Ana Isabel - Life Astrologer
The Moon and Biodynamics
                                                 

Bio

We often think about the Full Moon as having an effect on us. This is obvious as we can see its influence on the tides, which are higher. We can also feel its effect on us. When I was a teacher, children were always more hyper around the Full Moon. Even my pets seem to have been more needy at this time of the month; and of course we know that some Police Forces have admitted to having more officers on duty at the time of the Full Moon because statistically they can see that there are more incidents aroud this time.

However, the Moon is linked with the earth all the time, so its energy does affect us all the time. Since having an allotment, I have developed an interest in biodynamics. This is a way of gardening that takes into account the place of the Moon when doing different tasks in the garden. It also involves caring for the soil with the preparation of natural feed and ways of controlling pests. Many of you interested in organic gardening will be familiar with some of the principles placing emphasis on the health of the soil. But biodynamic preparations also have some links with homeopathic principles.

In addition to my usual blog about Astrological events, on this page I am writing about my experiences as a biodynamic gardener in a special blog. I am also providing a gardening calendar each week so that you can plan your gardening week. Happy Gardening!!!

  Here is a short interview about Biodynamics which I did on BBC Radio Jersey. I little introduction to a beautiful and most natural way of gardening.


The grape harvest has been abundant and delicious. Sadly I had my last bunch this morning. Still as it's the beginning of October, I think I've done rather well.


Delicious French beans.

Beautiful leeks!


There were so many firsts for me this year but the best were the cucumbers. They're still cropping and it's October. Gigantic, juicy fruits. It will be hard to beat this year's crop. All my guests have left with cucumbers as there were more than enough to share!


Another of my  firsts. It was my first good cauliflower harvest too!


For the first time, I got a fabulous sweet corn harvest! Next year I'll plant double. They were delicious!





September- Unusual Squashes

My favourite Squash- Crown Prince. Last year I harvested them in October and I was still eating them in March. Kept in a cool, dry place, they last ages!


Squashes do love to ramble all over the place!


Wonderful August Harvest!



August promised apples for September.


 
Shasta Daisies- They look fantastic and smell foul! The flies love them!


Believe it or not, these are courgettes! They're so colourful and easy to stuff.


July 2013


By August this path had disappeared under foliage, but here it was still possible to walk along it, just!




There were flowers too. Lilies are my favourite and for me, the Regale beats them all.


Along with strawberries came the raspberries, red, white and blackcurrants. July was very busy as
I harvested, baked, made jams and cordials!

Summer was late and so were the strawberries but when they arrived they were abundant and delicious!!!

June was Poppy month. I love allowing them to self-seed. They do their own thing and the result is stunning! The bees love it too!



23/08/14

Waning Moon in Leo- Keeping Going

It's easy to feel that things are winding down at this time of year. But there is still plenty of time for fruit to come in. Today is a good day to feed tomatoes, peppers, beans, courgettes, squashes and pumpkins. Although the weather has been cool and downright autumnal lately, the days are still long and the weather will in all likelihood become more seasonal. So remember, it's still summer and enjoy your fruits!

17/08/14

Waning Moon in Taurus- Roots!

It's been a very busy summer but my root vegetables haven't been great. In my desire to have straight carrots I mixed compost and sand creating an ideal mix. Although carrots love this light, deep bed that I've created, so do the foxes. So it is that my bed for carrots has become their play ground. Slowly I've been covering a little area at a time with various objects, creating barriers and protecting my sowings. Finally it appears that they are getting the message and I have plenty of carrots growing. The trouble is that because of the uncertainty of the situation, I've sown far more than usual. I think there's going to a glut. I think Carrot and Coriander Soup could be the answer!

It's been a funny time for by beetroot too. I thought I had seed and found that I didn't so I sowed it quite late. I also allowed one of my last year's plants to go to seed. The result is that I now have more beetroot than I ever thought possible! I think there's going to be some juicing going on and thank-goodness if love beetroot soup!

07/05/14

Waxing Moon in Leo- Fruit of All Kinds!

This is such a busy Moon! I've planted peas and broadbeans. I've also pricked out squashes, courgettes, marrows, tomatoes peppers and all manner of beans, as well as more peas. Today's sowings included more beans, squashes and courgettes. They are a kind of security sowing just in case the first ones don't quite work out. It's a good time to sow sweet corn too!

As for other fruit, the strawberries are in flower so I hope to have some by June. The Apricots, Nectarines, Peaches, Cherries, Pears and Blueberries all need feeding and watering as they're in containers.  It's the kind of day when everything needs to be done at once and I love it!

10/04/14 Waxing Moon in Leo- All Hands

Where the Moon in Cancer was quiet, the Moon in Leo has be manic! Over the last three days I've planted broadbeans, potted on more broadbeands and two variety of peas, cucumbers, okra, two varieties of tomatoes, cape gooseberries and peppers. Today I sowed more peas, more tomatoes and peppers, broadbeans, Climbing French beans, dwarf beans, borlotti beans, runner beans, four varieties of squashes, two varieties of courgettes and marrows.  My cold frame is full and so is my hallway! It's been a very exciting and busy few days but in a few months time, it will all be worth it!

6/04/14

Waxing Moon in Cancer- Taking it Easy

This is the wrong Moon phase to be doing any planting or sowing of herbs or leafy vegetables. However, it is a good day to prune non-flowering shrubs like Japanese laurel. It's also a good day to feed your leafy house plants. Check any containers in your garden because they may need a drink, even if you've had rain. Sometimes if containers are kept against a wall, they don't get the rain in the amounts that they need. Apart from that, it's a day to just sit back and enjoy the garden!

18/02/14

Waning Moon in Libra- Preparing For Spring

The allotment is wet- very, very wet! Parts of it have flooded several times. This hasn't stopped the weeds though! Happily, I managed to have a couple of dry hours out there today. In addition to weeding, I had the chance to tidy up. Herbacious perennials like Shasta daisies still have their old stems from last year. I like to keep them over the winter to allow places for creepy crawlies to shelter. It also helps protect the crown of the plant from severe frosts. The weather has been very mild and all the new leaves have developed providing enough shelter for the odd lady bird, looking for a home. So the old stems were cut today. The same treatment was given to other flowers like the Japonese Anemones. It's nice to see signs of spring. The daffodil bulbs are promising flowers any day now. I can't wait!

Waning Moon in Scorpio- Rusty Leeks

It appear that I have rust on some of my leeks. All is not lost though. I can cut off the affected outer leaves and the inside is sound. So it is that today I'm making a Leek and Cheese Soup. Sweat the leeks, add your favourite stock and add potatoes. Once the potatoes are cooked, put it in the blender. Once you have a smooth soup, add cheese and paprika. You can also add cream but I prefer to keep the fat content lower so it's either cream or cheese but not both. Try it, I'm sure you'll love this simple soup.

21/01/14

Waning Moon in Libra- Tidy Up

There  isn't much that can be done in terms of gardening today but there are general tidying up jobs to tackle. If there is pruning to be done of flowering shrubs, today is a good day.

20/01/14

Waning Moon in Virgo- Velvety Parsnip Soup

Soon it will be time to sow parsnips, but today is about harvesting them. They are particularly delicious after the first frost which means that parsnips are hardy. At this time of year they are a gift! Having harvested four, I sliced them, covered them with water and boiled them. I then put the mixture in the blender. At this stage you have a wonderful parsnip puree but I wanted soup. I added a little more water- just enough to make a beautiful velvety soup. Now the fun begins. You can simply add salt or you can add spices like pepper, nutmeg or paprika. Add to your taste. You may also want to add cream but I think it's perfect and creamy without adding cream. Enjoy!

13/01/14

Waxing Moon In Gemini- Christmas Roses

Christmas Roses- Hellebores are beautiful winter flowers. It's a bit of a misnomer in that they don't really flower exactly at Christmas but they are winter flowers. Today I'm sowing some seeds. These are tricky to get to germinate as they need a period of cold in order to germinate. So I'll be sowing them in a tray outdoors in the hope that they'll germinate in spring. It would be great to have some flowers in  a few years time. These are require a little time to mature!
 
9/01/14

Waxing Moon in Taurus- Parsnips and Potatoes

There wasn't much to be done today as it's a root day and the Moon is waxing. The plot is not dry. I'm really relieved, I wondered how long it would take for the flooding to end. We still have more rain to come though. I took advantage of the lull in the weather to bring in more potatoes. I know convention has it that they should all be harvested in the Autumn but as I am short of space for storage, I tend to harvest as I need them through the winter. With this weather though, I've been concerned about the possibility of them rotting in the ground so I brought some more in today. They look fantastic!

The parsnips look good too. I think tomorrow's lunch will be parsnip soup!

13/11/13

Waxing Moon in Aries- Broadbeans

If you haven't done so yet, there is still time to sow broadbeans. I sowed some on the last fire Moon and am doing so again today, looking forward to an early harvest next spring. I find it easier to do this in seed trays at the moment, protecting them with a cloche. This gives me time to finish preparing the ground, and giving it a chance to rest before planting them in the spring.

6/11/13

Waxing Moon in Sagittarius- Thinking Ahead

As the nights get longer, you may think that there is little to do in the garden. Yet, there is still much to be done in preparation for spring. There are some varieties of broadbeans which given a little protection can be sown at this time of year. Today is the perfect day to sow those seeds. You can sow them directly into the ground and put a cloche over them. I find it easier to sow them in seed trays and either put them into a cold frame or cover them with a cloche. This means an earlier crop next year.

28/10/13

Waning Moon in Leo- Clearing up Raspberries

If you haven't already done so, it's a good time to cut down the canes of the raspberries that fruited in the summer. If you're unsure as to which is the new growth and which is the old growth that needs to be cut away, look at the canes close to the earth. The new growth is fresh and green, where the old canes are woody and brown.

18/10/13

Waxing Moon in Aries- Propagating Fruit

As the moon's energy is so high today, it's a great time to be planting fruit trees or fruit bushes. Many people associate planting with Spring but this time of year is perfect. The soil is still warm and there is a great deal of rain. This gives roots the time to establish before the growing season next year.

It's also a great time to do root cuttings of currant bushes. Alternatively you can start to layer things like gooseberries. take a long gooseberry branch or a branch close to the ground and pin it down so that there are some leaf nodules in contact with the earth. In a month or so you'll notice that roots have started to develop. You can then sever the branch from the parent plant by cutting it. You can then transplant the new plant to where you want it. You can do the same thing with blackberries.
03/10/13

It's been a while since my last posting. So I've added the above pictures to show you what I've been up to!

22/06/13
Waxing Moon in Sagittarius- Last of the Fruit Planting

Yesterday I planted my peas and beans. Today it's my tomatoes. If you have any fruit waiting to be planted, today is a good day to do it. It's the Solstice and the days are at their longest allowing plants to grow. There is also extra warmth and courgettes and squashes need warmer nights to thrive. So it's all there. Plant today and you'll soon be harvesting!

12/06/13

Waxing Moon In Leo- Cucumbers, Squashes, Tomatoes- All Fruit!

I've been waiting for this Moon for a little while now. Sadly the weather may be damp but it's a great time to be planting all fruit. So today and tomorrow I'm planting tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers aubergines, peas, beans, courgettes, marrows and squashes. It will feel great to see them all in the ground. That's the majority of all this year's planting. There just a few flowers and herbs left- they're waiting for the Moon in Libra and the Moon in Pisces.

06/06/13

Waning Moon In Taurus- Earthing Up Potatoes

It's been a while since I've written here. It's been a manic month on the allotment! There are lots of pictures to come which I haven't had time to post.

Today is a perfect day for sowing more carrots, beetroot and spring onions. It's also a great day to earth up the potatoes.

Earthing potatoes means covering the emerging shoots with earth. This may seem counter intuitive but it's necessary. For one thing it protects the shoots from any risk of frost, which although less likely now, are still possible in the North. It also means that any potatoes that start rising up on the earth, cannot be exposed to light. This is vital as potatoes go green when exposed to light and green potatoes are poisonous!

10/05/13

Moon in Taurus- Roots!

Technically the Moon is now Waxing ut the Moon is so New that I can just get in a few more root vegetables. It's not too late to plant potatoes. For my part today is about sowing more celeriac, carrots, radishes and beetroot. I'm also doing my first sowing of turnips and swede. These last two are so great in winter and they withstand terrible weather. Along with parsnips, they can really keep us going through the winter.

26/04/13

Waning Moon in Scorpio- Leaves, Herbs and Pesky Pests

The Moon is still quite full and energies are running high. It is probably best to wait for the Waning Moon in Pisces as the Moon's energy will be weaker to do more seed sowing, but I do have plants that are bursting to be put into more comfortable accommodation so I'm using the fact that the Moon is at least Waning and going ahead. This means pricking out leeks, cabbages, dill, spinach beet, summer savory, brussel sprouts and perpetual spinach. I'll wait for the Moon in Pisces before sowing more seeds.

It's also a good time to have a look around the garden and make some decisions as to how to manage pests. Slugs and snails are the bain of my life. This year I'm creating more elaborate barriers to protect seedlings. I have cold frames and the seed trays have got propagator lids on. These still need regular inspection as against all odds I found a slug in one of my seed trays. I'm baffled as to how it got in! Vigilance prevented a disaster!

Another cause for concern is Rosemary beetle. They look like humbugs, are pretty and shiny but my Rosemary bush looks like it's been decimated over the last three years. The only control is to hunt them and squash them. I've not been very efficient in doing this as the bush is so large and there are so many of them. But if I'm to rescue it, then I must be more diligent. I also need to work out whether it needs more nutritional support like a mulch. Of course Rosemary is a Mediterranean herb and doesn't like wet feet. Last year's rain and this exceptionally cold, wet spring may also be the problem, so I need to check that it's not getting waterlogged under the surface. Adding some sand or pebbles to improve drainage could help too.  A healthy plant survives insect attacks more readily. So I'm on the case and my Rosemary is about to be rescued!

19/04/13

Waxing Moon in Leo- Fruity Delights

Since the weather has improved everything has burst into life. My nectarine tree is awash with blossom and the bees love it. The peach is catching up! It's a joy to see and I wish I could share the smell with you. It has a slightly spicy, sweet smell- utterly delightful.

Today though the focus is on sowing seeds. More tomatoes, peppers and this time cucumber and okra are being sown in the propagator as they need warmth to germinate. Peas and beans are hardier so they're being sown outdoors. It's still a little cold though and frost is threatening at night so I'm sowing them in seed trays under cover. I'm also sowing some squashes, marrows and courgettes indoors.

These are my favourites so I always feel very excited when I first sow them! If you don't have time today, the Moon will still be in Leo tomorrow so you can do it then.

10/04/13

New Moon in Aries- Anything Fruity Day

This is one of those days when you can do a number of jobs. The Moon's energy is very low you can do some pruning. I still have to prune my Autumn raspberries so this is a good day to do that.

On the other hand the Moon is now beginning to wax and although it would be better to wait for the Waxing Moon in Leo, my tomatoes are dying to be pricked out and put into little pots of their own. So that's what I'm doing, along with the Aubergines and peppers. I'll wait for the Waxing Moon in Leo to sow more seeds though. The weather will hopefully be better too!

8/04/13

Waning Moon in Pisces- Vegetables and Herbs

At last if feels that spring has arrived. Much to our surprise given the dire forecasts for today, we've enjoyed a mild and sunny day.

As the Moon is waning in a water sign, it was the right day to attend to vegetables and herbs. I cut back a Rosemary bush which was blocking light from the mini green house. Waning Moons are best for pruning jobs as the sap is not rising.

I then pricked out lemongrass, summer savory and basil. These are now in their own pots. I'll be putting them in a cold frame so that they can have enough light and protection to grow. But first they need a little time indoors as they've just left the warmth of the propagator.

I've also sown lettuce, cabbages, brussel sprouts, leeks, spinach beet and perpetual spinach. This is the second sowing of these vegetables and will be backups in case something goes wrong with the first batch. I've also sown more dill and did my first sowing of parsley.

It's such an exciting time of year and I'm glad the weather has improved!

5/04/13

Waning Moon in Aquarius

This is usually a day to take a break in the garden. With the bitter Easterly winds still blowing and the lack of Sun, it's very tempting to be indoors but I'm taking the opportunity to secure my mini greenhouse. This has been tied to my shed and survived strong winds for the last couple of years but the gales we had in February blew it down and the plastic cover has been shredded.

Today I'm securing it to the shed again and putting on a new cover. I'm also building a cold frame. As I'm not doing any gardening today, it's a great opportunity to do these types of jobs. Especially as it means that I can move my seedlings which are sitting in the garden under cover onto the allotment with some protection from the bitter weather. Then as spring finally arrives, they'll be ready to go into the ground. Apart from anything, being able to do this, reminds that spring will eventually come and also stops me from feeling stuck!

29/03/13

Waning Moon in Scorpio- Herbs and Leaves

It may feel like deep winter but spring is around the corner and seeds sown a few weeks ago may now need to be pricked out or thinned if they were sown directly into the ground. As the Moon is now waning in a Water sign, it's a good day to attend to leaf vegetables and herbs.

I'm taking the cabbage seedlings which are now ready for planting and putting them into the prepared ground under the cover of a warm fleece. In these bitter easterly winds, they need it!

27/03/13

Full Moon In Libra- More Flowers

Spring is late. Looking at the pictures that I took at this time last year, it's evident that something's very different! No blossom on any fruit trees. Actually, I'd rather that this happens later as last year, we had an early taste of spring, all the blossom bloomed and then we were hit by foul weather which meant poor pollination.

The freezing weather in the last week has kept me indoors but there's still a lot to be done. I've just finished building a cold frame to bring to the allotment in a few days time. I'm also sowing more carnations and delphiniums in the supermarket. When spring finally comes, I'll be ready!

14/03/13

Waxing Moon in Aries- More Seeds Please!

As the Moon is Waxing in a Fire sign, it's a great day for sowing fruit seeds. I'm sowing 2 more varieties of tomatoes, cucumbers, okra and peppers in the propagator. Outside, I'm sowing peas and sugarsnap peas. I'm also sowing more broadbeans under a little protection as it's unseasonably cold still.
The pace is really picking up now- it's certainly March!

06/03/13

Waning Moon in Capricorn- Onions and Shallots

The Moon is Waning in an Earth sign and so it's a great time to deal with root vegetables. So today I'm planting onions and shallots. I'm giving them plenty of space so that they can grow nice and big!

Actually people often wonder how much space there should be when planting. A good rule of thumb is to imagine how big they'll grow. If the ground is fertile and you allow lots of space, you'll have large onions. Otherwise you'll get either small onions or average size. For my part, enough space for an average size is great.

 Leaving some room is also important as it allows air to circulate, something vital for maintaining good health while they're growing. Nobody likes to feel crowded!

03/03/13

Waning Moon in Scorpio- Herbs and Leaves

The preparations for the growing season are really under way. A Waning Moon in Water signs is excellent for dealing with herbs and leafy vegetables. Today I sowed lemongrass, basil and summer savory in the propagator. Outside, under a propagator lid for a little protection, I sowed leeks, cabbages, perpetual spinach, lettuce, brussel sprouts and dill. If you've missed the chance to sow leafy vegetables and herbs, look out for the Moon in Pisces around the 11th. It will be a New Moon and just right for this type of job.

24/02/13

Waxing Moon in Leo- Fruit Day

The Northeasterly wind is biting and bitter! Thankfully today's jobs were done indoors and reminded me that there are  sunnier, warmer days to come. Today I sowed aubergines, sweet peppers, cape gooseberries, and the first lot of tomatoes. These are in the propagator. I also sowed broadbeans and then nipped into the garden to put them under a screen for a little protection from cold and an even more needed protection from slugs! Now I know spring is just around the corner!

19/02/13

Waxing Moon in Gemini- Sowing Seeds

With the Moon in a Waxing Air sign, it was the perfect day to sow some flower seeds. Delphiniums, cosmos, carnations, lupins, nicotiana- their mere names conjure up colourful images and I can already smell the beautiful nicotiana- these were sown in a propagator. Alyssum and cauliflower were sown outdoors undercover. Alyssum are so lovely, aptly named snowcarpet, they spread giving a beautiful honey scent to the allotment when I'm working.

The beauty of gardening is that there's always something to look forward to!


6/02/13

Moon in Sagittarius- Pruning Fruit

The wind was bitterly cold and I questioned whether I really wanted to go outside. But I'd been working from 7am to 2:30pm without a break and the sunshine was beckoning. An hour was all  I needed to feel revitalised and I'm sure the bitter coldness had something to do with feeling more awake!

Thankfully the job was easy. A waning Moon in a Fire sign is just right for pruning. My blackcurrant bush needed a little tidying up as did the gooseberry. If you have currant bushes or Autumn raspberries this is the right time of year to do the job but you may need to wait until the Moon is next in Leo, as that will be the next Waning Fire Moon.

30/01/13

Moon in Virgo- The Longest Parsnip

Today has been a sunny day. I ignored the strong gusty wind just to be out in the sunshine which seems a rare commodity at the moment. There was work to do to prepare beds for the garlic which I planted in seed trays in December. As I did so, I came across a parsnip which I'd missed in earlier harvests. It was my best parsnip ever.
Those of you who follow my blogs regularly may remember that usually my parsnips are misshapen and look like anything but parsnips. Last year's crop has been better but still not quite straight. Today's is perfect, 30cm long and perfectly straight. At last! There is another reason to be happy. Straight root vegetables indicate that my soil is improving. The clay that plagued me when I first started is turning into proper soil. My hard work is paying off!

29/01/13
Moon in Virgo- Storing Potatoes

Finally everything has thawed. Thankfully, I managed to have an hour before the rain came. Last Autumn I decided to try something different when came to harvesting potatoes. The previous year's bounty was stored in boxes in a cool room. This worked well but took up a great deal of space. I noticed that when harvesting, we often miss the odd potato hiding deep in the earth. This then sprouts in spring and last year I got a second crop very early and treated them like new potatoes. It showed me that potatoes can survive frost and snow if this is for short periods only.

So it was that I decided to only harvest one row at a time. This yields about half a bucket which is enough to keep me going for a few weeks. The allotment is being treated like an outdoor larder. So far it's working well. Today I harvested another row of potatoes. Considering that these had been in frozen ground for two weeks, it was great to see that they were in perfect shape. Those of us who don't get long periods of deep freezes can use this approach safely- at least until spring at which point, I'm sure they'll begin to sprout and provide me with new potatoes!


13/12/12

Yesterday it was so cold that the ground was frozen and nothing could be done. Today it's too wet! I do have a contingency plan thought. I have a bit more garlic that needs planting and as we've just had a New Moon and the Moon is in Earthy Capricorn, I'm just in time. I have a seed tray and some compost indoors which will do the trick nicely. The rest of the afternoon is for Christmas baking- always a weather proof activity!

12/12/12

The Moon is Waning in Sagittarius. It's a good day to just check that there are no weeds around my fruit bushes. This may not be the most exciting job going but it will help to keep things clear for the spring. It also means I can be outdoors. Although it's very cold, just above freezing, I soon warm up and enjoy the peace of my on my own on the allotment!
5/12/12

The Moon is Waning in Virgo. This is the perfect day to plant garlic. Many people think that garlic is delicate because they associate it with Mediterranean cooking. Actually garlic does very well in the UK needs a long cold spell in order for the bulb to split into the smaller cloves that we use for cooking. The only trouble is that when I woke up this morning, it was snowing. If the ground is too frozen, I'll plant then in a seed tray and then plant them out when the ground has thawed. I've done this before with great success.

23/11/12

The Moon is Waxing in Aries. This is a good day to sow broad beans under a little protection.

I'm also going to put my apricot tree into a big tub. This is a good time to move it as it's now dormant. The fig tree is full of figs which I'll lose in a frost. Happily it's in a container so it can now come in.

I'm enjoying this quiet period in the garden. It makes a nice change from the frantic pace of summer!

16/11/12

The Moon is now in Capricorn. This is another great day for tidying up. I'm collecting fallen leaves to make leaf compost. Once in a plastic bag, I make holes and then put water in the bag. The water is necessary to ensure that everything decomposes. The holes in the bag let the excess water drain out.

The nicest thing this time of the year is enjoying the fruits of summer. I'm still having blackcurrant yoghurt every day as my blackcurrant tonic hasn't run out yet. Lots of vitamin C when I need it most!
30/10/12

The Moon is still in Taurus. This time of year is all about tidying up and preparing for next year. As today's Moon is still in an Earth sign, I focused on compost. My compost heap is enormous and some of the material will take to long to decompose fully. One of my allotment neighbours is having a bonfire on bonfire night so today was spent taking all the material that I could out of my compost heap, putting it onto a wheelbarrow and then taking it to her bonfire pile. It was exhausting but I'm in better shape for having done it. My compost heap is manageable and I can see that there is a good deal of compost already to go onto the plot. Meanwhile, I've had good workout!

29/10/12

Today the Moon is in Taurus. I still haven't harvested all my potatoes and frosts are threatening. An earth Moon is the time to do it. I'm so glad that I grew blight resistant potatoes along side a more conventional variety. Although the King Edwards were affected the blight resistant variety, performed exactly as expected. brilliant!

10/10/12

The Moon has been in Leo. This is a fruit day and I took the opportunity to harvest my tomatoes. This year has been a disaster where tomatoes were concerned. The prolonged wet weather early in the summer delayed their development and then brought blight just as the tomatoes were forming. I've been picking and disposing of blighted tomatoes for weeks. I also rescued any which looked good and have been ripening them on my window sill. This has meant that I've at least been able to enjoy some of my crop. Today I picked the last. I do hope next year's better!

11/09/12

Today the Moon has been in Cancer. As it's a Waning Moon, I've sown some lettuce under cover. This will be protection from the slimy brigade and cooler nights. It's a great way of stretching the season.

I'm delighted to have picked my first leaves of perpetual spinach. With any luck they'll keep me in greens until the first frosts. After that there is kale, spinach beet and swiss chard. I have found these to be remarkably resistant to frost and snow. It's wonderful to know that through the coldest months, I'll still have plenty of greens.

6/09/12

Today the Moon has been in Taurus. As it's a Waning Moon in an Earth sign, it's a great day to sow radishes. This is the last sowing of root vegetables that I'll sow this year.

The harvest is going well. I dug up my first potatoes. There's so many and I only dug up one row. Washing them in a bucket while sitting on the grass in the sunshine was pure bliss!

I also dug up some carrots. No funny shapes, just nice long carrots. That's the first time and an indication that I did a good job of preparing the soil. I'm so pleased!!

4/09/12

Today the Moon has been Waning in Aries. Waning Moons are good for pruning because the plants' sap is not so high which means that they are less likely to 'bleed'. Aries is a fire sign which means that today was an ideal day for pruning fruit.

My apple trees received a bit of a cut today just to keep them in shape and to stop them from growing onto a path. I thought about training them into an espalier but decided that I'd lose too much fruit next year. I'm too greedy for that! So keeping them in a nice round shape was enough. I did the same with the plum tree.

Last month I pruned some of the summer raspberry canes which have fruited this year. I didn't get to finish the job so today, I did some more.

I also picked lovely beans which I'll be using for casseroles in winter months. Borlotti beans are so delicious. It really felt like the beginning of Harvest time.

1/09/12

The Moon is now Waning in Pisces. This is a good time to take cutting from herbs and sow some more lettuce. The days are still warm and the earth is also moist and warm. Summer may be coming to an end but it's not over yet!

17/08/12

I've just had the last of my peaches. There weren't very many but it was my first crop and I had to really work hard for them. In addition to making sure the tree had all it needed, I fought against peach leaf curl which thrived in our cool wet weather right up until this month! I had to compete with caterpillars which were determined to borough into the fruit and snails which seemed to love sliding up the tree to get the fruit. I'm just proud to have had any at all! They were delicious. I'm now enjoying the Nectarines.

16/08/12

The Moon is still Waning and it's in the sign of Leo. Waning Moons are good for pruning as less sap is lost.  As the Moon is in a Fire sign, I decided to prune my Raspberries. Summer fruiting raspberries are now finished. Look for the canes which fruited this year. They're easier to find as they look a bit tatty at the moment. Their leaves are yellowing and the stems are brown. Simply prune these from the bottom. You'll be tidying things up but more importantly you'll be creating more space which means more air flow through the canes. If you have a large raspberry patch and you've never pruned before, you might want to wear long sleeves. I didn't today and should have known better. My arms look like I've been playing with an over excited kitten!

Another job that's worth doing while the Moon is in Leo, is to clear up all the dead leaves around the strawberries. This allows room for the new ones and it will be easier to see the new fruit that is being produced towards the end of this month. You'll also come across snails and slugs and be able to do some pest control! If you'd like to extend your strawberry patch, look for the long runners that they;re producing abundantly. clip them to the ground or on a pot with soil. Eventually they'll produce new roots and you'll have a new plant. At this stage you can cut the runner and separate them from the parent plant.

15/08/12

Today the Moon has been Waning in Cancer. This has been a good day for dealing with herbs. I still had a couple of basil plants which I planted. I'm looking forward to harvesting enough to make pesto for the winter this year. This is a great way to preserve this wonderful herb during the winter.

It's also a good day for leaf vegetables. For this reason, I planted spinach beet, perpetual spinach and kale. These are great vegetables to have. you can simply cut what you need and leave the plant. i always have enough to see me through the winter and spring. This is the last of this year's planting. I didn't think I'd still be planting in August but it's been a strange year.

26/07/12

The Waxing Moon is in Scorpio today. This has been a quiet day as Scorpio is a Water Moon and Water Moons are best for herbs and leaf vegetables, which are best delt with on a Waning Moon. This gave me the chance to potter about and do some weeding. In the intense heat we're now having, I was glad that there was nothing heavier than a bit of weeding and picking peas to do. I also managed to get throughly wet while I was watering the plot, an experience which brought some unexpected and welcome relief to the heat!!!

25/07/12

Today the Moon has been Waxing in Libra. It was a day for flowers. I planted broccoli and purple sprouting broccoli and look forward to eating them later in the Autumn and Winter.

This is also a good time to collect seed from some flowers which have now finished. So it is that I collected Poppy seeds and Aqualegia seeds. In fact also shook the seed pods directly on the flower beds. I often find good results just by doing it this way. Nature has I think beaten me to it, as I spotted some tiny Aqualegias already!

22/07/12

Today the Moon has been in Virgo and it's waxing. As an Earth Moon the focus is on roots but as the Moon is Waxing, there wasn't a great deal to do. So I took the opportunity to enjoy the harvesting of more black currants. I've now made blackcurrant tonic and blackcurrant cordial. I also made another gooseberry crumble. Delicious!!!

15/07/12

Gemini is an Air sign and so Gemini Moons as good for dealing with flowers. That includes cauliflower. If you find that your cauliflowers are being shredded. The most likely villains are pigeons or catterpillars. These like all members of the brassica family, including cabbages. Check the underside of leaves for tiny orange eggs layed by the cabbage white butterfly and clean them off. The best thing to do is to net the cauliflower and cabbage beds. I did this during the Moon in Aquarius. I should have done it when I originally planted them but I was planting them in the rain and couldn't be bothered. Consequently they looked most unhappy. I think they're beginning to recover.

13/07/12

Today the Moon has been in Taurus. As this is a Waning Moon, it was a good day to deal with Root vegetables. I sowed more carrots, beetroot and radishes. I also thinned out the turnips and swede.

Potatoes need to be kept in the dark, under the soil otherwise they begin to go green. This part of the potatoe becomes poisonous. So today I earthed up the potatoes. This means that i created deep banks of earth all around them to ensure that any potatoes that were developing close to the surface remained covered by soil.

11/07/12

The Moon was in Aries again today. Dodging more heavy showers, I gave my strawberry plants a little tlc. This means weeding around them and cutting back some old foliage around plants that finished fruiting. This thinning process will give them more air and keep them healthy. If you're plants have finished fruiting you may want to do the same. If you want more plants for next year allow the runners to root and then cut them. You'll have individual new plants. As I have enough, I simply cut the runners so that the plant's energy isn't wasted. I also gave them a liquid comfrey feed.

10/07/12

The Moon today was in Aries. This is a fruit day but as the Moon is Waning, there isn't much to do. However, harvesting is still taking a lot of time. The rain is still spoiling a lot of fruit so I tried to bring in all the raspberries I could today. The result was more jam making.

9/07/12

Today the Moon has been in Pisces. It's a Waning Moon so it's perfect for planting herbs and leaf vegetables. Everything except the weeds has been growing very slowly due to the lack of heat and light this year. So it is that only today did I get round to planting the basil, leeks and celery. I've had to put plastic bottles over them to protect them from snails as this year aside from weeds, slugs and snails seem to profitting most from the weather. The hosepipe ban has finally been lifted in our region. I'd really love to need to use one!!! Does anyone know a Sun Dance?

6/07/12

It's been a very difficult month. It has rained and rained and rained... and then it's rained some more. Consequently getting into the allotment and doing some planting has become a challenge. Finally almost everything is in. It's been a very challenging time. Three weeks ago, one soggy afternoon, while harvesting strawberries it became obvious that half my crop was rotting before it had the chance to ripen. Having been on a course in May and missed a week's gardening, the grass had grown knee high and I felt overwhelmed by everything.
I considered for a few seconds giving up on the whole enterprise.

Three weeks later, the sun is shining- I've harvested enough strawberries to make jam and am eating them in copious amounts. I've made gooseberry jam and am wondering what to do with the rest of the gooseberries of which there are I'm sure more than I've already harvested. I have more raspeberries than I know what to do with and the grass is exactly as it should be.

This has reminded me of a very important lesson- SET BACKS ARE NOT DEFEATS!!!!
6/06/12

Yesterday walking amongst the strawberries, I spotted them. A couple of red jewels. Delicious!!!!! Today I decided that one of my favourite jobs is picking strawberries. So I hope for some warm sunshine that the rest might ripen soon!!!!

31/05/12

The Moon is Waxing in Libra so it's a flower day. I've been soaking sweet pea seeds to make germination easier. Today I planted them.

The Chamomile is back. Self-seeded and smelling wonderful. My first harvest to mix with oats and wash my face. The smell is heavenly.

27/05/12

The Moon has been in Leo today. This is a Waxing Moon in a Fire sign so it's a great day to be dealing with fruit. For this reason, I planted my beans, peas and tomatoes. These have been growing in pots and were big enough to plant out and withstand the attention of slugs and snails, especially as I planted them in beds that I treated with slug eating nemetodes.

The hose pipe ban is proving very challenging in this hot weather and I'm thinking of ways to plant which help to retain water. When planting the beans and peas, I dug a trench into which I put kitchen waste- so anthing that was going to go into the compost bin. I then got semi rotten matter from the compost bin and also put it in the trench. This is great stuff as it's sticky and very moist. It will feed the plants as well as retain moisture. Already I noticed that the peas that I planted yesterday are doing well in spite of the very hot day. In previous year's they've sulked and needed a great deal of water. This year they have settled so quickly that you'd think they'd been planted weeks ago.

22/05/12

The Moon is still in Gemini so my attention has remained on the flowers. The Aqualegias are stunning at the moment and Poppies have come to join the party. These self seed themselves generously and I never have the heart to curb their wild abandon. I see their bright red and am immediately cheered! It took a year from sowing the Aqualegias to their present glory. They're perennials and I grow them on the allotment with the intention of putting them into the front garden once the building work is done.

So it is that with the same optimism that I sowed the Aqualegias last year, today I sowed more larkspur, campanulas, sunflowers, lupins and Michaelmas Daisies. I'll have to wait a while but it will be worth it!!!

21/05/12

The Moon is now Waxing again and it's in the Air sign of Gemini. Today was about flowers. The cold weather has meant that my seedlings are taking a long time to develop. Nevertheless, there were plants to prick out: Sunflowers, snowcarpet, lupins and everlasting strawflowers. Tomorrow I'll be sowing more seeds.

I've noticed that the cornflowers I planted last year are finally showing signs of flowering soon. The California poppies are also finally showing signs of flowering. The real bonus though are the tiny violets. Small but exquisite purply velvet. Pictures to come soon.

20/05/11

Today I made the best of the last rays of the Waning Moon in Taurus and planted my potatoes. Some were seed potatoes ordered specially, others were potatoes from the last harvest which had begun to sprout. I think next year I'll save some money and just do it this way.

After being away for a week, everything has shot up. Cutting the grass on the paths is now a definate priority!

11/05/11

The Moon is the Air sign of Aquarius. This is a day for dealing with flowers. However, the Moon is Waning and it's in Aquarius which is not a sign conducive to gardening. Nevertheless, this is the perfect time to do jobs that I don't normally have time for. So today I attended to a section of the garden that has been somewhat neglected of late. This meant pulling up weeds. But best of all, I found that my Aqualegias were in bloom along with some self-seeded Borage. It was a delightful surprise. I grew the Aqualegias (also known as Columbines) from seed last year and have waited a long time for this moment.

A month ago, I also made some comfrey tea. It's easy and very nutritious for plants- but it has a foul stench! Still, plants absorb food and water best on a Waning Moon, so today I watered the daffodils and tulips with the foul smelling concoction. It will give the bulbs a nutritious boost and ensure more flowers next year.

10/05/11

The Moon is Waning in Earthy Capricorn and so I've been looking at potatoes. I still have some potatoes left over from last year's crop. I have a large supply which I'm really enjoying. Some are beginning to sprout- in effect they are chitting. This means that they're ready for planting. I hadn't planned to grow this variety this year but they'll be a wonderful addition to my planned crop.

Sweet Potatoes arrive in what looks like cuttings. They are called slips. When they arrived, my partner was the one who received them. Although he mentioned their arrival, I forgot about them. Four days later I discovered their box. Half of them looked like they were dying. I quickly put them into a vase with water. It took a couple of hours for some, 24 for others and 48 for the last few, but they all perked up. Now they are thriving and their roots are coming out of their pot. It's time to give them a more comfortable abode. The weather is still not warm enough to plant them out. I'll enjoy looking at them in my kitchen for a little while longer.

1/05/12

The sky was grey and threatening but the Moon Earthy in Virgo drove me to get things done. So it was that I marched out wondering how long I had before the rain came. I was rewarded with sun peaking through the clouds and temperatures rising. At one point there was a fine mist in the air and I was pleased as the sun was still out and I was very hot.

The reason for the heat was not just the warm temperature but the work I was doing. Late last year my compost heap had grown so high that I had to start another. Sadly this took up valueable space which is now needed. As the gian compost heap has reduced to a quarter of its size, I decided to move the little one on to it. It was great to see how so much of it had already been transformed into great compost which is now part of a bed for my peas.

30/04/12

There's nothing like waking up to a blue sky on your day off- especially when you've had torrential rain for days! I felt so lucky this morning. It was wonderful to be working in sunshine again and to hear bees buzzing. My apple trees might finally get pollinated!

Today the Moon has been in Leo and it's still Waxing. It was a perfect day to prick out Okra and Tomatoe seedlings. These are growing indoors at the moment. I also sowed two varieties of peas, squashes, sweetcorn,watermelons and lots of beans. These are some of my favourite crops and I eagerly look forward to eating them!

29/04/12

The Moon is Waxing in Leo. Today is a day to attend to fruit. I did a check of my peach and nectarine trees. Sadly I'm fighting peach leaf curl. (picture above) This is a fungal disease brought on by exposure to cold and rain. My attempts to protect them from the rain this winter failed. This means that I'm now picking out infected leaves. The fruit are still developing well. I'm told that the infection may not affect them. My fingers are crossed once again.

Other fruit are developing well. I'm seeing baby cherries and blueberries. I'm less certain about the pears, apples and plums. There was a lot of blossom but the recent bad weather has kept the pollinators away. I'm hoping that they'll be out tomorrow morning in time to possinate everything before the rain and wind spoil all the blossom.

When I said we needed some rain- I did mean some rain- sunshine and showers like we had two weeks ago- not rain forever! It feels like it's going to rain forever now!

27/04/12

The Moon is Waxing in Cancer today and that means that there is nothing to do in the garden. I'm simply watering house plants. This is just as well as it's pouring again. Thankfully the ground is drinking deeply and I can stay dry!

25/04/12

The Moon is in Gemini. It's a Waxing Moon in an Air sign. So it's been a good day for planting or sowing flowers. This of course is true of the Moon, but the weather...

It's been pouring for most of the day and having felt unwell yesterday, I decided to put off gardening jobs to today. This means that I seriously wondered whether things were going to get done at all. Finally, just after four came a window of opportunity. I rushed to the allotment, prepared a bed and started to plant. Just at this point, a few drops came down. By the time I'd finished, the drops had turned to a light shower. I rushed home. In today's terms, I was lucky but I was still very, very wet! My cauliflowers are nice and happy though and that's one job done. I'll wait for the Moon in Libra to sow broccoli, more larkspur and bellflowers.

18/04/12

The Moon is in Aries and as it's still Waning, it was a chance to do some maintenance jobs related to fruit. My apricot tree had some suckers that needed removing. It's indoors at the moment as I'm sheltering from peach leaf curl which can affect this fruit family at this time of year. In fact my nectarine and peach which are outside already have it. My apricot tree is doing well, but somehow, even though it's inside, I noticed damage to some of the leaves. On closer inspection, I found tiny little catterpillars. This is why it's important to check plants regularly. I delt with them and now all will be well.

At the allotment, I spent some time attending to the strawberries. I removed old leaves and weeds around them. Now they have enough space to spread later in the season.

I was very greatful for my shed today as it began to pour! It was such a lovely thing to be standing inside it nice and dry in the middle of a thunderstorm. In fact the sound of the rain on the roof was delightful. It's great to see the ground wet again!

17/04/12

The Moon is still Waning in Pisces. The rain is coming down. This is very appropriate for a water Moon and it means that I don't need to water the allotment. I'm watering the house plants and checking that the containers in the garden are benefitting from the rain.

I'm pricking out the basil and the leeks. I'm also sowing more lettuce, lemongrass, chamomile, more leeks, summer savory, swiss chard and spinach. If you are planning to sow leaf vegetables or herbs, today is the day to do it. It's great to have some jobs that can be done in the dry warmth of home. Actually these sowings could all be done directly into the soil but I choose not to. The main reason is slugs. Sowing them in trays and then planting them out when they're bigger gives them a better chance to survive slug and snail attention.

9/04/12

The Moon is still in Scorpio. As a Waining Water Moon, the focus is on herbs, leaf vegetables and foliage plants. I'll be watering my houseplants too. Actually it's raining out. I'm so relieved! Proper rain is so welcome! Sadly it's arrived on a holiday Monday but yesterday I noticed that the ground is now drying a few cm below the surface, so all I feel is relief!

Today's jobs can be done indoors. I need to prick out the dill, cabbage, lettuce, basil and leeks. I'll also be sowing more herbs including another batch of Lemongrass as the las batch was lost to damping off- a fungus that affects seedlings. I'm sure things will be better this time. Gardening really demands optimism!

8/04/12

The Moon is in Scorpio. This is a good time to get to grips with garden pests so today I'm declaring war on slugs. I got some nemotodes to water into the soil a few weeks ago and I'm doing it today. I had wanted to do it sooner but it's advised that we do it on a cloudy day and when the soil is moist. With the sunny dry weather, I thought I'd best put it off. Now that we have clouds and rain in the air, it's the right time to do it. I'll water the soil first though, just to make sure. They need a moist soil to move through and find their prey. I hope this works. So far I've already lost delphinium seedlings and they were indoors!!!! I'd like to avoid further disappointments.

6/04/12

As I write, the Moon is still waxing in Libra. So I thought about pricking out some of my flower seedlings. This is where the first shock of the season came in. I love Delphiniums and my favourites are the deep velvety blue spires. This year I bought some seed. Delphinium seeds are rather expensive and you don't get many in a packet. They take a long time to germinate and I was excited to find that this week I had three. They have been protected from the vagueries of the weather, in a part of the house that is currently upside down due to building work being done elsewhere. It's unheated but provides good shelter. Imagine my horror to find in the place of my beautiful delphiniums the slimy trail of a slug!!!!! The war has begun! I won't be ordering any more delphinium seeds this year but I think I'll treat myself to a new plant and then put it in a bed where I've watered in slug eating nemetodes!!!

2/04/12

The Moon has been in Leo today and as it's a Waxing Moon in a Fire sign, it's a good day for dealing with fruit. I've been checking my currant bushes and they seem to be doing well as is the gooseberry bush.

I also sowed more tomatoes, broadbeans, and three different types of peas. The sugarsnap peas were heavenly last year and my mouth was watering as I sowed those seeds. I eagerly anticipate a repeat performance!

The pepper seedlings were doing well, so I pricked them out too. All in all it's been a very productive day and I look forward to the fruits of today's labour.
21/03/12

Today the Moon has been in Pisces. It's a waning water Moon. This is a great time to deal with herbs and leaf vegetables. However, as the seeds I sowed when the Moon was in Scorpio have just begun to germinate there wasn't much to do in the area of planting.

Instead I focused on tidying up by herbs in the garden. At this time of year there are a lot of dead stems from last year's growth. These were cut to reveal all of the new growth for this year. This is true of peppermint and mint. The Chives got similar treatment as did the sage. The Lavender's flower heads were also cut off. Everything looks tidier and best of all ready for the new season!

If you missed the chance to sow or plantherbs or leaf vegetables today, the next chance will be when the Moon is in Scorpio next month. It won't be too late.
15/03/12

Today the Moon is in the sign of Capricorn and it's Waning. This is an earth moon so it's perfect for dealing with anything growing in the Earth- like root vegetables. The Moon is Waning which means that the energy is being pulled downwards. This is just what we want for root vegetables. So today was a day for pricking out my carrots.

There's still no sign of the parsnips germinating. I think I need to buy some new seed. The seed I used is three years old and many no longer be viable. This is the advantage of sowing early. I can do another sowing but it will have to wait until next month as I won't have it in time for tomorrow and I'll have to wait for the Moon to be in Capricorn again before I can sow them again.

In the meantime, there's more carrots and celeriac to sow tomorrow.

13/03/12

The Moon is in Sagittarius today. This is a fire Moon which makes it ideal for dealing with fruit. However, it's a waning Moon so there is a limit as to what can be done. Today's activities were limited to tidying up the strawberry patch. I started this last month but didn't finish. This meant picking up dead leaves. It was great to see the new growth revealed underneath them. This tidying up job also meant that slugs and snails hiding under the debris were found and dealt with. This is important as the more I can catch now, the less will be laying eggs and the better my chances of success later in the season.

The raspberries also needed attention. The summer raspberry canes are very tall and were blocking some of my paths. Steaking them has made it easier to get around. In the process I noticed lots of new canes coming up. They'll be providing next year's fruit... a very reassuring thought.

12/03/12

The Moon is still in Scorpio today. Yesterday, I didn't get round to sowing leaf vegetables and herbs so this was today's job. I sowed dill, chervil, bush basil, leeks and lettuce. The basil is in the propagator as it needs a little extra heat. The rest are on the window sill. The spare room is now in full swing as a greenhouse substitute! If you've missed your chance to do these jobs today, there is another chance to do the same thing when the Moon is in Pisces from the 20th- 22nd of March.

If you're not sure as to how to handle young seedlings when pricking out, here is a video I did last week when I was pricking out cucumbers. The process is the same.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndJ7KLF7AKo

11/03/12

The Moon is now Waning in Scorpio. This is the perfect day to deal with leaf vegetables and herbs. This is because if you are growing a plant for it's leaves, you want to ensure that they are succulent. Leaves are composed to a large extent, of water so Water Moons are best. You also want to make sure that they don't bolt (that is flower and seed) before you've picked them to eat. For this reason you want a Waning Moon. Waning Moons direct the energy to the roots and so growth and developement are more moderate.

Today I'm pricking out the seedlings of marjoram and lemongrass that I sowed last month.

8/03/12

The Moon is now Waning and today it's been in Virgo. I planted my onions and shallots. If you'd like to see how this is done, you can watch me planting garlic last month. The process is the same. If you'd like to plant onions or shallots, the next best time to do it is between the 15th and 17th of March while the Moon is still waning in Capricorn. That will also be a good day to sow root vegetables like carrots and beetroot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMnzO-XYZXs&context=C46372dcADvjVQa1PpcFOUAHDUilfzfjsB8IxQTyGPw09H_epfX7Q=

6/03/12


The Moon is still Waxing in Leo, so fruit remained the priority today. Happily, today's job was much more pleasant than yesterday's. The seeds I sowed in the propagator when the Moon was last in Aries are now big enough to prick out. So today the cucumbers, peppers, aubergines and tomatoes were put into their own little pots. An easy job which was done indoors. Nice and warm for a change! You can watch me pricking out my seedlings on this clip.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndJ7KLF7AKo

5/03/12

Today the Moon has been Waxing in Leo. This means that it's a good day for planting fruit. I decided to plant out my broadbeans but as they had been cozy and warm in the mini-greenhouse, I became concerned that they would be shocked by the high and very cold north easterly winds. I then spent about two hours creating a fleece shelter for them. In high winds, not a job I'd care to do again! I'll remember this day when I eat them in a couple of months!

1/03/12

The Moon is still in Gemini. Today's great pleasure came from picking some of the daffodils that I planted in the autumn. They smell beautiful. I also saw my first bee of the season. It really felt like we're that much closer to spring!

29/02/12

The Moon is still Waxing and it's in Gemini. This means that today was the perfect day to sow some flower seeds. Cosmos, Nicotiana, Carnations, Lupins and
Statice were sown and put into the propagator. Delphiniums and Alyssum were sown into a tray on the window sill. These will provide colour, fragrance and pollen for all manner of insects. I'm looking forward to them all!

If you have flower seeds that can be sown now, you still have time to do so tomorrow as the Moon will remain in Gemini.

27/02/12

Today the Moon is in Taurus. As it's still waxing, this is not a good day for planting or sowing root vegetables and Earth Moons are about root vegetables. Still, there is always something to be done and I took the opportunity to do some weeding of all the beds which will be accomodating my root vegetables. This way they'll be ready when needed. I also added manure to a couple of beds. Not too much, otherwise the soil would be overly fertile- too much nitrogen means lots of sappy growth. This might seem like a good thing, but it will attract plenty of aphids or other pests. It's best for plants to be healthy but not overly indulged otherwise the become the equivalent of our flabby.

24/02/12

Today we've had a Waxing Moon in Aries. This carries the energy of spring and the weather in London certainly mirrorred this. Being a Fire Moon, it was a day to deal with fruit and as the Moon is Waxing it was a good day for sowing and planting. It always feels like spring is on the way when my propagator gets busy. Today I sowed two varieties of tomatoes, two varieties of peppers, cumcumbers and aubergines- very exciting.

Just before Christmas three bluberry bushes that I'd ordered in the summer arrived. Today I planted them in containers in the garden. As they need acid soil, containers are best. They look comfortable in their large pots and I look forward to the fruit to come.
23/02/12

The Moon is in Pisces. As it's a Waxing Moon on a Water day, there isn't much I can do beyond water the House Plants.  But it is a beautiful day with a hint of spring in the air. This is a day reminding us of the promise of things to come. So I will take myself to the allotment and enjoy doing a little weeding.

20/02/12

The Moon in Aquarius is a good time to take a break. As I'm still recovering from a very nasty cold, I've taken the opportunity to rest and enjoy the fruits of last year's labour. Pumpkin soup and blackcurrant tonic- very soothing and healing when feeling unwell.

18/02
/12

The Moon is in Capricorn and it's waning. This was the perfect day to plant garlic. You can watch this being done if you click on this link.

h
ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMnzO-XYZXs

 I also sowed carrots and parsnips. These need warm soil so I sowed them in seed trays. As they are more likely to germinate in warmer temperatures, I'm keeping them indoors until they germinate. After that they'll be in the mini-greenhouse.

16/02/12

I've been teaching all day so there's been no time for the allotment, but I've been enjoying the fruits of last summer. Blackcurrants are a great source of vitamin C. Last year I made a blackcurrant tonic which I froze so that it was available for winter colds. This week, I've been feeling quite miserable with a cold, so out came the blackcurrant tonic. It's wonderful as besides knowing that I'm providing myself with all the vitamin C I need, it's a real taste of summer!

15/02/12

Waning Moon in Sagittarius- Pruning fruit bushes

It's hard to get motivated to leave the house when you have continual sneezing fits, watery eyes and a bad cough. Still I'm feeling better than yesterday and my gooseberry, blackberry and autumn raspberry bushes need pruning. The gooseberry has branches criss crossing each other. This means that when the leaves grow the sun won't get to the centre of the plant and the wood won't ripen as easily. It also means that branches get weaker from continuous friction and air doesn't circulate properly.

As for the autumn raspberries, cutting back the canes that fruited last year, will encourage new growth. New growth means more raspberries.

It should only take about twenty minutes to do this job. I guess I'd better get on with it!

13/02/12

The Moon is in Scorpio and this is a water sign. So I'm watering my houseplants but I'm also checking the garden. Before the snow, I noticed that some of my pots outdoors were dry. It's easy to think that the garden doesn't need watering in the winter but if you have pots with plants against walls, they may not be getting the rain. The snow has now melted, but I'm going to check whether anything is still dry.

12/02/12

Snow, and another week of my intensitve Hypnotherapy course have kept me off the allotment. I'm looking forward to being back there again tomorrow. At least before freezing temperatures return. In the meantime, there are seeds to order- so today is a day for reading seed catalogues. It's like being in a sweet shop!

3/02/12

A waxing Moon in Gemini means that it's a flower day, so this afternoon was all about cauliflowers. Back in the autumn I sowed a batch of seed. I've been meaning to prick them out and put them in more comfortable quarters- that's bigger pots, since December. But everytime the Moon was right, I was too busy and ran out of time. Happily, today Moon and time coincided so I spent a good part of the afternoon looking after them. It's a very cold day and a job like this doesn't involve a lot of movement. Being outdoors was not an option. For once I worked in comfort on a portable table in my hallway. It was like having a potting shed, but warmer. A very pleasant hour was spent and they're now comfortably sheltered in my mini-greenhouse.

31/01/12

One of the wonderful things about allotments is the fact that there's always someone on hand who can tell you what you need to know.

Being rather a novice compost maker, yesterday with the Moon in the Earth sign of Taurus, I invited my neighbour to come and look at my compost bin. Happily, it all looks as though it's rotting nicely. She then looked at my gigantic compost heap and told me that much of it could be burnt. This surprised me as I though it would be too wet. But she then told me that I could borrow her wheelbarrow and take all the burnable material to where she was creating a heap for a bonfire.

What a relief! My compost heap has been so big that I'd had to start another one. My site isn't that big and I was getting concerned about losing one of my beeds for growing food to another gigantic heap. Now my original heap is smaller, and I know that I can burn more material from it. This will then create potash which will feed my strawberry beds and apple trees. More recycling, the rest will continue to rot down to create beautiful compost that will make the clay soil more friendly to young plants.

29/01/12

With the Moon in Aries, the focus has been on fruit. Although thre isn't much of it at this time of year, I'm looking ahead. My strawberry patch was a joy last year but plants were growing too close together by the end of the season. So the job has been to clear up the dead leaves. This way I can get a sense of how many plants are in the bed and I can thin out those that are too tightly packed. This is important as it will help air circulate between the plants and minimise the development and subsequent spreading of fungus. It will also allow fruit to be more exposed to the sun during the ripening stage.

25/01/12

A Waxing Moon in Pisces means that today is an easy day. Water Moons are related to foliage plants and these are best delt with on a Waning Moon. So today, I'll water the house plants that need it and do some more tidying up.

24/01/12

The Moon is now Waxing again and it's in Aquarius. This isn't a Moon associated with gardening so I usually use this time for enjoying the garden, contemplating changes that need to be made or tidying up. That's exactly what I did yesterday. One of my beds needed some attention, clearing weeds, etc. My mini greenhouse also need to to be prepared for the start of the growing season as it's about to get very busy indeed.

The fact that the Moon is in an air sign and waxing also made me think of my cauliflower seedlings. Ideally they'd be planted when the Moon goes into Gemini, but actually they're growing quickly and are desperate for more roomy pots. So I'll prick them out today and put them in the mini-greenhouse. Actually, that will only happen if the rain stops. So I'm comforting myself in the knowledge that the earth is drinkingly deeply and keeping my fingers crossed for a break in the weather for the sake of my cauliflowers!

21/01/12

A holiday and then the need to catch up with work have kept me off the allotment. The most I've done is water the house plants. I'm itching to go back on Monday. Still, at least I'm not worrying about everything becoming overgrown, drying out or overcome with weeds. This is the joy of winter. As much as I'm looking forward to the start of the growing season, there is such comfort in the slow pace of this season. When I get there on Monday, I know I'll be enjoying how quiet and peaceful it all looks!

10/01/12

The Moon is now Waning in the sign of Leo so it's time to do some pruning. There are some suckers on my peach tree which need to be removed. Suckers appear on the original root stock or trees that are grafted. If you have a fruit tree, chances are that it's grafted as this is done to provide a more vigorous or dwarf tree, depending on what's required. Suckers need to be removed as they drain the tree from its energy.

Other fruit family in need of pruning at this time of year, is the currant family. Blacurrants need the oldest and weakest branches removed. The same goes for all currants and gooseberries. This is also the time to cut back Autumn flowering raspberries. Take care to only removed branches that have fruited or you'll reduce the fruit yield for later in the year.

6/01/12

Today the Moon has been in Gemini. Air sign days are flower days, so my thoughts turned to the tulip bulbs which I found on the top shelf of my shed. Tulips are expensive but unreliable. Consequently Gardeners often recommend that they be treated as annual plants and bought every year. I think this is a waste and there is a better way of dealing with them. You can plant them very deep and this increases their reliability, but I find the best thing to do is to lift the bulbs when the foliage has died down, store them in a dark and ventilated place, planting them in November or December.

It is now January so you will notice that I am late. I planted my last batch in November but ran out of time. I then planned to plant them last month but last month, I had no time for gardening. So today was the day. It's fine, they'll just be a little late. In fact they had begun to sprout on their own. I can look forward to a beautiful display in the containers in my garden.

2/01/12

Today the Moon has been in Aries. Aries is a Fire sign and so the focus was on fruit.  A few jobs needed doing that were overdue with last month having been taken up with hypnotherapy, nursing a cold and Christmas. So it was that I found myself picking olives. It's not a large crop, half a jar, but it's the largest ever and an unexpected bonus. The mild weather so far has meant that they weren't killed by frost before I got to them. They have now been marinated in olive oil, a splash of vinegar, garlic, oregano and salt. It's the first time I've done this so I'm looking forward to the results. Olives are too bitter to be eaten fresh. Time mellows them.

The mild weather has also brought on the start of blossom on my nectarine tree. I had hoped to have this covered and protected from the rain by the end of November but didn't get round to it. Today was the day. I may be too late to prevent peach leaf curl later this season, but at least the blossom will be protected from future frosts. Fingers crossed, I'll have my first harvest this year!
1/01/12

The beginning of the New has put me in a thoughtful mood. Last year my greatest success were the strawberries. I harvested from the middle of May to the middle of July and then to my great surprise I started to pick them again in September and carried on into early November. Wow!

The greatest disappointments were all due to losses brought about by voracious slugs and snails. So if I were to have a New Year's resolution for the garden, it's to be far more clever and ruthless when it comes to the slimy brigade!!!

In the meantime, I've started the New Year eating figs from my small tree which is taking refuge from the winter indoors. This is a most unexpected and welcome surprise!

May your harvest this year be abundant and bring you great joy!

30/12/11

A bad Migraine has kept me indoors since yesterday. Although it's better today, I've still needed quiet. I have, however, been thinking and planning. I've kept a diagram of all the beds on the allotment and what's been planted in them from the start (the last two years). This makes it easier to plan crop rotation.

Crop rotation is very necessary as it prevents a build up of pests and diseases associated with certain crops from building up in the soil. So for example, garlic and onions should be planted on different beds each year.

Today I've been planning where everything will be grown next year.  A very simple, necessary and satisfying  job that can be done even with a migraine.

26/12/11

It's now been three weeks since I was on the allotment. Christmas got in the way last week. There has been some gardening though. While I was sick in bed, my apricot tree arrived with three small blueberry bushes. The tree is a bare root tree and it remained in its package until Christmas Eve. It was the first chance I got to deal with it. I wasn't worried though as it's dormant, I knew it would survive a little while. So I soaked the roots in a bucket to rehydrate it and then a couple of hours later, it was planted in a container. It's staying indoors for the winter to stop it from being exposed to cold rain as this will mean that it won't get peach tree wilt.

Today I also attended to something that got put off while I was sick. I finally got the chance to plant my garlic. The Moon was still in Capricorn this morning so I knew I was just in time to make the most of a very young Moon in an Earth sign. Garlic needs exposure to about three weeks of very cold weather, preferably with frost. If it doesn't get this, you will get a very fat bulb without division into separate cloves. Thankfully, I think I'll be in time for the next cold spell.
16/12/11

It's been two weeks since I was on the allotment. Last week I was doing the second part of an intensive hypnotherapy course. I was teaching on Sunday and then came down with a terrible cold. It's very frustrating!!! I had hoped to have had everything in order before Christmas. For one thing, the garlic needs planting and today would have been the perfect day.

Enough moaning. If you have garlic that needs planting, today and tomorrow will be the right days for it. If you still have any potatoes in the ground, bring them in.

If like me, you are house bound, Virgo is a good sign for planting. My seed catalogue arrived today. I think I'll be spending a happy hour deciding what to order for next year.

2/12/11

With the days getting shorter, it's harder to get the time to be on the allotment. Happily, there is less to do at this time of year. So today, I watered my house plants and took a walk in the countryside. Two beautiful ponies are currently being used to graze some overgrown fields. We became great friends and I felt connected with nature once again.

30/11/11

Today the Moon is in Aquarius. This is an air sign so it's a day for flowers. This Moon is the only chance I have to deal with flowers while the Moon is Waxing this month, so although Aquarius isn't the best gardening Moon, I attended to my cauliflowers. I sowed the seeds last month and they're doing well. So today they were pricked out- planted into small pots and given some protection- as much from slugs as from the weather. I'm looking forward to having them in the early spring.

28/11/11

Last year I battled through wind, rain and mud to harvest in winter. That taught me the value of having some produce in store so that I don't have to go out everyday regardless of the weather. So the potatoes have all been harvested which means that they are clean, safe from the attention of slugs, eelworm and easily accessable. They are fairly easy to store as long as they are kept cool and in the dark, otherwise they begin to go green which makes them poisonous.

So I am now turning to the Salsify. With the Moon in Capricorn, an Earth sign, roots are the focus. The trouble is that salsify is not a common vegetable and no one has been able to tell me whether it's possible to store them in the same way that I store potatoes. I feel an experiement coming on. I'll let you know the results in due course.

25/11/11

With the Moon in Sagittarius (a Fire Sign), my thoughts turned to fruit. Specifically, I needed to check on my peach and nectarine trees. These need protection, not from frost but from cold rain. So once the leaves have fallen, I'll need to cover them with clear plastic so that they don't get wet but still have light. This is a tricky operation as they are in pots. They need to be measured so that I could create a kind of tent shelter around them. Tricky and fiddly but worth it if I'm to avoid peach leaf curl next year. This is a fungus which affects fruit of this family causing leaves to distort and fall in summer. Definately something to avoid.

24/11/11

If you're wondering how you can grow salad leaves in winter, then all you need is a window sill. You can grow bean sprouts, alfalfa and lettuce. Have a go and you'll be healthier throug the winter.

23/11/11

The Moon is now in Scorpio. This is a Water Sign, so it's time to think about leaves and herbs. My houseplants got a drink today and I was filled with pride when a client complemented me on their healthy appearance.

At this time of year, although it's still warm in the house, the days are shorter. This means that house plants are not growing as actively as they might otherwise. Consequently, they need less water and I stop feeding them. Before watering them on a Water Moon, I check whether they actually need it.

Central heating can also be a problem for some plants, so check whether you need to spray them so as to increase humidity. If you do so, try to do it early in the day so that they aren't wet at night if the heating goes off. Also remember that plants with furry foliage are prone to rotting if their leaves are wet.

One final tip- if you have plants on the windowsill, and you close the curtains at night, be sure to bring them into the room. If you don't you're leaving them exposed to the cold air coming in through the glass, especially if you don't have double glazing and you're depriving them of the heat in the room because the curtains act like a barrier. I can hear them shivering already!
22/11/11

The Moon is still in Libra and flowers continued to be the focus today. One of my allotment neighbours gave me a clump of Crocosmia Crocosmiflora, otherwise known and Monbretia. These are beautiful, a much more simple version of Gladioli. They grow in clumps of corms, similar to those of crocus.

They were given to me back in the summer and I haven't had the time to do much with them. They came with Couch Grass attached. Today's job was to get rid of the grass. In the process some of the clumps of corms broke away, thus creating new plants. Although I'd have preferred  to have done this job on a Waxing Moon, the fact that I was working with the roots of the plant, means that the plants can still benefit from the Waning Moon. Very satisfying.

21/11/11

The Moon is now in the Air sign Libra. If you have any flower shrubs needing pruning at this time of year, tomorrow will be a good day to do it. As the Moon is Waning, there isn't much else to be done. There is, however, always weeding. At this time of year, seeds are still germinating and although the weeds have slowed down, there is still enough to keep me busy. I'm looking forward to some colder weather just so that I can feel that I'm on top of things. One thing that has helped is that I've let grass grow over my paths. At least now I'm only weeding the beds!

20/11/11

With the Moon in the Earth sign Virgo, my thoughts are with Compost. I'm often asked what goes into my compost bin. The anser is a combination of weeds, grass cuttings, prunings, vegetable peels, fruit peels. This includes citrus peels as long as these are free of juice, they're not that acid so they're ok. I also include herbal tea bags. Normal tea has too much tannin which would acidify the compost.

Actually the important thing is also to remember not to put in cooked food, meat or dairy products as these would attract mice and rats.

14/11/11

Finally- some time on the allotment!  Today the Moon has been in Cancer. This being a Waning Water Moon, it was time to think of leaves. So I tidied up my Sorrel. This means that I took away dead leaves and noticed that I had some rust on other leaves. These were immediately removed.

I then checked the Spinach Beet and Swiss Chard. These are great. Last year they survived our coldest winter and the snow, so it's worth looking after them as they provide a ready supply of greens through the winter. Like the Sorrel, some of the leaves looked a bit tatty. These were removed. Some also had rust on them. These too were removed. Now what's left is healthy and in great shape to see me through the winter.

If you have Sorrel, tomorrow will be a good day to increase your supply. You can do this by roughly pulling outone of the stems, ensuring that there's a bit of root attached to it. Then plant it and you'll find a new plant growing soon. Alternatively, you might find that when you pull on an old stem, there is a little shoot of a new plant attached to it. You could also divide the plant by simply putting a fork through the middle of it and then pulling the two plants apart. This is quite a tough plant that can withstand some rough treatment. It's a great alternative to spinach in soups, and sauces. But take care that you don't use too much  in one meal as it's it's high in Oxalic Acid.

13/11/11

I haven't had any time for the allotment the last few days. This is because of the shorter days. The allotment is still being enjoyed through the food I'm eating. Pumpkin soup has proved to be delicious and popular with all my students! Tomorrow is my day off. The Moon will be in Cancer so I'll be checking on my herbs. I think I'll be harvesting fennel.

10/11/11

It's a Full Moon in Taurus and the Sun is shining. I have a half hour window to bring in the last of my potatoes. Then that will be it for the winter. At least I know I won't be having to go out to harvest them in the wind and rain like last year. That was a real test to my commitment to eat my own produce!!!

5/11/11

Those who read this blog on a regular basis will remember that this year, my biggest battle has been with slugs and snails. For this reason, I had to resow my leeks much later than I should. They are now a small size but doing well. With the Moon in a Water sign, I decided to thin them in the hope that they will grow nice and fat in the early spring. This will come in handy as it's likely that my store of onions will be dwindling by then.

3/11/11

Early spring often is holds a hungry gap. That is to say, it's too early for all the early summer crops and the winter crops are done. So with the Moon in Aquarius, and it being a day to think about flowers, I turned my thoughts to spring. The perfect crop to sow today was cauliflower. With a little protection from the worst of the winter weather, I should have at least one crop in the early spring.

2/11/11

The Moon is in Aquarius. Aquarius is not the best sign for any gardening activity, but at the moment it is the only Air Sign in which the Moon is in the Waxing phase. This means that it was my only chance this month to plant my tulip bulbs. They are an indulgence wich will provide cut flowers for the house in the spring. I'm very excited about this as I've never had the space to grow flowers specifically for the house. I'm loving the Autumn but I'm also looking forward to spring!

1/11/11

The Moon has been in Capricorn today. This is an earth sign so I focused on earthy matters. I turned the material in my compost bin and was delighted to find that towards the bottom things are decomposing into something that will hopefully be fryable by next spring! This is very exciting as I've never made compost before!

I also harvested more potatoes. Just one more row to bring in. Jackets are in the oven as I write. Yum!

27/10/11

With the Moon in Scorpio, the focus is on herbs and leaf vegetables. Today's job is to split the peppermint. To do this, I'm going to simply cut the plant in half and pot up both pieces. This means that I can have a continuous supply of peppermint tea next year. I'm also bringing in more of my herbs for drying. Of course to do this, I need to ensure that the leaves are dry when I bring them in. With all the rain we've been having, I'm not sure this will be possible.

26/10/11

The Moon is now in Scorpio. This is a sign of renewal. Although it feels like everything is dying, I'm planning for next year. There wasn't any time for gardening so I'm looking through the catalogues getting ready to order garlic and onions.

25/10/11

Autumn is the time in which we lay the groundwork for next year. With the Moon in Libra, it's a good time to collect next year's flower seeds. As it's a Waning Moon, you might want to divide your herbacious perennials so as to increase your stock next year. This is the ideal day to do it as the Waning Moon will promote good root growth. Plan now for next year's beauty!

24/10/11

It's been a while since I've had the time to write this blog.  A couple of weeks ago I was doing an intense hypnotherapy course which meant that there was no time for gardening. Wonderful as my course was, I missed my allotment!!

Last week was spent bringing in the last of the harvest. Anything that was prone to frost came in as there were a few very cold nights. So it was that I picked the last of my runner beans, French beans and borlotti beans. The courgettes came in too. Although I did leave an undersized one which not only has survived the cold nights but is growing well!

There have been a few surprises but none greater than the fact that I'm still picking strawberries and raspberries.

The aubergines in the Greenhouse are thriving with fruit developing well. However, the two that are on the allotment were beginning to show signs of stress. I dug them up and put them in the greenhouse. I think I may have been too late but time will tell.

Other harvests were the green peppers and my first ever bunch of  grapes!!!! Delicious.

More potatoes were harvested and I've been drying basil for the winter. the last of the apples were picked and tomatoes were also brought in. The green ones are ripening on a widow sill.  It feels like I'm ready for winter. This is a new feeling for me but brought on by ritual of the harves and the laying in of stores. A very new feeling and a very enjoyable one!

7/10/11

The Moon was still in Aquarius. I decided to collect seed from my Cornflowers and found that they had already self seeded. Little seedlings cropping up all around their bed. Job done!!!

6/10/11

The Moon is in Aquarius today. Aquarius is not a great day for gardening so it's a time to enjoy the garden. On the other hand, it might be time to tidy things up a little.

You might enjoy a little video clip that was taken on Tuesday when the Moon was still in Capricorn. Click on the link and enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/user/lifeastrologer?feature=mhee

4/10/11

With the Moon in Capricorn, the emphasis has been on roots. I harvested more potatoes, some of which are massive.

I've also been checking the turnips and oriental radishes that I planted last month. The problem is that they look so similar that I'm finding it difficult to determine which are which!

2/10/11

The Moon is still in Sagittarius and today I continued my focus on fruit. The recent heat has stimulated my courgettes into very fast growth. Today I harvested one that was more like a marrow. A couple of days ago it was much smaller!

I'm looking at everything and thinking that I had better start winding things down before the frosts come. I find it hard to believe that we're not in for a shock, given the current summer weather. So I'm planning to harvest all the peppers and the runner beans this coming week. The peppers can ripen on the window sill. The beans I plan to blanche and then freeze. It feels nice to be storing for the harder times to come.

1/10/11

The Moon is now in Sagittarius. This is a fruit day. I haven't been on the allotment today but did get to enjoy yesterday's harvest- a punnet of strawberries- in October? Delicious but confusing!!! Still- I'm not complaining!

30/09/11

Moon in Scorpio is meant to be a good Moon for dealing with Pests. As  you have read, time and again I've written about my losing battle with slugs and snails. Every gardener I know has complained about their over-abundance this year. This of course has been due to the wet and cool summer. Now, we're enjoying a hot dry spell, we have a reprieve. Actually I'm looking at becoming more efficient in weed control next year so that they have less places to hide. Using clear plastic bottles with their bottoms cut off as miniature greenhouses has also been effective.
So next year there are a variety of plans which mean that whatever the weather, life won't be so easy for the ravenous molluscs!

29/09/11

I think it was some time in mid-August when I last watered the allotment. The heat in the last couple of days has changed everything. With the Moon in Scorpio, my thoughts turned to water and a good soak was delivered. I had even put my hosepipe away in the back of the shed. What a lovely surprise! My grapes may well be edible soon!

28/09/11

The Moon is in Libra today and the sun is shining. It feels like summer and yet it's autumn and time to be planning for spring.

A Waxing Moon in Libra is just right for planting flowers and at this time of year that means daffodils and hyacinths.

I'm also going to be sowing some annual seeds. It stands to reason that these could be sown now if we consider that annuals will be shedding their seed now to germinate in the spring. This is what happened to my pot marigold, borage and chamomile. This year's wonderful crop were self seeded.

So I'm taking a leaf out of nature's book and sowing some now and some in spring. Those going in now will mean an earlier display. The wonderful thing about gardening is that I'm always looking forward to something in the future!

17/09/11

The Moon has been in Cancer today. I finally planted my leeks. They are late but as they are winter hardy, I'm looking forward to harvesting them in the spring. I find this to be the perfect time for them as by the spring, I have run out of onions. Leek and chicken pie- yum!

16/09/11

Today the Moon is in Taurus. My thoughts have turned to earthy matters. I'll be harvesting more potatoes, checking on the turnips and radishes I planted last month and starting a new compost heap. Well this is very necessary as I now have to stand on my tippy toes to reach the top which is above my head!

15/09/11

The Moon has still been in Aries through the day and I would normally have been feeding my fruit. But, things are beginning to wind down now. The only fruit trees that I'm still feeding are the olive and the fig tree. Tomatoes have blight due to the lack of sun and excess rain. I've been picking the unaffected fruit and some are ripening on the window sill.

There are some last vestiges of summer as I'm still picking strawberries and raspberries. The beans are going strong too and there is that feeling of abundance we get just as we approach the end of summer.

My breakfasts are changing, and reflecting the end of the season too. Gone are the bowls of yoghurt with blackcurrant, strawberry or gooseberry sauce. Instead it's porridge with apples and cinnamon. Actually with the colder mornings, this is very welcome and soothing.

14/09/11

Raspberries can be tricky to prune. But there is a simple rule. Summer fruiting raspberries fruit on the previous year's growth so they're best left at the moment or you'll lose next year's fruit.

Autumn fruiting raspberries fruit on the current year's growth. Mine are still fruiting so I'm leaving them for the time being. If they've finished when the Moon goes into Leo, I'll prune them then. Otherwise I'll wait for the waning Moon next month.

It's nice to be picking strawberries and raspberries in September, but the real stars of the month are the apples. They are making delicious apples tarts!!!
 
07/09/11

The Moon is in Capricorn so I'm turning my attention to potatoes today. There is a great crop ready to be harvested and I'm just about to head out.

My thoughts have also been on Composting. As a Biodynamic gardener, I'm supposed to make a special preparation and put it in a cow's horn to then bury it. So it was that last week, when the Moon was in another earth sign, Virgo, I found myself at a farm shop asking them whether their cattle had horns. After quizzical looks, I explained my dilemma. They would look around they said and let me know. Sadly, my hunt continues. Biodynamic gardening has turned into quite an adventure.

3/09/11

It was wonderful to have a couple of days of sunshine, but it's a pity it didn't last longer! Friday's heat was so welcome that my pumpkins actually started to change colour and ripen for the first time. Sadly the burst of heat was short lived and the rain is back!!! I'm actually planning to be up before 7 tomorrow, on my day off so that I can have some time gardening before the rain! I'm getting a bit desperate. I miss it when I can't get out there!

Today the Moon is in Sagittarius as I've been working I haven't been able to do much, and anyway it was raining. It was still a fruit day as I made an apple tart for my students with apples harvested yesterday. One of my students brought me a bag of apples from her tree and some apple chutney! It may not feel like summer but it still feels like a time of great abundance!

2/09/11

The Moon is now in Scorpio and the Sun is shining. I'm looking forward to a little time on the allotment- well about half an hour. This is enough time to take some cuttings from mint and peppermint. I'll also be feeding my Japanese Laurel. It's very large and in a container in the garden. Of late it's leaves have been losing their vivid green colour. It's been looking a bit anaemic, so to speak. So it's lacking in something, probably iron. The same feed that I use for the Camellia and Magnolia should help.

1/09/11

The Moon was still in Libra this afternoon. I picked some chamomile flowers, blended them together with oatmeal and put the mixture in a muslin bag. This is ideal for putting in the bath but I like to use it to wash my face.

Borage flowers were also picked. These are painted with an Arabic powder and Rose Water paste to be crystallised and used for cake decorations.

As it's a Waxing Moon, I also sowed some Hollyhocks and Foxgloves. It was lovely to do so in warm sunshine for a change!

31/08/11

The Moon is in Libra today. Libra is an air sign and air signs are linked with flowers, so today is a flower day. I didn't deadhead my lilies earlier in the season and so they are producing seed. This isn't ideal as it means that energy has gone into seed production rather than into the bulbs for next year's flowers. However, there is a silver lining. I'm going to harvest the seed to sow. It will take a few years to produce a bulb large enough to flower but I'll enjoy trying.

Other seeds ripe for collection are those of my foxgloves and my hollyhocks. I'm going to sow some on the allotment to ensure that there's a good supply of pollen for bees.

On another note, I'm also going to plant a honeysuckle against my shed. It too will feed the bees, and provide me with wonderful scent when I'm working. It makes me look forward to next year already!

28/08/11

Rain and work have continued to keep me away from the allotment but with the Moon in Leo, it's been about feeding my fruit. So tomatoes, cucumbers, aubergines, olives and figs have had some attention in between showers, doing a radio show and teaching today! I think I'll put my feet up now!

26/08/11

Rain and work have kept me from the allotment for the last few days. I miss it!!!!

In the meantime, I've been dealing with some of the harvest. My bramley apples are enourmous. Last week I made apple sauce. This week I'm making mincemeat for the mince pies and Christmas pudding which will be made later in the autumn. It's all very exciting!

22/08/11

The Moon is now in Gemini. This is a flower day, so my attention turned to my Magnolia and Camellia. These are very large and growing in containers. Consequently, they need special care. Manolias and Camellias develop their flower buds during August so it's important that they are fed and kept well watered during this period. They need acid soil so you need to ensure that what you feed is appropriate for them.

I also collected some marigolds to add to the gel from my aloe vera plant. Together with a few drops of lavender oil, I now have a gel in the freezer to help with burns.

21/08/11

With the Moon still in Taurus, I continued to focus on root vegetables. This time I planted turnips, an oriental radish variety as well as more beetroot and carrots. I also sowed some more spring onion seeds. It's nice to still be sowing seeds at this time of year.

20/08/11

The Moon has been in Taurus today. Being an Earth sign, Taurus meant that it was time to deal with root vegetables. I planted more parsnips (very late due slugs devouring previous plantings), beetroot, carrots, celeriac and spring onions.

I also harvested the first lot of onions. They are massive! I think there will be caramelised onion tarts and French Onion soups in the coming months!

19/08/11

With the Moon still in Aries this morning, I continued to focus on fruit. I fed the tomatoes, figs, olives, cucumbers and aubergines.

On the subject of tomatoes, at the RHS Wisley gardens this afternoon, I noticed that their tomatoes were just beginning to ripen. It just goes to show what poor light levels we've had.

Happily though, this morning was delightfully sunny so I started to work on my tomatoes to ensure that they got as much exposure to the sun as possible. To do this, I removed all leaves that were stopping them from getting the sun. This is a job I normally do towards the end of September when I want them to ripen before the frosts. Removing the leaves at this point doesn't worry me as I want the focus to shift from growth to ripening. With any luck this and a bit of sunshine should do the trick.

18/08/11

I love this time of year. Abundance is everywhere! The Moon has been in Aries today, so my attention was on fruit. My strawberries are threatening to take over my plot so I've been lifting runners and giving them to fellow allotment holders. A few of them will have strawberries descended from mine next year. In fact one of them got so many plants from me that she's going to share them with her daughter.

If you like strawberries and have a little space for them, now is a great time of year to buy a few or ask a friend who has some to give you some runners. Runners are the way in which strawberries propagate themselves. They throw out what looks like a chord with baby strawberry plants on it. When these touch the soil, they form roots. You can then cut the chord and you have a new plant. It's a very easy way to propagate strawberries and at this time of year they are very busy multiplying. That's why it's a good time to start now for delicious sensations next year!

Tomatoes though seem to be slow to ripen this year. Low light levels are to blame. We've been getting a mix of sun and cloud everyday but they really need a few days of clear skies and sunshine!!!

Blackberries are in abundance now. Today I made blackberry jam. If you have access to blackberries, enjoy them now. You know they are at their sweetest when you can pick them easily. If you pull and there is resistance, they are not yet fully ripe. Enjoy!

10/08/11

I'm so grateful for my allotment! In the last few days with tensions running so high, I've taken refuge there. Whatever happens outside, nature just goes on oblivious to our madness.

Today with the Moon in Capricorn, I turned to look at my root vegetables. Happily my shallots are ready to be lifted. It's harvest time!

09/08/11


My strawberries are flowering again! A second, albeit lesser crop is coming. I can't believe my luck! They too deserved a feed.

Finally the bramble bush, which I left on site because the thought of free blackberries was too appealing, was beginning to get out of control. Although pruning is normally done on a waning Moon, this could easily become an uncontrollable thug so I pruned it today in the hope of reducing its vigour. The fruit has been worth it!

08/08/11

The Moon is in Sagittarius. My attention was turned to fruit. The tomatoes have been fed, as have the olives.

The currant bushes fruited well this year and needed a little attention. I weeded around them and applied a dressing of compost. It was a very satisfying thing to do a way of saying a big thank-you. Thanks to them, my breakfasts continue to be delicious!

6/08/11

With the Moon still in Scorpio, I have been watering and feeding my houseplants.

I also spent some time looking after my cabbages. I have yet to net them, so they have had little protection from pigeons and cabbage white butterflies. I covered them with plastic bottles just to protect them until I have time to create a netted cage around them.

Weeding around the lettuces and spinach beet has revealed that they are in great shape and that I'll soon be having great salads and stir fries.

I love the way a little heat has brought everything on. I was away for four days and returned to growth that might have been expected after two weeks!

Dinner includes courgettes, peas and mangetout- yum!!!!

5/08/11

The Moon is now in Scorpio. Scorpio being a water sign, it's a day for dealing with leaf vegetables. Actually, I decided to have a look at the comfrey concoction that I made a few weeks ago. To say that it stinks is a gross understatement! I'm so glad that I openedthe bucket in the open air instead of in the shed!!!!

I diluted it about half the watering can to half water and proceeded to feed leaf vegetables and herbs. If the smell is indicative of the good it will do them, they should thrive!!!

I then cut back the comfrey once again and used its leaves to make another batch.

It's my first time doing all of this. It's an exciting experiement.

2/08/11

With the Moon in Virgo, I've turned my attention to roots- actually my potatoes. I got an early harvest from a few last week. I wasn't expecting any for another month. But I noticed while watering the other day that some potatoes were peeking up above the soil. This is not good news as when exposed to light, they go green which is poisonous. Also I noticed that they are producing seed. Interestingly, last year this didn't happen. Looking back, I remember accidently cutting back the flowers- no flowers, no seed. The seeds look very much like tomatoes, as they are from the same family. Seeds are not good news as the plant will then put all its energy into producing seed instead of continuing to grow and producing tubers (potatoes). I removed them and then earthed up the visible potatoes. One of my very experienced allotment neighbours reassured me that if I did that now, they'd still be ok. She also said that even if the tops go green, I could remove the green part and enjoy the rest safely. Hurray!

31/07/11

It's been a hot day and it was wonderful to be outdoors. Leo Moons are a good time to do some weeding. In fact the idea is that if you're clearing land, you do so when the Moon is in Capricorn to start, then you do it again when the Moon is in Leo. The idea is that between the Moon in Capricorn and the Moon in Leo, seeds will have germinated. Then you clear it again and more will germinate in time to clear a third time when the Moon is in Capricorn.

Sadly for me, due to the fact that it's my second year on an allotment that had been abandoned for three years, weeding happens on a daily basis.
 
Having spent all summer last year clearing brambles, bindweed and couch grass, this year I've been dealing with the weeds that were dormant on the plot. I think it's reducing in the more established parts of the plot so there is hope! In the meantime my compost heap is more like a hill!

30/07/11

The Moon is in Leo, whilst still Waning, I decided to cut back some of the foliage of my tomatoes. I also tied back some floppy branches. I now smell of tomatoes. Thankfully this is a smell I really like.

I also fed other fruit like figs and the olives. It's worth feeding the olives, I know that I get better results when I have done so in the past. As for the figs, I'm helping them to swell to a bigger size before they ripen.

I can't quite believe that I'm going to enjoy a second crop of figs this year without even leaving the UK! As for the olives, they're a bonus.

29/07/11

It's been a while since my last blog, but I have continued to work on my allotment. Yesterday with the Moon in Cancer, I sowed some chickory seeds and planted more spinach beet, swiss chard, lettuce and radiccio. The battle with slugs continues. I have been bringing young plants in at night and forgot. Having been up late, I found myself at one in the morning remembering that plants hadn't been brought in. Half not believing what I was doing, I found myself getting up to bring them in from the garden. Just as well, I found three snails munching through my parsnips and five on their way to young carrots! As this is my last chance to have these this year, I think it was worth getting out of bed. Two lost parsnips, minimal losses. Success! Mind you I think I'll be better at remembering to bring them in, in future.

20/07/11

Rain, rain and more rain. Remember doing a rain dance? Well I think it's time we did a sun dance!!!

Today Iraced to do some planting while the Moon was still in Pisces. This means that I was planting in the rain. I was wearing a rain coat and surprisingly enjoyed the experience as the rain was quite soft. What I didn't enjoy was the slugs, which believe that the plot is theirs in this weather. Well a few of them met their maker this afternoon. They were making their way to my courgettes, an offense payable by death!

I planted cabbages, swiss chard, spinach beat and celery. I hope they survive the night!

19/07/11

The Moon is in Pisces and Waning. So this afternoon was spent dodging showers and pricking out lettuce, chervil, coriander, spinach beet and swiss chard, radicchio. I'm so delighted that my coriander has actually survived the slugs. It's only because I have taken to covering it at night. I'll continue to do so for a bit longer. I want it to get bigger before planting it. Still at last there is hope!

15/07/11

The Moon in Capricorn is now Waning so it's a good time to sow more carrots, beetroot and radishes. I'm also sowing some turnips.

The fight with the slugs is continuing and to avoid further losses of celeriac and parsnips I've been sowing in seed trays and waiting for the plants to be big enough to plant in the allotment. So today I'm pricking out last month's sowings. It's time consuming but at least it helps. In fact, I've resorted to bringing seedtrays in at night!
With the Moon in the Earth sign of Virgo, yesterday and today, the focus has been on compost. As you might imagine transforming my plot from a wilderness into a well tended garden has created large compost heaps. In fact there were four. One of them is so high that it's at eye level and looks very much like a wall! Thankfully, it has already begun to shrink. I was beginning to worry that it would collapse in the high winds and rain that we had in June.

The oldest of the heaps is about 7 months old and is taking up space which is very much needed for the planting of purple sprouting broccoli and cauliflower that I'm planning when the Moon goes into Libra. Happily, it has shrunk and most of the matter has decomposed. So yesterday I began the process of removing any uncomposted material to add to the other heaps for further composting. I then began to dig the new compost into the area. It's quite a job as it covers about 2 square metres but very satisfying. Today I plan to finish the job. The bonus yesterday was finding a tiny brown lizard. In the UK, I've only ever seen these on TV. I gently carried him to the other compost heap and hope that he's busy devouring slugs!!!!

3/07/11

The soft fruit is all in. Jam, jellies, tonics, and sauces have been made. Good job I had some time off this last week. The Waning Moon was just what I needed. I'm still harvesting some strawberries but with less regularity. What a bonus. To come are the blackberries. I left a bramble to grow on the edge of my plot so as to keep the delicious fruit, although of course I know for its sweetness, it's actually a thug with world domination as its aim. So I have to keep it in check and then enjoy the fruit.

The Moon is in Leo and it's Waxing now. So it's time to feed fruit like tomatoes, aubergines, cucumbers, peppers, courgettes, pumpkins and squashes. Beans and peas could use a boost too. Liquid seaweed or if you're close enough to collect seaweed, you can put it on your beds. Ideally you would have done that earlier in the season though. So liquid feeds are best at this time.

I think I'll sow some more French Beans that will extend the season.

1/07/11

My gooseberries were wonderful and have been turned into a sauce which will be used to flavour cakes and desserts.

However wonderful the gooseberry harvest was though, it pales into insignificance compared to the redcurrant harvest of today! My redcurrant bush was dripping with fruit and the bowl I brought for harvesting was really nowhere near enough. I ended up filling a shopping bag as well! Redcurrant jelly next!

The Moon is now waxing so the shift will be to fruit and flowers for the next couple of weeks. 

30/06/11

Today's harvest was gooseberries. I have probably left them on the bush a bit longer than I should but I've been so busy with the strawberries that everything else had to wait. Actually, I found that I prefer them a little riper. They taste sweeter like a cross between a melon and a grape.

I've been making the most of the remaining hours of the Waning Moon to make my preserves. So today, it was gooseberry sauce and tomorrow it will be gooseberry jam. The sauce can again be used with yoghurt and desserts as well as being frozen.

This is such an improvement on last year when I had four gooseberries and two of them were had by the pigeons!

27/06/11

It's been a very hot day, so I found myself watering everything very thoroughly again today. Rain had been expected but it didn't arrive and with young seedlings, and the heat, I didn't want to risk waiting to see if rain would arrive tonight.

I thought about pricking out some carrot and fennel seedlings but decided to wait for the Moon in Capricorn as they still look quite young. You may wonder why I haven't just sown the seed straight into the ground, but I haven't yet had much success with this due to the large slug population so the tried and trusted method is preferred.

The strawberries are slowing down now, but along with raspberries, there's still enough for breakfast. Today the triumph was the blackcurrants though. I harvested enough to make plenty of blackcurrant tonic. As blackcurrants are rich in Vitamin C, I freeze some of this tonic to have in winter and the smallest sign of colds. The rest is enjoyed through the summer with yoghurt for breakfast. My mouth is already watering!

26/06/11

Jupiter is a planet of abundance and today the Moon has been very close to it. After teaching, I went over to the allotment and was given more squashes and courgettes by a friend. I gave her some strawberry runners and salsify. It certainly felt abundant.
 
I also planted salsify and some more red onions, which are late and I don't expect to harves before next spring. I wonder if they'll grow extra large having been planted on a Moon Jupiter Conjunction!

25/06/11

In preparation for the Moon in Taurus tomorrow, and the planting of a new bed, my partner kindly got me some more compost from the recycling centre. 9 very heavy bags of "the good stuff" as one of my fellow allotment holders called it. And good stuff it is- soft crumbly and a rich dark colour for salsify, carrots, parsnips and other rooty delights.

In order to put this on the plot, I went to the centre of the allotment where wheelbarrows are kept and shared. It was an opportunity to admire everyone's plots which look wonderful! After putting the wheelbarrow away, I stopped to have a chat with the proud holders of a plot which is without a doubt the prettiest and best kept on the whole site. In fact it wins awards every year. She came and visited my site and I proudly showed her a cleared plot. She was so excited for me as she remembered a wilderness! This reminded me of how far I've come. The bonus came when we were chatting about the season, and I told her about the loss of my pumpkins and squashes to the onslaught of slugs and snails. Replacements were promptly and generously offered as she said she had too many. This is the other reason why I love being on my allotment. It's one of the few places where we still find community spirit. Yesterday I gave strawberry runners to someone else.
Happily all of this exchanging of fruit happened on a Fire Moon.

23/06/11

The Moon has been in Aries today, but as it's waning, this is a quiet time in the garden. So time was spent tidying up and enjoying what's there. I noticed my cucumbers are doing well and look forward to my first salad with them.

22/06/11

The Moon is still in Pisces and it was so wet earlier that a fish might have had a good time! Nevertheless, I did manage to get out into the garden to plant some Basil and a Lemon Verbena.

The slugs and snails are thriving in this wet weather and of course they regard my plantings as their personal supermarket! So I sowed more lettuce, swiss chard, spinach beet, radiccio and - coriander! This time I've put them somewhere safe- indoors and here they will remain until they are big enough to contend with molluscs!

21/06/11
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jH9yOiMnVoA
The Moon has been in Pisces today. It is still waning so it was a good day to cut back my comfrey and to make comfrey soup. This is for the benefit of my plants not my dinner. I filled a bucket with comfrey leaves and then filled it with water. I then covered it. I will leave it for a while and then when it is suitably stinky, it will provide a very nutritious feed for my plants. I think my strawberries will be the first to be fed. They will be weaker having produced so much fruit. I'll also provide some for my cherry tree for the same reason.

This year's cherry harvest has been very limited compared to last year. I think that it may be that when it was in blossom we had some very bad windy and wet weather, so it's possible that there weren't as many insects around to pollinate fully.

Still on the subject of fruit, I had my first figs today! They were like honey and for a few moments, I was on holiday in Spain! I only have two more left ripening on the tree. This is only the first year, but what a great sign of things to come.

Being a Water Moon, and therefore a leaf day, I also planted some rhubarb, oregano and coriander today. This is my third attempt at coriander this year, the slugs have had every plant so far. This one is bigger so I think I'm in with a chance. Fingers crossed once again.

20/06/11

The Moon is Waning once again. Waning Moons are good for harvesting and preserving. At the moment, I'm harvesting soft fruit. The abundance of strawberries means that there is enough to make strawberry jam. I'm also planning to make a strawberry sauce that I could freeze and then use to flavour yoghurts, ice cream, cakes, etc.

Blackcurrants will be turned into a tonic and jam. Redcurrants will be turned into a jelly and I'm still thinking about what to do with the whitecurrants and the gooseberries.
It's going to be a busy few days. But the Moon in Aquarius which is not a great Moon for any gardening, has allowed me the time to plan the next few days to deal with surplus fruit.
 
15/06/11

It's been a very busy few days. On Monday, my day off, not much time was given to rest. In fact I spent 7 hours in total clearing the rest of my allotment. I was completely shattered but the efforts were very worthwhile as I can now just enjoy gardening without having to clear and dig! It's been a long time coming and the final push took a lot of determination but I wanted to be free!

The final push also meant that yesterday I was able to make use of the Moon in a Waxing Fire sign (Sagittarius) and finish planting all fruit. So my beans and two more varieties of squashes went in. I also sowed another variety of peas.

There has been a big shift with the quality of my strawberries. The recent wet weather has made them more prone to rot and I have had to remove many. The other difference is that during the sunny weather, I could smell them while I was working on the allotment. Also when there were bowls in the fridge and  the fridge was opened, you were hit by the smell of strawberries. This is no longer the case and this means that they're no longer as sweet as they were. Yesterday, with the sunny weather, the old fragrance was back and so was the smell!

Happily the harvest has been very generous and although the weather has made a difference, the flavour is still good and I am very spoiled. Strawberries for breakfast every morning and today there were raspberries too!! Heaven!

10/06/11
The Moon has been in Libra today so the focus has been on flowers and flowering vegetables. I've planted broccoli, more Aquilegias, Statice and Pinks. I've also pricked out Sunflowers, and the few Larkspur and Nicotiana seedlings left by the slugs!

This year the focus has been on getting the allotments in order whilst planting. This is nearly done. The next project is going to focus on soil and SLUG  CONTROL!!!!

8/06/11
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THc09ibCQf0
Virgo is a very forgiving sign in the garden. The sign associated with harvest, it is very helpful for biodymanic gardeners. So when the Moon is in Virgo, we can do things that we haven't had the chance to do because of very busy lives. So it was that despite the fact that the Moon is Waxing and root vegetables are best planted on Waning Moons, I planted some forgotten red onion sets. They are very late but I figure that the worst that can happen is that I'll have some early onions next year.

I also sowed some parsnip and celeriac seeds. They are late but previous attention from slugs and snails have left me with one parsnip plant! I think I might just be in time. Again, I'm thinking the harvest for both will just be delayed and as the packet of seeds' viability was only guaranteed for this year, I had nothing to lose.

7/06/11

Yesterday, my day off, was exceptionally busy! The calendar will give a clue as to the reason for this burst of activity. A waxing Moon in a fire sign means it's a planting day. So I potted my cucumbers on. They are doing really well with baby cucumbers already visible. I have a plastic mini greenhouse which my partner has screwed to the back of my shed to stop it blowing away. It has been full of seedlings. I've decided to keep growing my cucumbers in it, as they seem to do so well there. So I've now got them in big pots and as I clear it from other plants, they will have a dedicated space. I did plant one outdoors though just to see how it does.

Next, I saw to the tomatoes. These are easily grown in containers. Growing them on the allotment made them prone to blight. My garden is small, but it is walled. I have never had blight there and have managed to pick tomatoes in November due to the shelter from the walls. So this year, I've decided to grow them in large containers in the garden again. It means that watering and feeding is crucial, but it also makes for a longer growing season so it's well worth the effort!

Sweet corn, courgettes and peppers were planted on the allotment. As for aubergines, I was undecided. Last year they didn't do very well on the allotment but that may be because they were growing next to some large cape gooseberries which meant that there was hardly any light available for them. So I decided to plant half in the green house with the cucumbers and the other half out on the allotment. I say half, it sounds like large numbers but actually there were only four plants!

Cape gooseberries/ Physallis, did very well last year. That is they grew into sizeable bushes and did flower but never actually set fruit. I think they need a longer growing season. So I planted a few in pots also in the mini green house. I had some left over and put them on the allotment again, just in case we get an Indian Summer. That's it for the mini greenhouse! It's now very full again!

I am still off today, thankfully as I have pumpkins and more peas to put in. Also there are beans and squashes that need pricking out. I'd better get started.

4/06/11

Yesterday morning the Moon went into the sign of Cancer and it will remain ther until around 4pm tomorrow. This means that it's in a water sign on a Waxing Moon. This is not the best time for planting leaf vegetables or herbs, so rather than spend time gardening, I went to the RHS gardens at Wisley. These are simply wonderful and there are few pleasures that compare to walking barefoot on a cool lawn, on a hot summer's day! The lawned path along the avenue with herbacious borders on either side, gives you the opportunity to do just that.

Then there is the rose garden which at this time of year is filled with scent. I drank the scent of some roses and then decided that it was time to head home. Not without visiting the shop first, of course! I can never leave without a new addition for the garden. Yesterday it was rhubarb, oregano as mine died in the hard winter, and some coriander as slugs keep eating my seedlings. I also bought one of my favourite herbs of all time- lemon verbena. Look out for it, the smell is simply delicious.

I will now wait for the Waning Moon in Pisces to plant my new treasures.

In the meantime, today was spent preparing yet another bead for the all the planting that I'll be doing with the Moon in Leo. That's coming tomorrow afternoon. I think I'm just ready!

2/06/11

The Moon is now Waxing and today it has been in the sign of Gemini. As this is an Air sign, it was a day for flowers. So I planted some Aquilegias, also known as Columbines. I sowed these seeds last year and they're now ready to plant in a border. I've planted them in a nursery bed on the allotment with a view to have some to cut and bring indoors, but also to then find room for them in the front garden. Plants benefit from being in a nursery bed for a while as they have less competition than in border with lots of grown up and competing plants.

I had planned to plant cauliflower and purple sprouting broccoli today but the recycling centre was out of compost and the clay soil on a newly dug bed is just too harsh for young seedlings. I'll wait for the compost to come in and then plant them next week when the Moon goes into Libra. That's the great thing about biodynamics, there's usually another day!

1/06/11

Today was a quiet day in gardening terms. The Moon was still Waning in an Air Moon. Air Moons are flower days but as the Moon was waning, I decided to wait for tomorrow to start planting. Flowers need a Waxing Moon which is what we'll have tomorrow. In the meantime, I prepared a bed to plant the cauliflowers and purple sprouting broccoli tomorrow.

Of course, I also picked strawberries. Heaven!!!

31/05/11

Carrots and parsnips like soft, friable soil; soil that they can grow through without much resistance. Otherwise they develop into odd, contorted shapes. Last year, my priority was to tame the wilderness that was my allotment and plant it. Time was not on my side as digging down a meter in some places is slow, gruelling work. This meant that my attempts to improve my sticky, clay soil were limited. In fact, I did mix in compost that my partner got from the local recycling centre but as you can appreciate, with 125sq metres, I had to make it stretch a little. This meant that my parsnips in particular looked like something out of a parsnip horror movie!

Like a parent unwilling to give up on her unpromising child, I defended my misshapen parsnips on the grounds that looks don’t matter and that nobody would know what they looked like, once they’d been cut. Indeed this was the case, and they were absolutely delicious. Sweet and creamy beyond any parsnips I’ve had anywhere else. However, there was a fly in the ointment. Vegetables don’t come clean and prepared from the plot. In winter, root vegetables are muddy, especially if grown in clay! And so it was that each parsnip, due to its many contortions took twenty minutes to wash in the garden, be scrubbed in the kitchen and then finally cut, with all the little crevices cleaned. Having always loved parsnips, I planted many- so you can imagine how much time they took to prepare! Everyone who ate them, loved them, but no one knew what a labour of love was sitting on their plate!

Having fallen out of love with cleaning parsnips, I determined that this year, things will be different. To this end, I spent the better part of yesterday afternoon digging a bed for them. My partner went back to the recycling centre and brought bags of beautiful compost. This morning I planted carrots, parsnips, beetroot and celeriac. I do hope the carrots and parsnips will be straight this time!

29/05/11

The Moon went into Taurus this afternoon and it was nice to have unlimited time on my allotment for a change. Being an earth Moon, I spent time earthing up my potatoes. This seemed such a mysterious process when I first did it last year.

Potatoes, that is the tubers that we plant, need to be kept from light. If they peep above the ground, then they are exposed to the light andwill go green. They then become poisonous. So as the leaves start to develop, we need to at least part cover them with earth. It seems counter-intuitive to bury a growing plant, but it it necessary. If you are growing potatoes in containers, this is easy to do. If you are growing them in the ground, it's easier to do it, if you have grown them in rows.

Another windy afternoon, but the sun came out and it was very pleasant indeed.

28/05/11

The Moon is still in Aries. This morning I picked more wonderful strawberries! I think I found heaven!

My apple trees are laden with little apples. Although this appears like a good thing, actually they need thinning out. June is the month when apple trees often shed excess fruit. This enables the tree to concentrate its resources on the remaining fruit, producing bigger apples. If it doesn't shed enough, then next month, while the Moon is still waning in Aries, I'll do some thinning myself.

Cherries often do the same thing. This year's crop looks a little thinner than last year's so I'm hoping the cherries will be bigger!
27/05/11

The Moon is in Aries. That means that this is a fruit day. But planting my beans will have to wait as it's a Waning Moon. So it's time to prune and feed. I've noticed a few small branches on my peach which are dead, so they'll be coming off. My cherries are doing well but could use a feed.  I've also noticed that my olive tree is in bloom. I'll start to feed it and keep my fingers crossed. I seem to cross my fingers frequently when gardening!

25/05/11

Today the Moon is in Pisces. Being a Waning water Moon means that the focus has been on leafy vegetables. The link between water moons and leaves is due to the fact that the actual body of a plant is largely made up of water. So today I planted cabbages, lettuce, spinach beet, swiss chard, coriander, thyme and chamomile.

Slugs seem to love coriander. They've already decimated my first sowing. This is my second. I do have a third just in case, but it would be really nice if they would leave this batch to me!!!

It is possible to get nemetodes that predate on slugs. I think I'll try to get a hold of some.

24/05/11

Being on holiday is wonderful, but coming home is always a delight for me. This time it was especially so as I returned to ripe strawberries. Picking them in the sunshine was heavenly.

We've had some rain in the South East at the weekend but not enough. Driving into the South East from Wales, I became very aware of how parched everything looks compared to the West. It would be good to get some significant rain before the New Moon. Does anyone know a rain dance?

17/05/11

The Moon is Waning once again. During this period the focus shifts from fruit and flowers to roots and leaf plants. But it is also a good time to prune, and feed. Perhaps pruning could wait until next week when the Moon's cycle will be further from the Full Moon. The ground is more absorbant during a Waning Moon, so this is a good time to water and feed. Rain would now be most welcome!

13/05/11

Virgo is a sign associated with harvest. Yesterday, I picked my first ripe strawberry. I shared it with my partner and it was delicious!!!! If that's a sign of things to come, I will be having a very good strawberry season indeed.

This afternoon the Moon will go into Libra. It's all about flowers, including broccoli. I have larkspur, sunflowers, nicotiana ( a little late for these) and some nigella. Actually self sown Nigella (Love in a Mist) are already in full bloom and looking lovely. I love the old name (Love in a Mist), it's so romantic!

12/05/11

Last year I was too busy taming the jungle that was my overgrown allotment, to have time to attend to things like netting fruit. Consequently I was left with two gooseberries and a handful of redcurrants. Well the jungle is now tame enough for me to attend to details. With today's Moon in Virgo, a sign most associated with detail, I created two fruit cages. This year's crop is mine.

11/05/11

Next week, I'll be unable to attend to any gardening due to a very busy schedule. Thankfully, with the Moon in Virgo there are many jobs which can be done. Virgo is the most useful sign for gardeners. This is a sign of descending energy, so although the Moon is still Waxing, I felt it was good enough to plant the rest of my shallots and onions. Happily the beds alloted for my onions, were already prepared a couple of months ago so there was no battle to be done with couch grass. Just a bit of weeding and they settled in nicely.

Keeping on top of the weeds at this time of year is crucial. My plot was a jungle of brambles, bindweed and couch grass only a year ago. It's hard to believe now, but I'm constantly reminded of this by bindweed and bramble shoots poking out their heads all over. They don't stand a chance!!!

10/05/11

Well I knew the Moon in Leo was going to be busy... I didn't manage to get everything done yesterday so today saw me spend a very long time on my allotment planting peas. This is not a difficult job, albeit fiddly because of having to provide steaks for each plant. However, the beds in which I planted my peas were over-run with one of the many banes of an allotment holder' s life- couch grass. This meant that I had to spend rather a long time digging it out before planting. Happily it's all done and I look forward to a crop- maybe in a month's time.

9/05/11

This is going to be a busy day. Fire moons are good for dealing with fruit and this is a Waxing Moon so good for planting. I'm sowing more peas, beans, squashes and trying out watermelons too. Last year didn't work out for watermelons so my fingers are crossed this year!

I'm also pricking out sweet corn and more tomatoes. Last year I was too late planting sweetcorn to get a good crop so again I'm really hoping things will be different this year. As for my beans, well they're looking like I had Jack's magic bean. If they reach the sky, I hope there isn't a giant up there!

I'm also going to give my fig a new home today. It has outgrown its pot. I meant to do that when the Moon was last in Leo but ran out of time. I need to do the same for my cranberry. So a very busy day ahead! The nice thing is, that if I run out of time, there's also tomorrow!

7/05/11

Watering the garden needs to be carefully judged. Water too much and plants become dependant on water on the surface. They don't develop deep roots which makes them more vulnerable during droughts. So a happy medium is needed. Watering on Waning Water Moons is usually enough if necessary. However, during dry periods, I also water on Waxing Moons. This means that everything is soaked about once a week. However, care is needed with young seedlings like peas and beans which do not yet have developed root systems. These may need watering more frequently if the weather is dry.

So today has been a day for watering the allotment, all container plants, seedlings and house plants. Happily it did rain this morning, but not enough. With any luck we will get some more so all will be well for another week.


6/05/11

It has been one of those days with too much to do in too little time. Pricking out seedlings is an act of real patience as rushing means delicate seedlings are lost. So I had to forget the clock ticking as I pricked out Aquilegias, Cauliflower, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Statice, Pinks, Chamomile, Alyssum, and Borage. An easier job was the planting of Sweet Cicely. I've never grown this before but it is supposed to have lots of useful qualities which I look forward to experimenting with. My Angelica is massive! The winds actually blew it over, but I've staked it now and it is still very statuesque. I didn't get the chance to cut its stems to crystallising but will try to do that when the Moon is Waning in Aquarius as that will be a better time to do it anyway. Sadly the clock's ticking meant that I didn't get to sow any of the seeds I wanted to sow today. But happily the Moon will still be Waxing when it goes into Libra next week. There's usually a second chance for most things.

3/05/11

One of my compost bins has been sitting in the shed for about two months. You may wonder why, but that is because in high winds, it has been taking flight and landing in neighbouring allotments. Today, with the Moon in Taurus, I decided to turn my attention to compost. This meant clearing the patch where it belonged of weeds, and then digging a small circle into which to push it and secure it. The thing is that today is especially windy again and so this proved to be a challenging job. Still it is done and already half full of weeds!!!

I also sowed more parsnips, carrots, salsify, beetroot, celeriac and spring onions. I do hope the slugs leave some parsnips for me this time!

1/05/11

As the Moon is still Waning and in Aries, today I fed the cherry, pear, apple, peach, nectarine and plum trees. The strawberries got a feed too as did the raspberries, the blueberries and cranberries. Any fruit trees or shrubs which are either in blossom or which have flowered and are now forming fruit, now need a feed. There is still a little daylight left, so if you haven't done it yet, there's still time.

30/04/11

The Moon is now in Aries. This is a Fire sign and so there is a link with fruit. However as the Moon is waning, the best job will be pruning. So once again, I noticed that some of my raspberries have dead wood which I pruned out. The new canes are also quite tall now and needed staking. So all in all a quiet day in terms of gardening, but these days are just right for enjoyment!

29/04/11

More seed sowing today. Dill as my first batch succombed to scorching from the Sun in the greenhouse which I forgot to ventilate. Oops! More lettuce, coriander and cabbages. I decided not to prick out the seedlings I planted when the Moon was in Scorpio as they were too small.

I tried to water the allotment today but found that rodents had chewed through my hose pipe! I found it in three pieces!


26/04/11

Today the Moon is in Pisces. First job on the list is to water the garden, the houseplants and the allotment. This is all I have time for today. Tomorrow there will be more seed sowing.

25/04/11

Aquarius, is not a sign for gardening, so usually this is a Moon for enjoying the garden. Today though, I took advantage of the fact that the Moon is waning in an Air Sign. So I deadheaded my bulbs- tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and Irises. But I also did another important job. My fuchsias were hit hard by the winter. They were over ten years old, so I guess they were more vulnerable. In fact I was surprised that they survived the previous winter's harsh spell. I've lost two, and I removed their twiggy remains; but I was very happy to notice new growth coming from the base of the third. So I cut off the dead branches to allow the new life to come through. This is truly what spring is all about!!

24/04/11

Thunderstorms yesterday evening meant that my potatoes had to wait until this morning to be planted. True to Capricorn rather than having a lazy Easter morning in bed, I was planting my potatoes. I also planted more shallots and onions. It was lovely to be in the sunshine doing this. I remember last year, planting onions one afternoon after work, being very cold and looking anxiously at a sky threatening to pour with rain. Today was much more pleasant. And I was rewarded when I got home, with some blossom on my Nectarine tree! It turned out to be the perfect Easter morning!

22/04/11

It was great to be on Jeni Barnett's show on Radio London. Thought it was hilarious to be called a 'fierce Astrologer' and later to be referred to as the 'lunar lady'! Such fun!

Coming home was less fun though as I had to dig over a large area of the allotment again in very hot sun. Still it's all ready for the last of the potatoes which didn't get to go in last time. A Moon in Capricorn is perfect- an Earth Moon for roots and a Waning Moon also good for roots! I ran out of time today but tomorrow the Moon will still be in Capricorn. The hardest part is done. Of course there is another Capricorn link to this and that is that this is the sign most associated with hard work!

21/04/11

Like most people, I've been cooped up indoors all day but am now looking forward to some time on the allotment. Not allot that needs to be done as the Moon is Waning and in Sagittarius. This is not the best time to deal with fruit. But I missed a raspberry bush when I was pruning and it has some dead wood on it, so I'll attend to that today. Then I think I'll net some more of the fruit to keep the birds away. Quiet days in the garden are good days to do little jobs. Then again I might just sit and listen to the birds!

20/04/11

The sun is shining again today. I don't remember an April like this for a very long time. Winter arrived early last year. Frosts in October and snow by the end of November. It feels as though summer has begun very early too. Although last night I dreamt that I'd woken up to snow in July. I still feel my profound shock! Thank God it was a dream. Having said that, it clearly shows my unease over unseasonal weather, even though the sun is shining, with the weirdness of our weather, we could yet see frosts before June!

On a much more cheerful note, the Moon today is in Sagittarius which means that it's a day for focusing on fruit. As it's a Waning Moon though, there isn't much to do. Waning Moons are good for pruning, so if there is any fruit pruning to be done, today and tomorrow are good days for it. I'm going to feed my apples, strawberries, pear, peach and cherry trees. Waning Moons are good for feeding as they ground is more absorbant. One of my students kindly brought some woodash he's collected from his wood burning stove, so I can use that to feed the fruit on the allotment.

I'm now happier about my Nectarine tree too. It's leaves are finally beginning to unfurl. I had begun to grow impatient and a little worried that it might be dead! The peach already has tiny peaches forming and this one has only just begun to wake from its winter slumber. I don't think there will be any nectarines though as there is no blossom. It's only its first year so I'm ok with that. I'm just glad it's alive. The Moon is indeed in Sagittarius, things are looking up!


19/04/11

The Moon is now waning. During this phase, the earth is more absorbant. So I took advantage of the fact that the Moon has been in Scorpio today and watered the Allotment. Spring has been very dry here and the ground is hard. So I've watered again today. I won't be watering again until next week. If it rains, I won't need to.

Lots of seed was sown, coriander, dill and other herbs as well as cabbage. I'll need to keep the slugs off. They seem to love cabbage and coriander! So I've got them covered with mini cloches.


18/04/11

A beautiful day today but there is a price to pay for this glorious spring we've been enjoying. The ground is very hard and so today for the first time, I've watered the garden and allotment. The deluge will undoubtedly be with us soon- probably just in time for my birthday!

16/04/11

I had planned to plant my honeysuckle today but ran out of time. The good thing is that tomorrow the Moon will still be Waxing in Libra, so if like me you didn't get the chance to work in the garden, there's always tomorrow.
A waxing Moon in Libra is perfect for sowing flower seeds, pricking out flower seedlings and planting flowers. Remember that this includes flowering vegetables too.
This is something to look forward to tomorrow.


15/04/11

If you've finished all your jobs for the Moon in Virgo, yesterday, today is a day to enjoy the garden. Although, Virgo being a working sign, I'm sure you'll find something that needs doing.

14/01/11

The Moon has gone into Virgo today. It is waxing so it's not an ideal time for dealing with your root vegetables. But Virgo is a forgiving Moon for gardeners. All manner of jobs work out well during this Moon, so I'm chancing putting in my potatoes, onions and shallots. The latter were started off in trays and just need to be put into the ground. This way they are big enough to resist the attention of the pigeon population. The potatoes are more than ready to go in, having been chitted and I really don't think they could wait for the Waning Moon in Capricorn. So in they will go, with my fingers firmly crossed.

13/01/11

More fruit went in today. I sowed courgettes, french, borlotti and runner beans as well as pumpkins and cobnut squash. These are all indoors of course as it's still too cold at night for them to be out. If you've missed this chance, don't worry, there is still plenty of time as you can sow the seeds in May. By then even the beans can be sown outdoors. Just look out for the next Moon in Leo, as it will be waxing in fire.

The apple blossom is exquisite. The cherry and pear have finished so now they need feeding as they are in containers. The peach is still indoors and that needed a feed too. you can already see the little peaches forming on it. I just cant wait!!!


12/04/11

A busy gardening day today.  This is a Waxing Moon in Leo. So perfect for dealing with all fruit matters. Broadbeans are to be planted. They're looking big and healthy so should be able to cope with attention from the slug population.

Tomatoes, sweet pepper and okra, pea seedlings are looking big enough to be pricked out.

I'll be sowing more tomato seeds along with more peas.

I also have a fig and a cranberry that need to be potted on.

So much to do that I'd better get started. I'm glad it's sunny.


11/04/11

Today is a good day to enjoy the garden. Water Moons are foliage days which means leaf vegetables like lettuce and herbs but it's a waxing Moon, so there is not a lot to do. Water your house plants and any container plants in the garden that might be in need. Seedlings in pots could also use a drink.

9/04/11

What do snails prefer parsnips or carrots? During a trial in my garden ( a trial that I did not give consent to) the favourite appears to be parsnips. A seed tray containing half parsnips and half carrots, has all the carrots left and all the parsnips gone!!! They know what they like!

I know what I like too and took advantage of the Moon in Gemini to plant some Lavender and a couple of Japonese Anemones.
 
7/04/11

Another glorious day!!! This time though the Moon has been in Gemini. As it's a Waxing Moon in an Air sign it's a good day to attend to flowers. The twelve signs also have another property- they are Ascending or Descending in energy. This relates to the time of year. Winter signs, signs related to the time after the winter solstice and before the summer solstice are signs of Ascending energy. Gemini is approaching the Summer Solstice so is considered to have Descending energy. This is useful as it encourages strong root growth. So the Waxing properties of the Moon encourage growth above ground and the Descending energy encourages healthy roots. This made it an ideal day to sow flower seeds. This included purple sprouting broccoli and cauliflower. Although we think of these as vegetables what we eat are the plants flowers. Other sowings included hardy annual- statice and alyssum as well as hardy perennial- dianthus. I can't wait to pick the flowers and have that sweet scent in the house.

6/04/11

What a glorious sunny day!!! The Moon is still in Taurus so it's a good day to tend to the compost. I'll just check to see all is as it should be. Then I'll start to prepare the bed for the potatoes which will go in when the Moon's in Virgo. That will be quite enough for today.

5/04/11


The rain is keeping me off the allotment this morning but there is a little job that needs doing. Ideally, I would have done it when the Moon was last in Capricorn but I missed my chance. I would normally wait for the next time the Moon is waning on an Earth Moon but I'm concerned that I'll be too late. So as the Moon is in Taurus, (an Earth sign), today is the day. I think it will be ok because the aim of chitting is for the potatoes to start developing buds and I think a Waxing Moon may actually speed this up. Given that I'm late, this could be a good thing. Planting will be done at a more ideal time. Fingers crossed it will all be well!

4/04/11
Yesterday was the New Moon so the Moon is now waxing. The rule is that when the Moon is waxing we deal with plants above ground, the exception being leaf vegetables. Waxing Moons encourage fast growth and vigour which is why we deal with leaf vegetables and herbs on a Waning Moon. The prevents them from growing so fast that they bolt (produce flowers too quickly and go to seed).
As the Moon is in Aries and is now Waxing, this is a good day to attend to your fruit. I've noticed that all my current bushes are now flowering and have decided that this will be a good day to net them to prevent bird damage. Last year I was too busy to do this and lost all my blackcurrants to the birds. The annoying thing is that my neighbour's currant bushes were left intact. Mine were obviously tastier!!!
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