Saturday, April 24, 2010

Cabbage Butterfly Trap

Recently at BAAG (Buleen Art and Garden) I learnt that if you tie white plastic bags to sticks the cabbage butterfly take it for another butterfly and will leave the area alone as they are territorial. Mimi has adopted this method with open egg shells which I have implemented.

Then yesterday walking the dog - I noticed that a large piece of polystyrene foam had blown up on my front garden. I put it straight in the bin and continued on my walk. Just a few paces in - I thought about how very white the foam was. Perfect for deterring cabbage butterflies - further down the walk I came across a lovely branch and decided it would make a perfect polystyrene tree. So with the tree and egg shells in place hopefully the catter-pillers will be kept at bay. This morning was the first morning that I have gone out and not had to pick any off the kale seedlings!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Moon Gardening

I have always wanted to tune into the moon phase and experiment with this method of gardening. Even if there is a sceptic in me (I have no material proof yet) it is a way to organise and plan my next step in the process.

Basic Guidelines

For Gardening purposes we divide the moon cycle into 4 phases. Divided in half these equate to the waxing and waning cycle.

WAXING 1st and 2nd Quater = Dark to Full (the period of growth - at this time the earth is releasing nutrients. Sap is pulled above ground)
WANING 3rd and 4th Quater = Returning from full to Dark (the period of rest, a good time to harvest root veg especially if you are in the earth sign)

How does this relate to New Moon?

1st Qtr New Moon
2nd Qtr Full Moon
3rd Qtr Full Moon
4th Qtr New Moon

Each qtr lasts for around 7 days

According to meterological records the highest amount of rain falls at full and new moon.

Think of the Moon as a growing organism itself - As the new moon grows, from darkness to light, the gravitational pull it has over life increases. After the full moon the gravitational pull decreases and the water table drops - encouraging the roots to dive down after it - creating strong roots growth.

What to do when

It is suggested that the full and new moon are a time of rest and reflection.

New Moon (12 hrs after dark moon to 1st qtr)
A time of balanced root and leaf growth
At this time don't plant anything (wait until the light increases)

Beginning of 1st Qrt (cresent moon)
Start planting above ground annual crops that produce seeds outside of the fruit
To increase lawn growth - mow now
This is when the seeds swell with water and can germinate much more quickly)
Not a good time to harvest at your bounty will spoil more quickly

1st Quater
Plant leafy crops/cereals/grains and 'above ground' croppers - broccoli/lettuces
Start to sew seeds/ transplant seedlings/graft

late 1st Quater
(towards full, end of waning)
Plant seedy above-ground groups (tomatoe/cucumber/chilli/peppers)
Plant annuals/roses

2nd Quater (waxing)
Moonlight becomes stronger
A good planting time right up to the full moon

3rd Quater
Sew and plant root vegetables

4th Quater - graviational pull decreases

Any pruning at this time will retard growth (I have also heard that this applies to hair cuts!!!) So if you want to keep your lawn short for longer - now is the time!

Best Time to Harvest - just before the full moon

Full Moon
After full moon - Waning Begins - light decreases - energy goes into roots

Cancer Scorpio and Pisces are the best zodiac signs to plant during

Good Resources

Himalayan Institute

WOW that was marathon of ideas!

Very clear about his position and loved how he integrated the spiritual / political / economical / ecological.

From Soil to Soul Video Conference

Key topic of this conference include
-Value = intrinsic and extrinsic (social/spiritual/psychological and financial)
-Custodianship of the land
-Returning to ‘basic’ value and realising the potential of the past
-Selling the value of the project
-Self worth
-When what you need is seen as outside your self – you loose value and belief if your self.
-Bio fuel - its sources and uses
-Bio Gas
-Cake - the bio-product of pressing oil for bio fuel – makes a valuable fertilizer
-De-centralized bio gas production - returning the power to small scale projects

Friday, April 16, 2010


This weekend provided a great example of the importance of the garden as a social space. Shaynie's studies have taken her into the realm of Steiner stories. The garden seemed like an ideal space to share. We found a shady spot - as it is a suprisingly hot April morning. I will consider making this a meeting circle in the plan.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Walking the Land

I want to approach the garden as I would a yoga practice.
The block of land has served as a yoga school for many years and its healing presence is well known by those who visit. It is important for me to work with this existing character. How the garden will impact on the yoga studio and how the students and the purpose of the land will impact the garden will be considered in the plan.

A walking meditation path and also a space for seated meditation has long been a vision for the garden. A large key-hole garden will be the main feature of the back garden (Zone 3). For this reason the walking path will have to move around and not through the garden as previously invisioned. The back left corner of the property must be accessible to council workers as there is a sewege access point here. A pavilion has been put in place over the man hole and currently a grape and chocko is growing beside the structure - waiting to be trained. This could be an ideal place in summer for seated meditation.

This photo captures the area where the main key hole bed is planned for. This the far end of the garden. The Cana-lillies and weeping native will have to be moved this Autumn/Winter.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Why Blog?

This year I have decided to take a Permaculture Design Course and want to apply this to a 1/4 acre suburban block. This blog will record this project. I also want to track my plans and knowledge before and after the course. So I have 3 months to begin what I believe is a solid Permaculture plan and then open up to deepening my understanding of the process and make adjustments.

Easter at Balook

Easter saw the addition of a new garden bed at Balook. Thanks Chibu for your moral support and David's Cows for the Poo. Can't wait to see this bed develope as Mimi gets stuck into the veggie rotation.