The signs in the bush around me – and also in the garden – indicate movement and awakening. The stonefruits are a case in point, already budding. Thanks to Lyn, we’ve already applied the first spray for curly leaf.
Life may be stirring above ground, but down below (and on) it, the soil is still very cold. More frosts are assured. Seeds will take some time to germinate and seedlings will be slow to ‘take’, but don’t give up on them, despite slugs and snails. Physical protection (we use pot plants with the bases cut out, or yoghurt containers, or other receptacles – copper tape around them adds another level of protection) can deter the slimy pests.
Once finally through and safe, direct-sown seeds seem much hardier than transplanted seedlings. Now is the time to start thinking about spring seeds – sown in warmer spots, undercover, or inside on a windowsill – to take advantage of the longer days, post frost. I’m always too late with mine, so am thinking late July and into August maybe the time to start some seeds as a first planting, with successives for several weeks after that. Allow 6 to 8 weeks before they’re ready to put out into the garden (and be sure to allow for frosts). There’s more information on mitigating frost effects in this earlier post.
Keep picking your green leafy veges, to stimulate more leafy growth. This is a rule of thumb for anytime of year, but in the colder months you’ll need to be a bit more conservative (apart from kale and silverbeet!) as the plants need all the photosynthesising material they can muster to stay strong.
Getting late now to do structural pruning of apples, pears and their relatives, but still time for late planting of all fruits, berries, natives, and things in dormancy; and a good time for rehabilitation work. Dig up all those jerusalem artichokes if you don’t want an onslaught next year. Feed everything with compost and worm juice. Codling moth monitoring (see the post). Consider a BD500 spray if conditions are favourable. And make another load of compost. That’ll keep you busy this month.
Don’t forget the Produce Exchange on Sat 4th and beware of Weather around the 16th – Brian Keats is warning of the same conjunction of planets that correlated with Cyclone Tracey and the Christchurch earthquakes – see his website, or your astrocalendar, for more details about longitudes around the globe that may be affected.
Gardening Dates for temperate areas of SE Australia:
Leaf Days: 1, 7-9, 16-19, 26-28: bok choi, cabbage, kale, celery, coriander, endive, mibuna, mizuna, orach, rocket, tat soi, leek, lettuce, mustard, silverbeet, chard, spinach, chives, garlic chives, dill, parsley
Fruit Days: 1-3, 9-12, 19-21, 28-30: broad beans, mustard, peas,
Root Days: 3-5, 12-14, 21-24, 30-31: Beetroot, carrots, celeriac, kohlrabi, garlic, garlic chives, leek, bunching onion, onion, radish, daikon, swede, turnip,
Flower Days: 5-7, 14-16, 24-26: broccoli, borage, cauliflower,
Moon Opposite Saturn (considered a good date for sowing seeds, applying preps and planting, or 48hrs either side): 6 (also Perigee, quite close to earth)
Node Days (avoid planting if you can): 8, 22
Apogee (moon furthest from earth; less lunar influence): 21
Perigee (moon clostest to eath; more lunar influence): 6
New Moon/Full Moon: 16*/2
Moon descending: 1-14, 29-31
Moon ascending: 1, 14-29
Apply soil fertilisers, compost: 3-16
Prune, apply tree paste, take cuttings, plant seedlings: 3-5, 12-14 best dates, then 1, 7-9, 30-31
Apply foliar fertilisers: 17-29
*Brian is also warning about extreme weather events around the new moon which coincides with planetary interactions – earthquakes, cyclones, Weather – see his website for more info….
For more information on the astro planting dates (and where to get your own calendar) see the Gardening Notes page.
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.