September 2015

September. Finally. Or, already, for some gardeners!

Hard to find the time to do all that needs doing at once in this part of the world. Getting seeds sown under protection, so you’ll have enough growing time for the transplanted frost sensitive things to fully ripen once the threat of frosts is past (not yet!), mowing, weeding, feeding, getting those winter jobs done like irrigation checking and maintenance, structures for netting and shade, pruning the olives at least (too late for most other things now, unless they ripen in late autumn). Composting, as always. But all of these activities will now have a faster payback, than in the past months.

In Newstead we’ve still destructive frosts forecast, so it pays to start seeds in warm spots – under glass, in igloos, on kitchen sills (I’ve even been known to set seeds in front of the heater). Don’t be fooled into buying leggy, sappy, nursery mollycoddled, advanced seedlings this time of year (or anytime) – a waste of money. Better to grow you own locally saved, or sown, seed stock.

Think about a crop of spuds – source organic seed spuds or try buying small ‘chat’ sized spuds from your organic grocer; the smaller the better (or cut larger spuds up to pieces with two or three eyes).

If you’ve had the lack of real rainfall we have, you’ll be thinking about watering crops like garlic, strawberries and fruit trees as they start to set flowers and fruit/bulbs. And though we might think this winter’s chills have been a bad thing, many plants certainly dont – see this earlier post.

Have you tested your soil pH lately? It may need liming, or adding sulphate if too alkaline, buffering with organic matter and compost. It’s worth feeding perennials ahead of their spring growth, but best to make sure that the needed nutrients will actually be available to the plant. Again, there’s more info on soil pH and plant growth in this earlier post. Always useful to revisit and revise activities in the garden. Ernst has an article on pH in the BD Spring Newsletter – details on joining as a member can be found there as well (plus some info on lunar planting, companion planting and cereals).

Enjoy the sights of blossom and the sounds of bees at work in the spring garden.

Guide for temperate areas in SE Australia for September 2015:

NOTE: s=seed, p=plant/seedling

Leaf Days: 1-2, 9-11, 19-21, 27-29  – bok choi (s,p), kale (s,p), celery (s,p), endive (s,p), mibuna (s,p), mizuna(s,p), orach (s), rocket (s,p), tat soi (s,p), leek (s,p), lettuce(s,p), mustard(s,p), silverbeet(s,p) spinach(s,p), chives (p,s), garlic chives (p), coriander(s,p), dill (s,p), parsley(s,p), rhubarb (s,p), clover (s)

Fruit Days: 2-4, 11-14, 21-23, 29-30 – broad beans (p) mustard(s,p), peas (s,p), strawberries (p), amaranth (s) bush beans (s), climbing beans (s), capsicum (s), 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: 4-6, 14-16, 23-25 – asparagus (s,p), jerusalem artichoke (s), beetroot( s,p), carrots (s), celeriac (p), fennel (p), kohlrabi (p), leek (p), spring onion (s,p) salad onion (p), potatoes (s,p), shallots (s,p), radish (s,p)

Flower Days: 6-9, 16-19, 25-27 –broccoli (p), cauliflower (p), borage (s,p), globe artichoke (s,p), sunflower (s)

Other Auspicious Gardening Dates:

Moon opposite Saturn: 26 (a good time to plant, transplant, etc. or 24hrs either side)

Moon Descending: 1-7, 22-30

Moon Ascending: 7-22

Full Moon/New Moon: 28 (and lunar eclipse)/13 (and solar eclipse)

Nodes*: 14/28

Perigee***: 28 (lots happening around the 28th!)

Apogee***: 14

Apply soil food, BD500, compost, etc: 1-6, 29-30 best then 23-29

Apply foliar food, BD500, seaweed/fish sprays, etc: 14-21 then 7-14

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

Transplant seedlings, plants, cuttings: 4-6, then 1-2, 29, 23-26

Graft: 16-19 best then 7-9

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.

# 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