March Notes 2015

After a humid summer, we are moving into autumn, though the humidity continues. Confusing for plants and humans alike. I have a nice crop of beans still flowering in my home ‘garden’ (having sworn not to grow food there, just herbs, since the community garden supplies most of my vege needs, but …) In a way, I hope the humidity continues, so their growth will (and also those late planted ‘saved’ pumpkins, put out as remainders at the wholefood shop, and the excess tomato seedlings – I am an RSPCA for unloved plants!) And then there’s those scattered basil seeds…

Brian Keats has been spot on in his weather forecasts, especially last month. For March he is tipping ‘Weather’ in northern Australia and rain in the south for the 6-14th. He’s also tipping an ‘intense’ March with the sun crossing the equator (equinox) in Pisces, as is the node and perigee moon at the same time – and an eclipse! It will be an hyperactive time, says Brian, around the 20-21 March. Look out!

Even with Weather, putting in a quick growing leafy mix of salad greens and herbs is a great idea before growth slows later in the month.  You should have seedlings in, if not ready to go, for late autumn and winter eating – greens, brassicas, celery, fennel, etc. and be preparing ground to get your garlic in before the end of the month. We have some lovely supplies from Ananda Organics as you’ll read in the post linked to this page.

It’s not too late for pruning – prune for fruit production on your pome fruit trees (apple, pear, quince, etc) and for structure on your stonefruit (peach, plum, nectarine, apricot, etc). More info from Simon Rickards presentation is also in the photo gallery. Look at the Crop Notes for advice too. And compost to make use of all those lovely crop residues and the warm – and hopefully moist – autumn conditions. It’s a fantastic time to be out in the garden.

Yes, there is much cultural, artistic and other activities on the March 2015 calendar in this part of the world, but make the garden your priority. It will reward you in many ways.

Here’s the auspicious time to do all these things:

Gardening Dates for temperate areas of SE Australia:

Leaf Days: 1-5, 10-14, 20-22, 28-31 amaranth, bok choi, brussel sprouts,  cabbage, kale, celery, endive, mibuna, mizuna, orach, rocket, tat soi, lettuce, mustard, silverbeet, chard, spinach, chives, garlic chives, coriander, dill, parsley,

Fruit Days: 4-7, 14-16, 22-24, 30-31: broad beans, mustard, peas, snopeas, lentils, lupins, chickpeas, wheat, oats, barley, spelt, triticale (green manure plants)

Root Days: 7-9, 16-18, 24-26: beetroot, carrots, celeriac, fennel, bunching onion, kohlrabi, leek, parsnip, radish, daikon radish, swede, turnip

Flower Days: 9-11, 18-20, 27-29: broccoli, borage, cauliflower, all flowers (poppies, lupins, calendula, etc)

Moon Opposite Saturn (considered a good date for sowing seeds, applying preps and planting, or 48hrs either side): 19

Node Days (avoid planting if you can): 8, 21

Apogee (moon furthest from earth; less lunar influence):5

Perigee (moon clostest to eath; more lunar influence): 20 (and solar eclipse and new moon)

New Moon/Full Moon: 6/20

Moon descending: 14-26

Moon ascending: 1-14, 26-31

Apply soil fertilisers, compost, take cuttings, plant seedlings: 16-18 best, then 20-22, 24-26

Apply foliar fertilisers: 1-6 then 27-31

Graft: 1, 9-11, 27-29

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.

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