For me, one of the lovely things about being a gardener is that each season is a fresh start, a new beginning, and also an unknown. What will this season bring? What crops will perform well? How will the pollinators go? And the pests? What will this season’s composts reveal? It can be both exhilarating and enervating. I imagine farmers have this feeling too, only they have far more invested in the result than I do. I love the learning experiences which gardening brings and, mostly, it makes me humble; I don’t know all the answers and can’t dictate how or what grows well, despite my scientific leanings or learnings. I can only go upon my failures and the constant experiences of growing, or trying to. This is all probably a bit heavy for January. So on with the planting notes.
Microclimates will be important this month. Think shade, protection, companion planting – use plants as well as structures to protect productive plants. Hot season crops love the warmth, but not searing winds and prolonged dry. Keep the water up and a bit of shelter in the most exposed part of the day and you will eat well from them. Remember if you are irrigating that the black poly heats up (this also informs solar hot water systems) so use irrigate early, or later in the darkness, to avoid scalding seedlings. If you haven’t thinned productive fruit trees, you may need to prop up overloaded branches to avoid carnage. Net where is needed, and keep squishing those pear and cherry slugs.
You won’t be thinking ahead this month, but if you want to eat through autumn and winter then plant seeds – not in the igloo but somewhere cooler, protected and shaded. Think about seed saving but beware of cross pollination between brassicas, alliums, apiaceae/umbelliferae. And we’ll be looking ahead to summer puning next month, so be observant of your fruit trees now, and what might need a trim then, or a more drastic cut in winter.
Brian Keats is predicting more big weather events for January, so consult your astro-calendar.
Happy gardening for 2015 and whatever may grow in your garden.
January 2015 Gardening Dates for temperate areas of SE Australia:
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.
Leaf Days: 6-8, 16-18, 24-26 – 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, 8-11, 18-20, 26-28 – 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: 1-4, 11-13, 20-22, 28-31 – 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: 4-6, 13-16, 22-24, 31 -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: 23 (a good time to plant, transplant, etc)
Moon Descending: 1-4, 18-31
Moon Ascending: 4-18, 31
Full Moon/New Moon: 5/20
Apply soil food: 18-20 best, then 1-4, 20-22, 28-31 and other moon descending dates
Apply foliar food: 31 best, then 4-6, 13-16 and other moon ascending dates
Mulch: now and through summer, but remember the slaters and slugs!
Transplant seedlings, plants, cuttings:18- 20, 1-4, 20-22, 28-31
Graft: 31, 4-6 then 14-16
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