December 2010

Wet, wet, wet! Keeping mould and mildew at bay and having crops ripen fully will be the main concerns this month, after massive amounts of rainfall in November. Cool season crops like broad beans and peas are still ripening and producing when usually they are long past eaten. Hopefully we will get enough warmth and sunlight to fully ripen summer veges. Biodynamic sprays of 508 (equisetum, or horsetail – casuarina is used in Australia) may be helpful for the moist, mildewy conditions and also a spray of BD501 (horn silica) in the morning may be a good ploy. Plant your seedlings widely apart so that air can flow through the leaves and prevent disease and mildews spreading. Sulphur may also be an aide to diseased plants. I always think that seaweed and or fish emulsion is a great tonic for plants that are stressed, whether by drought, frost or pest and disease attack. Hopefully the locusts have been drowned in the deluge!

  December  2010
What to Plant, When:

Guide for temperate areas in SE Australia

Leaf Days: 4-6; 14-16; 23-25

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: 7-9; 16-19; 25-27

Amaranth, bush beans, climbing beans, capsicum, chilli, corn, cucumber, eggplant, mustard, peas, okra, pumpkin, rockmelon, snopeas, strawberries, squash, tomatoes, watermelon, zucchini

Root Days: 1-2; 9-11; 19-21; 27-29

Asparagus, Jerusalem artichoke, beetroot, carrots, celeriac, fennel, bunching onion, kohlrabi, parsnip, radish, spring onion, shallot, potatoes

Flower Days: 2-4;11-14; 21-23; 29-31

Broccoli, borage, globe artichoke, sunflower, all flowers

Other Dates to note:

Moon Descending

Moon Ascending

Full Moon/New Moon






1-6; 21-31

21 (lunar eclipse at 6.15pm)/6




Garden Tasks:

Apply soil food

Apply foliar food


Transplant seedlings, plants, cuttings and prune



9-11; 14-16; 19-20

2-6; 21-25; 29-31


9-11; 19-20

2-4; 21-23; 29-31

3 thoughts on “December 2010

  1. Genevieve Barlow says:

    I’ve just dug up our garlic. The cloves are closely clumped and looked perfect to harvest but the above ground bit is still green. Have I harvested too early?
    What should I do with the garlic now? Clean the dirt off it? Chop off the greenery? Where should I store it so I can use it all through the year. I asked this question on Google and found this recipe for garlic and parmesan soup, using 44 garlic cloves!!

    • janet barker says:

      Garlic is usually ready to harvest when the outer leaves yellow off and the neck softens just above the ground (for softneck varieties). Dig up with a fork or spade, taking care not to pierce the bulbs – dig at least 20cm from the plant to loosen the soil around the bulb and pull by hand. The plants will need drying or curing to ensure top taste and good keeping qualities. Excess moisture needs to be removed from the plant, but it’s better to harvest at this stage because if you leave in the ground too long the bulb will split and may rot. After harvest, either place the entire plants on a mesh drying rack in a cool well ventilated dark spot, or tie in bunches and hang from rafters or similar. In the past i have put the whole plants in onion bags and then hung the bags from the shed rafters. Ensure good ventilation and dry, not moist, air flow. It’ll take at least three weeks for the plants to fully dry out, ‘harden off’ and concentrate their flavour. You can plait the tops or chop them off, leaving a couple of centimeters above the bulb. If you have enough, keep some for planting out next autumn/winter.

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