Tag Archives: moon planting

Garlic – a project for 2011

I think I have maybe gone overboard with my garlic buying this year. After reading up on what varieties I decided that ‘Iberian Wight’ sounds like it is most likely to do best at the allotment, but after taking the time to read up on the subject could I find anywhere that sold them  locally, in short no. So I widen my search to online but still failed to find somewhere that didn’t charge an arm and a leg for a few bulbs and then postage on top. Not for the first few weeks of looking any way, then I came across a website that not only had them in stock but at, what I consider, a very fair price. Success!

This was shortly after the seed saving talk that I went to and so my head was full of never buying seeds again, and why not apply the same to garlic bulbs? So I added five bulbs to my shopping basket and headed for the ‘check out’, with only a slight detour via the mushroom growing kits. These five bulbs were to join the nine cloves of locally grown Elephant Garlic that I already had. All adding up to a reasonable amount of garlic to grow next year.

Then came an email just one day after I placing my order that tipped the balance from a ‘reasonable amount of garlic’ to ‘where am I going to grown all this, but it’ll be fine really. And we do like garlic…” a free £10 voucher for Thompson and Morgan and so I bought two* bulbs of ‘Wight Cristo’, which is described as “English production of pure white bulbs with an elegant bouquet, ideal for a wide range of dishes. Long keeping bulbs” and two* bulbs of ‘Early Purple Wight’, which seems to be the garlic that is sold in supermarkets so much be alright-ish. 

(*This was just the amount that they were sold in, if they had sold individual bulbs I would have just bought one of each)

One of my firm growing plans for 2011 are to grow things following the biodynamic calendar, but I also love tradition folklore and have grown-up knowing that you “plant garlic on the shortest date, to harvest on the longest day”.

And it is this that has set me up with a project for 2011 as this years shortest day fell on a biodynamic flower planting day, not a root planting day. I have already planted one bulb of ‘Iberian Wight’ on the 21st of December, e.g. the shortest day, I will plant one bulb tomorrow (29th December), which is a biodynamic root day, and then one bulb on the day after (30th December), which is another flower day but not the shortest day.

I have bought a pack of flower pots so as they will all be started off in the same sized pots and using the same bag of compost, as the ground outside was frozen with about two inches of snow on top on the 21st, which only leaves when to plant them out on the allotment to decide.

The rest of the garlic I will plant on a root day, most likely tomorrow.

Time to sow seeds

Moon planting isn’t going so well, I have been trying to stick to it and have got some things right. Last Sundays potato and spring onions seeds went in on the right day but basicly I’m just not organisated enough for it at the moment and trying to plant things on the right day is just meaning I’m not getting seeds sown.

Take last night as an example: I got home from work at about 6.30pm, Mon – Weds I work two jobs each day so by Weds I’m normally pretty tired. By the time I come in say hello to people and catch up on the days news with a cup of tea it is at least 7pm, then there are jobs to be done, feeding everyone, etc. then I have to get ready for work the next morning and MAKE myself be in bed by 10pm or I just can’t get up the next morning.

Last night I should have been sowing cauliflower and broccoli but I hadn’t managed to be organisated enought to have enought paper pots ready, or any compost, so it just didn’t happen. Tonight I should be leaf plants but I haven’t even had a look in my box to see what I could/should be planting so I doubts that that will happen either.

Given all this I think it’s going to be best if I just abandion moon planting for this year, and maybe just keep a note of what went in on what moon phase.  I have three days off this weekend and know I can get loads sown if I’m not restricting myself.

I went past the field that will have our allotments on on the way home and they have been ploughed and the plots started to be marked out, another reason I just want to get on with it now, there is so much I want to grow this year.

A few seconds of calm

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I’m both emotionally and physically wrung out, life at work is far from pleasant and I’m spending my time from waking up each morning counting down the time until I can leave and go… to another job. I’m working three different jobs at the moment, it’s interesting though. And I am enjoying two of them, if only I wasn’t so tired and drained from the third. Yesterday I had a ‘funny turn’ and just blacked out for a while, I’m not the only member of staff having a hard time which I think makes it easier. At least I have support and without that I know I would be having a much harder time.

Work isn’t the only thing dragging me at the moment, this years lambing is the worst lambing we’ve ever had, it all started off fine with Lily and then the next morning Mophead had a nice sized single without a problem on her own. Both ewes were kept in with their lambs, neither of them a proved of this, especially Lily after we bought Mophead in. The long and the short of it is they both got into a sack of chicken feed, ate more them half of it between the two of them, got very ill and died. It wasn’t a nice few days with trips to and from the vets with different jabs and drenches to try. Lily Lamb was one of our original flock, all of who were bottle feed, with their own story of how we got them and special place. Mophead was kept after her mother died, she was our first Cotswold ewe who had been hand reared by the local special needs school until it closed down, she was a people sheep and if she didn’t like something that was going on, like a lose dog or too many flies, she was be at the garden gate standing in the way and stamping her feet until something was done about.

pict0067We’ve also had problems with the lambs and goat kids, who are all living in the kitchen at the moment (much to the older goat kids disgust, who aren’t going to sleep on the floor with sheep, what do we think they are?), one of the goat kids went down with bloat and had to be rushed to the vets and kept over night and the next day one of the lambs went down with it too, another trip to the vets all of two hours after collecting the goat kid. Touch wood, everyone seems fine now.

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Ivy and her lambs, the black one is there if you look closely!

Lambing hasn’t all gone badly though, Ivy has produced our very first black ewe lamb, most years we’ve had a couple of black ram lambs but never a little girl before. All three of them, she had a white female too, are doing fine. Since then it has been very slow on the lambing front, all of the ewes are looking big, a few of them even look massive but no more so far.

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Keris and her kid

 

There has been other good news too, Keris kidded for the first time. A single boy, who is very cute and already has the Anglo Nubian voice. I started milking on Wednesday after taking him away on Tuesday night and Keris has been so good at standing for milking. Today mother took him to be disbudded while I was at work. I still haven’t decided on a name, even though he is now a week old. He says something “Hu” to me, and maybe Greek, or maybe… I don’t know. Last year Felix asked to be named Felix, I looked at him and that was his name but this kid isn’t giving me so many cues. He is a love silver-grey colour, and very greedy too.    

The Silver Dorking has started laying again, actually we’re getting a lot of eggs at the moment considering most of our hens are older. I think later on in the year we might well get some more ex-chicken farm ones. We only have two left from the last ones we got a couple of years ago, and they still lay, the others were got by a fox. Also my new quail have started laying, I’m getting about six eggs a day now. This year I’d like to get them a shed so as they don’t have to come back into the house during the inter to keep them laying, I just need to work out how to afford it. Sheds are a little bit like gold dust on freecycle, so I think I’m going to have to buy one. I’m also going to build up my laying birds so as I have enough eggs each day to start doing something meaningful with them.  

It’s so very almost still light enough to do things when I get home from work now, not long now and I will be able to come home and spend so time on the garden, at the moment the only day I’m getting off is Sunday and there is so much to do before I’m back to work the next morning. Last weekend I did get to spend so time on the garden, I’ve manured the bed that I’m planning on using for beans and put in some more garlic, I just have one last bulb to plant now which I didn’t get to as it tipped it down with rain before I managed to get it in. There is a lot of garlic planted now, I missed quite a lot last year so the bed that I used is now full of garlic again, and it seems a shame to dig it up now so it might as well stay in place, and I planted another bed of garlic before this bed started coming through. My moon peas have been harden off too so they are ready to plant when I get chance.

Each day just has to be taken as it comes at the moment, I’m trying to remember to tell myself “today will be a good day and whatever happens is for my greater good” each morning when I wake up and I think it is helping.

Moon peas

I sowed the other half of the pea seeds tonight, these are planted on the right moon phase so as I can compare them to the seeds sown last Sunday on a flower phase.

Sunday’s tray are already starting to push through, the compost has gone all bumpy where as the freshly sown tray has a smooth flat finish with my hand prints clearly visible.

Winter Solstice

Today was the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. From now on days will be getting longer and everything with start to wake up.

As a sort of celebration I have spent this evening making paper pots and sowing peas, carrots (to be grown in buckets until the warmer weather when they can go outside) and a few leeks. I’ve been reading a little bit about how leeks can be started off now in polystyrene boxes  so thought I would try it.

The carrots and leeks were also to do my second bit of moon planting, so far I’ve only managed root crops on the right day, last weekend I planted some onion sets and garlic.

Rhys has spent this evening making chocolates for Christmas presents, and when I first got home from work we tried to ‘candle’ the quail eggs. It didn’t work but I’m hopefully, the weight has changed in them from how it feels when they are first laid. It will be time to stop turning them in the next day or two ready for hatching.