Echinacea in flower – a beautiful and useful medicinal herb

The last two weeks of January have been rather wet – some flooding in lower areas, but not as bad as last year’s Big Wet. My kale, raspberries, blueberries and echinacea have survived the rain so far, but many of my newer seedlings may not recover. I will take stock of eggplant, basil, lettuce, cucumbers and capsicum this week and probably replant again. And the bunya nuts are dropping – some have already started sprouting in the rain before they even hit the ground.

By next week I will clean out all old vegetables, many of which I have saved seeds of, especially the cabbage family. A weeding, liming, rock dusting and watering will prepare the beds for planting out and sowing direct after the full moon.

I’m hoping my eggplants recover and set fruit now the rain has stopped – I always look forward to these and lost many plants in last year’s wet. My watermelons and pumpkins need a bit more sun and dry weather to swell and ripen.

Gardening Guide (following Moon Planting)
☽ Waxing Moon – 31  January at 2:11 pm

Sow direct: bush and climbing beans, sweet corn, cucumber, spring onions, zucchini and French marigold.

Sow in trays: capsicum, leek, tomato, broccoli and cauliflower in trays.

Lightly prune: established bush roses, except species.

Full Moon – 8 February at 7:55 am

Sow direct: beetroot (pre-soak seed), carrot, parsnip, potato (Brisbane and areas south), radish, swede and turnip, dandelion, watercress, avocado, mango and pineapple.

Take cuttings of pelargonium, marjoram, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme and watercress.

After watering, fertilise: mature banana trees, gerbera, also passionfruit and grapes after harvest. Treat magnesium deficiency in citrus, if necessary.

Lightly fertilise: fig, young citrus, Hawaiian hibiscus and all established roses. Apply cold, used tea-leaves to camellia.

Prune: mature passionfruit, if necessary. Remove berry-bearing foliage from female asparagus plants.

Harvest crops for storage on non-fertile days.

☾ Waning Moon – 15 February at 3:05 am

No sowing or planting this phase, but weed, dig or plough, prepare beds and prune back unwanted growth, if required.

Prepare beds for: potatoes in very warm areas. Check roses and citrus for ‘suckers’ and prune.
Mulch: top up compost and mulch around fig and macadamia.

☻ New Moon – 22 February at 8:36 am

Sow or plant out: leek, cabbage, silver beet (pre-soak seed), sweet and purple basil.
Sow: celery, lettuce and spring onions.

Grow a green manure or cover crop of mung bean, pigeon pea or japanese millet. In suitable soils, grow amaranth, millet or lablab bean.

On damp soil, apply fertiliser tea to: young grapes, asparagus seedlings and young crowns, young bananas, mango and pawpaw, melons sown in January, also cabbage, leek, silver beet and young passionfruit, if necessary.

Apply fertiliser tea to: banana trees and strawberry bed.

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