October 2015

So, it’s finally spring, with the usual burst of growth in the garden and a struggle to keep up with the weeds and the needs of plants, let alone the mowing. We welcome all of the growth though.

Crops and fruit trees are growing rapidly and new growth will benefit from a fortnightly feed of  diluted 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 dates below).

Enjoy the spring in this part of the world because it never lasts very long! Especially this year with the very low winter and early spring rainfall. Soon enough (well actually already) 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.

On the topic of mulch, if you are buying in mulch be sure to check it beforehand for weed seeds. Especially if your supply comes from irrigated pastures or non local paddocks that you can’t inspect. If buying lucerne, try to buy second cut, or in a good year, third cut crops.

Another sign of early advance is that our BD compost looks to be already ready, a month ahead of anticipated. It’s important to care for this living resource; keep it moist and well covered in the heap and use sparingly and well, by digging it into the soil, or covering it with mulch when you apply it judiciously to garden beds. And thanks to Dawn we have more happening in the smaller compost bays, ready for turning and using. This month it’ll be important to chop up the weeds as you pull ’em, and then incorporate them into the compost bays, with layers of manure, straw and a generous helping of water.

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!

Enjoy October’s blossoming garden.

Guide for temperate areas in SE Australia for October 2012:

Leaf Days: 6-8, 17-19, 25-27 – 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, 9-12, 19-22, 27-29 – 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: 1-4, 12-14, 22-24, 29-31 – 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: 4-6, 13-16, 23-25, 31 -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:  24  (a good time to plant, transplant, etc, and in the 24hrs either side)

Moon Descending:  1-4, 19-31

Moon Ascending: 4-19

Full Moon/New Moon: 27/13

Nodes*: 11/25

Perigee***: 26

Apogee***: 11

Apply soil food: 1-4, 28-31 best then other moon descending dates

Apply foliar food: 14-19

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

Transplant seedlings, plants, cuttings: 1-4, 29-31 

Graft: 13-17, 18-19

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