Monday, July 26, 2010

Gardening by way of the moon

As the moon has been such an important part of my life -I chart my menstruation and fertility cycle by the moon, I cleanse my crystals by the moon, I track my mood shifts and energy cycles by the moon, and I recovered from a pretty bad reaction to synthetic hormonal medication, under advice from my Naturopath by sleeping exposed to moonlight. (Another story for another time) And of course the moon being the inspiration for the title of this blog.  Well, it goes without saying that in my foray into the gardening and self sufficiency realm, I would chose to plant and garden by the moon.

The weekend before last was a fallow time in as far as the cycles associated with the moon go with the moon being in an earth sign -A time to till the earth and prepare garden beds - mulching, digging, turning and airing the soil.

So, thats what we did. We put in a garden bed out in the backyard, made from besser bricks we scrounged from my dad. The bed measures about 2m across by just over 4 meters long and 20cm deep. All up, in soil, mulch and manure, (baring in mind the bricks were free) it cost $46.87 to make.

We have root grubs in our yard, nasty little grubs that look like lawn grubs that come up under your plants and eat the roots out from under them! So we laid down weed mat before we built the garden bed. I am hoping that the weed mat will also prevent some of the soil acidity leaching upwards into the soil as our backyard is covered by about 50 years worth of composted pine needles which make the ground acidic - hence why we went with raised garden beds to begin with.

To fill the bed, we layered sugarcane mulch, then a layer of stable manure, then a layer of organic soil we bought from a landscape yard.

Each of the little brick sections that form the garden border, I filled with dirt and planted them up with Nasturtium seeds - which have edible flowers as well as Calendula which has medicinal properties - both of which will attract bees and other pollinating insects to the garden.

I had planned on sewing my vegetable seeds straight into the bed, once they germinate, I will lay down another thick layer of straw to compost and insulate as well as keep the soil moist. WELL, that WAS the plan.

Right up until I got home tonight. A Full Moon. An awesome Full Moon for planting root crops -my Rhubarb (which is grown from a rhizome) my Comfrey (ditto) carrots, garlic, ginger, Galangal (a Thai gingery kind of plant) etc.

Probably the best Full moon of the year in so far as root crop planting goes, as not only is the moon full, but it is in its descending phase as well as in an earth sign constellation. (This = 3 phase awesomeness to Moon phase gardeners)

So off down the yard I trotted and THIS is what I found.

What is wrong with this picture you ask? Well as of this morning, all that straw was on the BOTTOM of the garden bed. And all that dirt in the middle was evenly distributed and level, ready for planting!

The culprit? This sly bugger. Well, not him specifically, he's just an example of his kind I found here for those of you unfamiliar with a Bush Turkey. The same bush Turkey that's been teaching my chooks bad habits and recruiting them to his sordid little harem has turned my garden inside out and back to front and upside down!

I did manage to plant up my Rhubarb and Galangal at least as I was planning on planting them in pots anyway as they need a deeper root base than my garden currently allows. (I will be planting up an old upcycled bath tub for my deeper rooted plants, hopefully next weekend)

On a positive note, look at these babies...they're a kind of chilli/pepper/capsicum, I am not entirely sure which kind (If anyone knows, please do tell!) I got the plant from a guy at the markets for $1. I have eaten what (I hope) are the same kinds of chilli and they're luscious blistered in the oven -they have a sweet creamy flavour -kind of like a capsicum, but not capsicum. Anyway, ignore the rotten one, I must have missed his ripeness while he was hiding under the leaves -He's too far gone now, so I'll let him rot down into the pot, hopefully he'll resurrect himself in another plant.

These little babies are a heritage variety of tomato...I can't quite remember the variety -I have Black Russians flowering as well, but they're yet to fruit.
Then my mushy farm has started to throw little balls of fungally goodness - we're keeping them in the old car port out the back of the house (that we don't use) and they to like the dark and spooky conditions. 
The ones at the front are your standard button type variety - cost $1 a bag! 
The box at the back is a commercial variety, this box cost $20 They're swiss browns. I've been told Swiss browns don't produce overly well in QLD, preferring cooler climes, but check out this mumma!

I think in a few weeks time we'll be up to our ears in mushrooms.

I am glad that the turkey decided to blitz our garden while the only things in it were flower seeds in the borders -which were essentially untouched. At least we know we've got to fence it off before I plant the bulk of my seeds in the bed..... another job for the weekend! I've got a fortnight to get it done before the next optimum moon phase for above ground crops.


  1. Shame about the bush turkey! They are lovely to watch...but i'm glad they don't occur here.

    I'm envious of your $1 mushroom bags! I pay $2 and thought that was good. Enjoy :-)

  2. Hello Bianca! I've just been having a lovely catch-up on what you've been up to!
    Your garden is so inspiring, I just love the mushroom boxes... it's making me feel very desirous of a home not in the suburbs of the city! My time will come!
    The moon looked amazing thismorning as I sat down with my laptop... she was just setting behind the hills I overlook, all creamy and yellow with a beautiful yellow haze, I do believe she was at crone stage! I had to go and wake my partner up to behold her beauty... "come on babe! You won't regret it! It's not crochet I PROMISE! Get up!!!" What a way to start the morning and a fresh new stage of my life.
    Have a lovely day XX
    p.s I have no idea hwy I leave you such long and rambling comments....

  3. Lovely photos of your garden happenings! What a great idea to plant up the holes in the bricks with flowers...such a pretty bee magnet.

    I'm impressed with your fungi set up! I've never seen them for $1 a box!! Over Autumn, we had the most wonderful time foraging for local mushrooms but they are mostly gone now due to the cold. And those bush turkeys...what sly creatures. I remember seeing some while on holiday in QLD. Here I battle with the wild swamp hens and ducks who go around eating all of our winter greens...always forgetting to net until it's too late..ugh! :o)

  4. I saw a documentary about bush turkeys! It was about how intelligent they are but unbelievably destructive and can tear people's homes and gardens apart!! What a conundrum. Hope you figure out how to fence them out of your garden well as I hear they are pretty ingenius about figuring a way in. Everything looks great though, so nice to be out in the garden! xo m.


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