic, garlic chives, leek, bunching onion, onion, radish, daikon, swede, turnip,
Flower Days: 1-2, 9-11, 17-19, 26-29: broccoli, borage, cauliflower,
Moon Opposite Saturn (considered a good date for sowing seeds, applying preps and planting, or 48hrs either side): 18
Node Days (avoid planting if you can): 9,22
Apogee (moon furthest from earth; less lunar influence):3
Perigee (moon clostest to eath; more lunar influence): 15
New Moon/Full Moon: 27/13
Moon descending: 13-26
Moon ascending: 1-13, 26-30
Apply soil fertilisers, compost: 13-26
Prune, apply tree paste, take cuttings, plant seedlings: 15-17, 24-26 then 13, 19-22
Apply foliar fertilisers: 1 – 13, 26 – 30
Graft: 1-2, 9-11, 26-29
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.