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Planting in Mid-Autumn

My perfect storm is at an end, and life is returning to its usual very busy but kinda balanced state. To celebrate, I used this glorious autumn day to get into my poor neglected garden.

It isn’t a planting day by the lunar calendar – have to wait for next weekend for the next leafy planting days – but I’ve got so behind in my planting over the last few weeks that I’m going to stick a whole bunch of overgrown seedlings in the ground anyhow. I’m not so purist about the lunar planting calendar (or anything really) to let the opportunity go.

I’m planting leaf amaranth – the taste doesn’t do a great deal for me but the colour is so gorgeous in salads. Celery, parsley and celeriac – now is the perfect season and they are such slow growers that they have coped with overlong in the shadehouse and still look ok. Lettuce, though that really is hopeful – lettuces like a very stress-free life and my neglect hasn’t done them any good. Perennial rocket (arugula) which I have decided I like much better than standard rocket (though ordinary rocket self-seeds in my garden anyway). Shallots, red onions, leeks, garlic and chives – it’s the right season for planting all the onion family and I over-hopefully started off seedlings then didn’t get to plant them out, but there are a few survivors worth planting on. Silverbeet and beetroot – now that the grasshopper season is over they will do well, though they do look seriously stressed.

I have a frost-free site, so I’m transplanting all the climbing beans that have self sown from the big summer crop, to give me one more round of green beans in July. And I am also transplanting cherry tomatoes to give me fresh tomatoes through winter.

And I am very hopefully direct planting seeds of carrots and parsnips. I rarely direct plant anything. Raising seedlings in the shadehouse is a major strategy for maintaining a garden that doesn’t consume an inordinate amount of time or space – see the article about Up-Gardening for why and how.  But it has been too hot, then too wet, then too busy to plant carrots or parsnips for months now and I have a serious gap in these staples coming up.

It will be really good to get all these out of the shadehouse, ready for the next round of planting days, as we head into the late-autumn planting season and I can start thinking about cabbage and cauliflower, pak choi and wom bok, kale and spinach, peas and broadbeans. Maybe most of all, I am enjoying getting back in touch with the cycle of the seasons.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Kirby April 11, 2010, 10:42 pm

    We have only been in our new home for 3months now, so i’m still getting use to the new land and climate. The gardens doing well considering, but I think at the moment i’m about half a season behind, and struggling to play catch up (not to mention the pumpkin vines taking over the yard). I am new to moon planting, and have my chart stuck up on my office wall hoping the it will subliminally sink in. I’ve just found you blog today, and really enjoyed the couple of post i have read so far – i think i’ll head off and do some back reading on moon planting…. best of luck with your carrots!

  • Linda April 12, 2010, 9:37 am

    Hi Kirby, half a season behind is pretty good! That trick of staying aware of where the season is going (rather than where it has been) is one of the keys to making gardening look easy. I really like the way the lunar calendar keeps me looking forward – when’s the next leafy planting days and what wants to be planted in them. I’m not sure how much of a difference it makes to the plants, but it makes a really nice difference to my sense of being in a rhythm.

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