Biodynamic gardening is a rewarding pastime which enriches garden and gardener alike. Though more complex in some ways, biodynamic gardening is a natural extension of organic gardening. When you garden biodynamically, your connection to nature and your garden will deepen. You will also use specially prepared biodynamic natural remedies to improve your soil, compost and plants. Many biodynamic gardeners enjoy working with the biodynamic planting calendar to assess the most favourable times to sow, cultivate and harvest their fruit and vegetables. Biodynamics also places a greater emphasis and importance on the therapeutic benefits of home made biodynamic composts to enliven garden soil and the plants they grow, be they fruit, vegetables or ornamentals.
How to get started
The best way to learn how to garden biodynamically, including how to make and use biodynamic preparations, and the biodynamic planting calendar, is to link up with other biodynamic gardeners through a local biodynamic group, or become a volunteer on a biodynamic farm. There are many excellent books on gardening biodynamically, and introductory courses about biodynamic gardening run for amateur gardeners, all of which are advertised on the homepage of our website.
For those interested in becoming professional biodynamic gardeners, click here.
To buy biodynamic gardening books and preparations, click here.
Tom Petherick, gardening writer and biodynamic (Demeter) inspector writes...
So many things are attractive about gardening, most of them obvious - flowers, fresh air, good food and the inevitable sense of well-being that comes from aching muscles. Put organic in front of gardening and the emphasis shifts more towards health, nutrition and a greener sense of responsibility.
To add biodynamic is to go yet one step further and acknowledge that we seek a deeper connection with nature, and thus take a few extra steps in garden practice. Biodynamics invites us to recognise that we and our gardens are not exempt from influences, most of them environmental, beyond those we can see, particularly the ones coming from the sun and other planets.
Everything a plant gets comes largely from two sources - the soil and the sun, up through the roots while at the same time building the green part of the plant via photosynthesis. Biodynamic gardening uses unique herbal and mineral preparations to add to compost heaps and to spray on the soil and on the plants. These are not fertilisers, rather tonics to bolster the life that supports the soil and therefore the plants. They do this by aiding the uptake of food and the capture of light. It is pure science, nothing more.
There are many fascinating layers to biodynamics. All of them are open to the gardener to be explored at their leisure]. At its heart, biodynamics is nothing more than a willingness to wonder and connect. The benefits, on even the smallest plot, can be manifold, because really in taking the biodynamic approach we are owning that we wish to expand our consciousness/expand and develop our awareness . And that leads to changes on every level of life, nowhere more so than the life of the garden of which we are a part.
Perhaps the most important thing to try and grasp is that there is no separation in nature, everything is connected. Biodynamics is nothing more than joining the dots.
The Lunar Calendar
Based on more than forty years of ongoing research by Maria and Matthias Thun into the influences of the moon, planets and constellations on plant growth, this astronomical calendar is now published annually by Matthias Thun. It is used to determine appropriate, planting, cultivating and harvesting times of crops, and is available to buy from our online shop. Click to learn more...
The biodynamic approach to keeping bee colonies differs fundamentally from conventional beekeeping, and is based on respecting their natural lifestyles. We call this ‘bee-centred' approach Natural Beekeeping - which, as practiced by the Natural Beekeeping Trust - is a much more sustainable alternative. It is practiced in several countries, including the UK.
Our bees are in crisis and we have to find a more humane way to go forward where bees come first.
Natural Beekeeping Trust
Seeds beget life. In biodynamics they are held in the same high regard as soils. However, the last 60 years has seen developments which threaten the future existence and viability of the kind of seeds - open pollinated seeds - that have sustained mankind since the first agricultural revolution around 10,000 BC.
How gardeners can help
Gardeners are the natural guardians of open-pollinated seeds, and gardens everywhere, freed of commercial constraints, large or small, provide safe havens for their cultivation. Seed banks provide a last resort, but to be truly viable and sustainable, seeds need to be grown, and have their opportunity to be alive. What better place than your garden? Anyone can save seed from an open-pollinated plant and use the seed the following year. This has two benefits; gardeners and growers become more self sufficient and knowledgeable, which breaks the cycle of dependence on fewer and larger seed companies, and the seed adapts to the local conditions.