November Notes

spring in the garden 2014Spring was out of the blocks very quickly, so it actually feels like  early summer in the garden, especially with the dry conditions continuing. Though the broadies are only now starting to truly produce, along with the asparagus and artichokes. The strawbs are flowering heavily – looking forward to a good berry pick, if we keep up the watering and fertilise with worm juice and seaweed every fortnight.

It’s a busy time in the garden as winter crops give way to warm season ones. You should have your seedlings ready to go after starting them off earlier in the warmth. A few cold nights with the possibility of frost are still forecast for the start of November, so it might be worth holding off  planting til after cup day. Acclimatise your plants by hardening them off – bring them out of the igloo or hothouse and place in a sheltered pot in the garden or under shade/shade-cloth for a night or two before planting out. Spring in the Newstead Community GardenThat’ll reduce transplant shock. Also water them in well; adding seaweed/fish solution can help against stress. Or just drape some shade-cloth over newly sown seedlings. The less stress at planting, the sooner they’ll start producing. This includes getting rid of weeds that will compete with the new plants for nutrients and moisture.

Mulch everything ahead of the hot days to come. Better still, apply a handful or two of compost first, then water and mulch for longer lasting benefit. Fruit trees will be showing their potential too, so it’s time to thin heavily fruiting trees – we will need to after a successful pruning last summer. Some of the apples are looking loaded and we don’t want broken branches or over-small fruit …

Your irrigation systems should be checked and ready to go, watering rosters established, and structures sorted for netting and protecting fruit trees and berries. November should be amongst the most productive – and enjoyable – in the garden ahead of the hot summer months.

Here are the dates for gardening this month. Enjoy the longer evenings in the garden, communing with your veges and flowers and taking the time to explore the early summer garden. Note that (s) means sow as seeds and (p) means plant as seedlings. Beware that frosts can still occur in Newstead through November and it may be worth waiting a little to plant out frost tender summer seedlings!

Guide for temperate areas in SE Australia for November 2014:

Leaf Days: 3-5,12-15, 22-24, 27 – amaranth (s,p) basil (s,p), bok choi (s,p), chinese cabbage (s,p), chives (s,p) dill (s,p), celery (s,p), endive (s,p), mibuna (s,p), mizuna(s,p), orach (s, p), rocket (s,p), tat soi (s,p), lettuce (s,p), mustard(s,p), salad greens (s,p), silverbeet(s,p) spinach(s,p), chives (p,s), garlic chives (p), coriander(s,p), dill (s,p), parsley(s,p), radicchio (s,p), rhubarb (s,p), clover (s)

Fruit Days: 5-8, 15-17, 24-26 – bush and climbing beans (s,p) capsicum (s,p) peas (s,p), strawberries (p), amaranth (s,p) chilli (s,p), corn (s,p), cucumber (s,p), eggplant (s,p), okra (s,p), pumpkin (s,p), rockmelon (s,p), snopeas (s,p),  squash (s,p), strawberries (p), tomatoes (s,p), watermelon (s,p), zucchini (s,p)

Root Days:1, 8-10, 17-20, 26-28 – asparagus (s,p), jerusalem artichoke (p), beetroot( s,p), carrots (s,p), celeriac (p), fennel (p), kohlrabi (p), leek (p), spring onion (s,p) salad onion (s,p), bunching onions (s,p) potatoes (s,p), parsnip (s), shallots (s,p), radish (s,p), turnip (s,p)

Flower Days: 1-3, 10-12, 20-22, 28-30 -broccoli (s,p), cauliflower (s,p), borage (s,p), globe artichoke (s,p), sunflower (s,p) marigold (s,p), nasturtium (s,p), other flowers

Other Auspicious Gardening Dates:

Moon opposite Saturn: 2 (a good time to plant, transplant, etc)

Moon Descending:  1-10, 24-30

Moon Ascending: 10-24

Full Moon/New Moon: 7/22

Nodes*: 5, 19

Perigee***: 3, 28

Apogee***: 15

Apply soil food: 8-10 best, then 1-7, 25-30

Apply foliar food: 23 – 25 best, then 10-23,

Mulch: anytime, but watch for frosts (thick straw mulch will intensify them) and remember the slugs!

Transplant seedlings, plants, cuttings: 1, 8-10, 26-28

Graft: 10-12, 20-23

Dates are a guide for these particular crops. For more info see Planting Notes. 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.

# Broccoli can be grown year round, apart from the hottest months. I prefer to plant through the colder months to avoid having the broccoli forming heads when the cabbage moth butterfly is active, in late spring and summer.

* Each month there are a couple of ‘node days’ when the sun and moon are in opposition. Many biodynamic gardeners choose not to plant on these days, or at least a couple of hours either side of the node.

** Perigee is the point where the moon is closest to the earth, so the influence of the moon is strongest. Apogee is the furthest point from the earth, so the opposite occurs
lunar perigee (on the left) and apogee (right) viewed from the earth

lunar perigee (on the left) and apogee (right) viewed from the earth

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