January 2013

borage flowersHappy New Gardening Year.

I reckon that one of the best aspects of gardening is that each year brings new learning, new challenges and delightful anticipation of what the year – and the season, or crops – might bring. And there is the constant appreciation of nature and her beautiful complexities; joy in bringing a seed to life to provide food for the plate, or to grow on, full cycle, to seed again.

So, enjoy this year’s gardening adventures.

Thanks to Brian Keats for providing his constant, consistent and informative astro-calendars each year. I use his calendar to guide my gardening and to produce these planting dates. For 2013, Brian has produced a primer for those just starting to garden by the constellations and planets. See his website for more info and to order. His calendars contain a wealth of info on natural phenomena according to the seasons.

corn and peasJanuary is a lazy time for most of us, but if you want to be dining on veges through the autumn and into winter, it pays to start some seeds (not seedlings yet – too hot!) off during the next month. Think cauliflower, cabbage, brussels, parsnip and other slow growing plants. You can still also continue to plant summer veges (as seedlings) if you think that frosts/cool snaps are still several months away and there’s enough ripening time. Another crop of salad stuff and annual culinary herbs is also a good idea, though these may need protecting with shadecloth, or taller growing plants, to avoid the hot, beating sun. Water well and deep and regularly in early morning or evening.

Here are the dates for gardening this month. Note that (s) means sow as seeds and (p) means plant as seedlings. For more info on these planting notes and dates, refer to the gardening notes home page.

Guide for temperate areas in SE Australia for January 2013:

Leaf Days: 8-10, 16-19, 26-28 – amaranth (s,p) basil (s,p), bok choi (s,p), brussel sprouts (s), chinese cabbage, cabbage (s) (s,p), chives (s,p) dill (s,p), celery (s,p), endive (s,p), kale (s), 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: 1-4, 10-12, 19-21, 28-31 – amaranth (s,p), bush and climbing beans (s,p)  capsicum (p), strawberries (p), chilli (p), corn (p), cucumber (p), eggplant (p), okra (p), mustard (s), pumpkin (p), rockmelon (p), snopeas (s,p),  squash (p), tomatoes (p), watermelon (p), zucchini (p)

Root Days: 5-6, 12-14, 21-24, 31 – 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: 6-8, 4-16, 24-26 -broccoli (s), cauliflower (s), 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: 20 (a good time to plant, transplant, etc)

Moon Descending:  10-23

Moon Ascending: 1-10, 23-31

Full Moon/New Moon: 27/12

Nodes*:  8, 21

Perigee***: 10

Apogee***: 22

Apply soil food: 12-14, 21-22, next best 10, 16-19, other moon descending dates

Apply foliar food: 6-8, 24-26 next best 6-8, 24-27, other moon ascending dates

Mulch: now and through summer, but remember the slaters and slugs!

Transplant seedlings, plants, cuttings: 10-12, 19-22

Graft: 4-6, 23-24, 31

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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