April 2013 Notes

Autumn is my favorite time in the garden and easter is no exception. But after a hot start to autumn and no sign of a frost (touch wood!) things feel a bit out of whack with tomatoes, pumpkins and zukes still flowering. Normally I’d have a crop of greens in, a green manure, and even garlic and broad beans planted. But I am enjoyng the prolonged summer vege harvest.

Feels like the weather has finally turned. Think about planting leafy greens which will feed you right through winter if planted now and into May. It’s  also a great time for planting herbs and perennials, shrubs and trees, and for striking cuttings of herbs and many other edible plants. Don’t forget to feel your soil well with compost, well rotted organic matter and some lime or dolomite. Give your perennials a feed of worm juice and/or seaweed solution. Think about making compost with the residues of harvest. The first application of biodynamic preps for the year – BD500 followed by BD501 is also a job for this month.

It’s vital to rotate crops with different types and families, eg. fruit (tomatoes – solonacae) followed by root (carrot – umbelliferae) followed by flower (broccoli – brassicae), etc. And make sure at least one rotation is a green manure crop that you dig back into the ground without eating. If you have limited space it’s important to regularly feed the soil – add compost everytime you plant and regularly during the season, incorporate mulches after they have broken down, use worm castings and juice. Harvesting veges means you are harvesting soil nutrients; they need to be replaced.

Finally, consider being part of a global planting experiment to examine the effect of planting by the stars – http://www.considera.org/2013planting.html – during 25 -27th April.

Gardening Dates for temperate areas of SE Australia:

Leaf Days: 1-2, 8-11, 18-21, 27-29: amaranth, bok choi, brussel sprouts,  cabbage, kale, celery, coriander, endive, mibuna, mizuna, orach, rocket, tat soi, lettuce, mustard, silverbeet, chard, spinach, chives, garlic chives, coriander, dill, parsley

Fruit Days: 2-4, 11-13, 21-23, 29-30: broad beans, mustard, peas, snopeas, peas

Root Days: 4-6, 13-16, 23-25: beetroot, carrots, celeriac, fennel, garlic, garlic chives, bunching onion, kohlrabi, leek, parsnip, radish, daikon radish, swede, turnip

Flower Days: 6-8, 16-18, 25-27: 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): 12

Node Days (avoid planting if you can):12 (10.11pm), 27

Apogee (moon furthest from earth; less lunar influence):16

Perigee (moon clostest to eath; more lunar influence): 28

New Moon/Full Moon: 10/26 (Lunar Eclipse 5.57am)

Moon descending: 2-15, 29-30

Moon ascending: 1, 15-29

Apply soil fertilisers, compost: 2-10, 29-30

Prune, take cuttings, plant seedlings: 2, 2-6, 8-11, 13-15, 29

Apply foliar fertilisers: 15-29

Graft: 16-18, 25-27

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.

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