Plant growth slows in winter and there are less vegetable types to plant compared with the heady days of spring and summer, but gardening in winter is no less important. In my Daylesford garden, I’m eating the fruits of late summer/early autumn plantings and very glad I found the time to stick some seeds and seedlings in – fennel, carrots, kale, silverbeet, spinach, coriander, parsnip, rocket, lettuce. Bit of a wait for the brussel sprouts, though, they’re only the size of a 5 cent coin. Still, the broadies, onions and greens sown last month have leapt out of the ground and have me considering another sowing this month.
Winter is also a fine time to prune for structure in fruit trees and to transplant/plant many deciduous plants. Consider an application of biodynamic tree paste after pruning. You can buy this from the organisations such as BDAA or 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. Think about applying the biodynamic preparations this month.
Enjoy the meditative nature of winter in the garden this month.
Gardening Dates for temperate areas of SE Australia:
Leaf Days: 3-5, 11-13, 22-24, 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: 5-7, 14-16, 24-26: broad beans, mustard, peas,
Root Days: 1, 7-9, 17-19, 26-28: Beetroot, carrots, celeriac, kohlrabi, garlic, garlic chives, leek, bunching onion, onion, radish, daikon, swede, turnip,
Flower Days: 1-3, 9-12, 19-22, 28-30: broccoli, borage, cauliflower,
Moon Opposite Saturn (considered a good date for sowing seeds, applying preps and planting, or 48hrs either side): 10
Node Days (avoid planting if you can): 4,18
Apogee (moon furthest from earth; less lunar influence):16
Perigee (moon clostest to eath; more lunar influence): 3
New Moon/Full Moon: 20/4 (partial lunar eclipse on4 at 9.11pm)
**Also note Transit of Venus at 11.08 on 6th (Venus crosses the face of the sun)
Moon descending: 5-19
Moon ascending: 1-5, 19-30
Apply soil fertilisers, compost: 5 – 19
Prune, apply tree paste, take cuttings, plant seedlings: 7-9, 17 – 19, 12-14
Apply foliar fertilisers: 1 – 5, 19 – 30
Graft: 1-4, 19-22, 28-30
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.