October 2013

Weeding anyone?!

It’s a fantastic time to be out in the garden and plenty of jobs this month. A quick compost is worth more than a thought – all those weeds are also rich sources of nutrients and will help in soil building. Crops and fruit trees are growing rapidly and new growth will benefit from a fortnightly feed of worm juice and/or seaweed and/or fish emulsion. Green manures should also be dug in now for best effect. Budding and grafting are also best done whilst sap is running and trees growing well enough to heal quickly. But do it on a “flower” or “fruit” day when the moon is ascending and preferably waxing (see below).

Get a head start with your seedlings by sowing under cloches or cold frames – easily made with a window frame or even a plastic bag over a punnet – see more here about growing and extending the season.

Enjoy the spring in Central Victoria because it never lasts very long! Soon enough we’ll be thinking about watering rosters and sun protection. On that topic, it’ll be a good idea to mulch beds well towards the end of the month when the danger of frosts is surely passing and the soil has warmed up – don’t put them on too early though, or the snails and slugs will thank you!

On the topic of mulch, if you are buying in mulch be sure to check it beforehand for weed seeds. We are seeing a bit of a problem this spring with the germination of what initially looked like wild carrot but turns out to be hemlock – a very poisonous plant and not one we want to encourage in a community garden. If you can check out the crop before it’s cut and dried for hay or mulch, even better.

Here are the dates for gardening this month. Note that (s) means sow as seeds and (p) means plant as seedlings. (eg. tomatoes can be planted as seed but probably still too early for planting seedlings early this month in frost prone areas). Beware that frosts can still occur in Newstead through October and it’s probably worth waiting till later in the month to plant out frost tender summer seedlings!

Guide for temperate areas in SE Australia for October 2012:

Leaf Days: 1, 8-10, 17-19, 26-30 – amaranth (s,p) basil (s), bok choi (s,p), chinese cabbage (s,p), dill (s,p), kale (s,p), celery (s,p), endive (s,p), 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, 29-31 – broad beans (p) bush and climbing beans (s,p) capsicum (s,p) mustard(s,p), peas (s,p), strawberries (p), amaranth (s,p) capsicum (s,p), chilli (s), corn (s), cucumber (s), eggplant (s), okra (s), pumpkin (s), rockmelon (s), snopeas (s,p),  squash (s), tomatoes (s), watermelon (s), zucchini (s)

Root Days: 4-6, 12-14, 21-24, 31 – asparagus (s,p), jerusalem artichoke (p), beetroot( s,p), carrots (s), celeriac (p), fennel (p), kohlrabi (p), leek (p), spring onion (s,p) salad onion (s,p), bunching onions (s,p) potatoes (s,p), shallots (s,p), radish (s,p),

Flower Days: 6-8, 14-17, 24-26 -broccoli (p), cauliflower (p), borage (s,p), globe artichoke (s,p), sunflower (s) marigold (s,p), nasturtium (s,p), other flowers

Other Auspicious Gardening Dates:

Moon opposite Saturn: 20 (a good time to plant, transplant, etc, and in the 24hrs either side)

Moon Descending:  10 – 23

Moon Ascending: 1-10, 23-31

Full Moon/New Moon: 19 (and lunar eclipse at 9.37am)/5

Nodes*: 7, 20

Perigee***: 11

Apogee***: 26

Apply soil food: 21-23 best, then 12-14, 10-23

Apply foliar food: 6-8 best, then 24-26, 1-10, 23-31

Mulch: anytime, but watch for frosts (thick straw mulch will intensify them) and remember the slugs!

Transplant seedlings, plants, cuttings: 21-23, 31, 12-14, 

Graft: 6-8, 24-26

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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