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Gardening with The Moon & Biodynamics (Part Two)

Hi Everyone
Having passed 1,000 Posts on Gardening with the Moon, New Thread created here to continue with Calender and to introduce some Biodynamic Gardening tips and info, for which I would be really grateful for added input. Watching current gardening, nature and Local News programmes, I can't help thinking that we have all been here before. Self Sufficiency was a hot topic in the 60's and 70's -Organic Gardening was the 'thing' in the 80's and 90's Us gardeners have always had the urge to safeguard nature and whilst we now call it Biodiversity, I fail to understand why Saving the Planet and dealing with Climate Change should suddenly have come into 'vogue' as if we had never made any efforts before. -Still enough of my musings. I have been driven in by hail and the courgettes will have to be potted on a little later this afternoon. the Tomatoes are happily settling into their new beds. Cats are behaving which makes a change. Off to UK tomorrow for 48hr flying visit to buy more Bean Canes and Cake Ingredients as I have completely run out following sales at the Garden Fairs. Last w/e was glorious. I just missed out on a Stand at Chantilly this w/e but am satisfied looking at Chelsea on TV.
Here is the Lunar Calender for 21-31st May
21/22/23rd May (On 22nd No gardening after 3pm as Noeud descending -See Gardening with Moon Thread for more info re this if you are new to Lunar Gardening)
Moon ascending in Sagittarius so Fruit Days, Sow all climbing beans and pop in some more haricots where they are to crop. Sow Pumpkins, outdoor Cucumbers and Courgettes. Biodynamic Diary says put Tomatoes?Aubergines/Peppers and Chiilies out into final places.
24/25th May. Moon ascending in Capricorn so Root Days - Sow Beetroot outside now and Chicory for harvesting in the Autumn. Sow Leeks in a Nursery Bed for Winter Harvest. Biodynamic Diary says sow more Parsnips/Turnips and Carrots now in spaces where the others may not have sprouted in last sowing.
26/27/28th May - (No gardening on 26th before 9.20am Moon apogee)Flower Days as Moon in Aquarius. Sow Cauliflower/Broccoli and Romanesco in a Nursery Bed for Autumn Harvest. Sow some quick growing annuals in bare spaces in borders. As a Biodynamic gardener one will already be aware that you should never have bare spaces, but should at the very least pop in a Green Manure. By 'bare space' I mean after you have whipped out all the waning spring flowers like Forget me Nots which have run riot here this year and made a stunning display. I have put in some Cosmos and Sunflower Plants (Make sure the latter have the edible seed heads for Winter Bird Food) The first flower heads on courgettes are normally without fruit -Pick them off and saute or stuff them - Take cuttings from geraniums
29/30/31st May - Leaf Days Sow Salad Crops wherever you can find a space and keep moist. I mix up all my old seed and scatter it liberally everywhere, this makes a surprise Mixed Leaf treat that will see you well into the Autumn without having to wait for each individual Lettuce or Radish to plump up. Don't go out and buy Mixed Leaf Salad Seed -Make up your own! Sow Brussel Sprouts and Cabbages. Divide Chives now so they do not get exhausted flowering thus weakening roots if you wait longer.
Thank you Obelxx for reminding me to start this New Thread and thanks GWRS for your news.Let's keep this Thread going and roll on the next 1,000 Posts!!

Happy Gardening.



  • barry islandbarry island Posts: 1,597
    Could you explain the science or theory behind filling a cows horn with dung and burying it? That's what put me off of Biodynamics.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,555
    It's like the old practice of putting dead fish in planting holes for fertility.  The horn is bone so provides calcium as it decomposes and we all know dung is good for plants.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • barry islandbarry island Posts: 1,597
    The horn is dug up and the content mixed with water and stirred for 1 hour it sounds like Harry Potter to me.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,555
    I've never come across that one.   For me lunar gardening is as much about time management as anything else.  Works for me.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • biofreakbiofreak Posts: 1,009
    Hi Barry -In the middle of The Channel at the moment -If you can bear with me until the w/e when I'm back home I shall give you full details and de-mystify horns dung and stirring! (Actually it's 2hrs!!! -but with a cunning tweak, you can narrow it down to 20mins!) I got the Courgettes in before leaving home -Trying 'Polka' a golden sweet type -good for baking and eating raw in salads.
  • biofreakbiofreak Posts: 1,009

    Hi Everyone

    The use of cowhorn as a vessel for fresh cow manure that is then buried and over-wintered in the soil, would initially seem a strange procedure with little or no reason. It has however been used successfully in viticulture and agriculture for a considerable time and the beliefs are as follows:

    The cow has been deemed sacred in many cultures and countries for thousands of years. Being of use to nourish (milk)/feed (meat)/clothe (cowhide)/ warmth(the dung is still used today dried to replace firewood) - Many cultures and 'alternative' thinkers including  Steiner  have the opinion that the tip of the horn has the ability to attract an energy force from Lunar & planetary influences (cycles) -If you examine the inside of a horn it has grown in rings forming a spiral to the tip. Plant stems viewed through a microscope have 'growing rings' as do trees -in particular Oak. The placing of fresh cow (Not Bull as the Cow is deemed the nourisher)dung in a cow horn and burying it induces fermentation and in the Spring when the horn is dug up, it will be found to contain a concentrated humus, which is used in small quantities diluted (or sometimes buried) mixed with other key ingredients (listed below as preperations) to create an energetic force in the soil that will stimulate key parts of plant and crop growth.

    Now, I would argue that you could use any horn, but cow, due to the mystic beliefs has always been the key container. Of course the logical reason would be its size -You can get a good quantity of dung in a cow horn! - When diluted one must then dynamise (hence Biodynamic) the preperation stirring the liquid first clockwise to create a vortex and then swiftly anticlockwise in total for a period of 20mins to an hour depending on your own energy levels!! -You can -If you want  skip all this hunting for cow horns and burying business by buying the preperation direct from the Biodynamic Association in the UK or Demeter in Europe. (It is known as Preperation No 500.) If you wish to give it a go -Visit an abbatoir (A polished cow horn sold as a tourist item will not work due to the varnishing masking the active surface. )The horn should also be as fresh as possible anyway before burying. Back in the 60's when my Mother was a Biodynamic student at Emerson College in Sussex, she was greeted with a pile of bloody cowhorns in her first lesson and students were told to choose their favourite.

    Field preparations, for stimulating humus formation:

    500: A humus mixture prepared by filling a cow's horn with cow manure and burying it in the ground (40–60 cm below the surface) in the autumn. It is left to decompose during the winter and recovered for use as fertilizer the following spring.

    501: Crushed powdered quartz stuffed into a cow's horn and buried in the ground in springtime and taken out in autumn. It can be mixed with 500 but is usually prepared on its own. The mixture is sprayed under very low pressure over the crop during the wet season, as a supposed antifungal.

    Compost preparations (which if your really keen can be made yourself -I would recommend buying them ready prepared though!)

    The compost preparations Steiner recommended employ herbs which are frequently used in alternative medical remedies. Many of the same herbs Steiner referenced are used in organic practices to make foliar fertilizers, green manure, or in composting. The preparations Steiner discussed were:

    502: Yarrow blossoms (Achillea millefolium) stuffed into the urinary bladders from red deer (Cervus elaphus), placed in the sun during summer, buried in the ground during winter, and retrieved in the spring.

    503: Chamomile blossoms (Matricaria recutita) stuffed into the small intestines of cattle, buried in humus-rich earth in the autumn, and retrieved in the spring.

    504: Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) plants in full bloom stuffed together underground surrounded on all sides by peat for a year.

    505: Oak bark (Quercus robur) chopped in small pieces, placed inside the skull of a domesticated animal, surrounded by peat, and buried in the ground in a place near rain runoff.

    506: Dandelion flowers (Taraxacum officinale) stuffed into the mesentery of a cow, buried in the ground during winter, and retrieved in the spring.

    507: Valerian flowers (Valeriana officinalis) extracted into water.

    508: Horsetail (Equisetum). -Prele

    Happy Gardening!

  • barry islandbarry island Posts: 1,597
    Do you remember the long hot drought of 1976 when the government appointed a minister for the drought, he employed some native Americans to preform a rain dance now that was clutching at straws.
  • biofreakbiofreak Posts: 1,009
    Yes, I remember sitting in my office in sunny Deptford with the other girls only wearing our bikinis -Those were the days!!
    Here is the Bio D Weather Diary for June 1-20th - Fresher weather with dull days and high humidity for the season so beware of mildew and potential for potato blight, once again Marestail is good to spray against fungal infection and as a coolent.Between the 14-16th rain forecast with wind -Towards the end of the month temperatures rise again with bright sunny periods and less humidity.
    Pricking out crops should be done on a descending moon to avoid disturbance to root growth of balance of crop. Prick out Leeks on Leaf Days to ensure strong stems -in particular in the mornings of 7/15/16 and 17th June.
    2/3/4th June - Root Days Moon ascending in Taurus Sow carrots/winter radish/beetroot. Earth up Potatoes and spread Comfrey between rows to release potassium which will give you larger tubers.

    Happy Gardening!
  • GWRSGWRS Posts: 8,128
    Thanks Oberlix , hadn’t spotted new thread 
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