March 2011

Is it Autumn already? Seems we have hardly had a summer, with so much rain and humidity so unlike the dry scorchers we know so well. It’s been great for some vegs – beans have been fabulous, but not for others – tomatoes may have trouble ripening before the frosts and cold to come.

I reckon that now til May is one of the busiest times in the garden; so many seeds and seedlings to plant for autumn and winter eating, pruning and digging, compost making, etc. The problem (this year especially) is finding space in the vege patch to sow things; many summer veges are still in the throes of flowering and production. You may have to be ruthless and pull out what doesn’t seem likely to produce enough in time, or plant around and within your summer plants.

A soil test for pH and nutrients could be a good investment around this time of the year. Make the most of stored soil moisture and warm ground this month!

Gardening Dates for temperate areas of SE Australia:

Leaf Days: 6-8; 15-17; 23-26: amaranth, bok choi, brussel sprouts,  cabbage, kale, celery, endive, mibuna, mizuna, orach, rocket, tat soi, lettuce, mustard, silverbeet, chard, spinach, chives, garlic chives, coriander, dill, parsley,

Fruit Days: 8-11; 17-19; 26-28: broad beans, mustard, peas, snopeas,

Root Days: 1-3; 11-13; 19-21; 28-30; : beetroot, carrots, celeriac, fennel, bunching onion, kohlrabi, leek, parsnip, radish, daikon radish, swede, turnip

Flower Days: 3-6; 13-15; 21-23; 30-31: broccoli, borage, cauliflower, all flowers (poppies, lupins, calendula, etc)

Moon Opposite Saturn (considered a good date for sowing seeds, applying preps and planting, or 48hrs either side): 7

Node Days (avoid planting if you can): 13,26

Apogee (moon furthest from earth; less lunar influence):5

Perigee (moon clostest to eath; more lunar influence): 19

New Moon/Full Moon: 5/20

Moon descending: 1-5; 19 – 30

Moon ascending: 6-19

Apply soil fertilisers, compost, take cuttings, plant seedlings: 1-3; 19-21; 28-30; 23-26

Prune, harvest for storage: 1-3; 19-21; 28-30

Apply foliar fertilisers: 6, 13-15; 7-8; 15-17

Graft: 6, 13-15

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.

# 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.

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