January 2015

seeds_2Happy New Gardening Year.

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.

seeds_1You 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

3 thoughts on “January 2015

  1. Saide Gray says:

    Thank you for all the interesting and informative calendar posts each month. They are a delight to read and I learn a lot about gardening and biodynamics (or woowoo gardening as some in my scientific family call it).
    I enjoy reading articles in News Leaf, the Journal of the Biodynamic Agriculture Australia and these notes add to my seasonal joy and knowledge.
    Photographs of seeds always move me because they are so full of potential and these pumpkins, zucchinis and something surprising look so beautiful and portend food for the future.
    So thanks for a good gardening year, enjoy a peasant Christmas and New Year and I look forward to more gardening joy in 2015 from these gardening notes.

  2. Genevieve Barlow says:

    I, too, tried a peach this morning and memories of childhood summers flooded in – when we ate ‘tea’ not ‘ dinner’ and hoed into ‘sweets’ not ‘dessert’ of peaches and ice-cream, when we ‘stewed’ peaches by the boiler full and when boxes of fresh ones lined the back veranda.
    No modern supermarket peach has dished up those memories.
    It makes all our watering and mulching and mad digging under the shearing shed all worthwhile. Thanks Janet for your brilliant, consistent presentation of the garden notes. It’s my hope that more people might join us in community gardening this year. Think about taking a plot.
    My goal this year is to grow a decent parsnip.

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