Weleda Insight Day – Garden and Gardener’s Wellbeing29th January 2020
Seasonal Tips: November and December7th November 2019
We are coming up to the most prolific time of the year when the kitchen garden really comes into its own. We have collected a bumper selection of tips to see you through the summer holidays into autumn harvest time.
1. Be watchful: From now on, keep a watchful eye out for fungal diseases, and caterpillars on brassicas. Especially:
- Grey mould and mildew on crops and blight on tomato plants and potato haulm – more common in wet seasons, but be vigilant. The biodynamic remedy to help prevent and control fungal diseases is Equisetum (horsetail) Spray it in the evening on the soil under affected plants. For maximum effect, apply 2-4 days before a full moon.
Remove any leaves that show signs of disease, either burn or dispose of with recycling bins – don’t add to the compost bin
Store potatoes somewhere dark and cool, and check every week for any signs of infected tubers. See here for more detailed information on tomato and potato blight
- The caterpillar season starts in full earnest in August and carries on into the autumn. It’s a good idea to go over brassica plants every day, checking under the leaves and deep down in crevices. Hand-picking the caterpillars off is the easiest solution. Or try:
Tip: lay side shoots pinched out of tomato plants between the cabbages to send the cabbage white butterfly on its way.
3. Water wisely: Water when plants need it, and water the plants not the surrounding area, directing it to the base of the plant. Early morning is best. More water know-how here
Tip: Climbing beans are thirsty plants, and need regular watering. They will often look wilted on a hot
Saving tomato seeds is also popular. Check out Julie Moore’s
5. Time to grow green: As we explain growing green manures ticks all the sustainability boxes. if you don’t have an edible crop planned for the winter, September is the ideal time to sow
Thursday 5th Sept 6 pm through to Friday 6th Sept ending at 10am
Saturday 14th Sept through to Tuesday 17th Sept ending at
Tuesday 24th Sept
Monday 2nd Sept through to Tuesday 3rd, ending at
Monday 9th Sept
Thursday 19th Sept
Saturday 28th Sept
6. Plant garlic: Easy, takes 5 minutes, can be grown in containers and takes up hardly any room. Buy good quality organic garlic bulbs to start, thereafter you can use your own .
Autumn plantings of garlic provide the longest possible growing season and that all-important chilling period (at least a month below 10⁰C) that results in the best bulbs. Choose a root day to plant the cloves. This link tells all
Tip: Pop a few cloves in a pot, and harvest the immature plants in spring like chives to give a fresh garlic flavour to dishes.
7. Liven up your soil: Applying the biodynamic soil activator (horn manure preparation) is fundamental to growing biodynamically. Apply while the soil is still warm in late Sept/early Oct on cleared beds to keep the soil ‘alive. Apply in the late afternoon avoiding bright sunshine if possible.
Tip: Good weather and soil conditions are more important than following the planting calendar.
8. Garden wilding: This gives Nature the best chance of thriving over winter, and ensures your garden is always a haven for biodiversity. Come autumn, don’t be too overzealous when tidying the garden. It provides food and shelter for a host of living creatures. The seed heads of annuals such as sunflowers, for example, provide a food source for birds over the coming winter months. The hollow stems of dying plants offer shelter for over-wintering insects, so leave and cut back in spring.
9. Planting calendar know-how: As summer evolves in autumn the emphasis shifts to harvesting and using the calendar can be very useful for helping your lovingly grown produce to stay fresher and store better. How? Experience has shown that:
– by choosing ” Fruit” days for the harvesting of fruit crops ( ie all plants that are grown for their fruit or seed such as beans, peas, tomatoes, cucumber, courgettes, squash, pumpkins, peppers, aubergine, apples, pears, berries cherries, plums. grapes etc) their keeping qualities are enhanced.
– seeds saved from your fruit crops harvested on ” Fruit” days appear to grow better plants when sown the following season.
– by choosing the 2- week moon rhythm known as ” ascending moon” ( indicated in the planting calendar as ” Southern Transplanting Time” ) as well as a fruit day OR simply on any day during this period – for harvesting your fruit crops – they keep better for longer-term storage.
Fruit days in August 2019 are:
Monday 26th Aug
Wednesday 28th Aug
Saturday 30th Aug
Ascending moon period:12th Aug – 24th Aug
Fruit Days in September 2019 are:
Sunday 1st Sept
Thursday 5th Sept
Friday 6th Sept
Monday 9th Sept 6am – 6pm
Friday 13th Sept 10am – 8pm
Tuesday 17th Sept
Wednesday 25th Sept
Ascending moon period 8th Sept – 22nd Sept