I’m often asked if I use any of the ‘gardening by the moon’ calendars. I think there’s a high correlation between using the calendars and gardening success. I don’t think that is due to the effect of the moon (but hey, I may be wrong on that). I do believe it’s because it lays out a structure of working and resting in the garden. We all do better with a plan, even if we don’t entirely follow it.
My winter garden is already somewhat different than the plan I made for it two months ago. I hadn’t factored in when the space allocated would come free from summer crops. Still, most of the items I planned to grow are planted or currently being raised as seeds. Some things have had to be re-sown once or even twice due to bird, slug, caterpillar and rabbit onslaught. And there’s a third session of double digging to do. I forgot to include winter sprouting broccoli in my original plan. I’ve got more of some things (leeks) and less if they didn’t germinate well (florence fennel). I might still add some red cabbage if I find some good looking seedlings at the farmers’ market. Leek seedlings I grew from seed shriveled in the heat when I planted them out too early. I replaced them with seedlings I bought, but there were far more than I intended to grow and I planted them all out.
I’ve double dug the first two beds which was impossible a year ago as the ground was so compacted. A year later with organic matter piled on top it’s loosened the soil underneath and there’s lots of worm activity. I’ll dig and plant the final bed over the next couple of weeks. There are different views on whether double digging is necessary or even harmful. I think Kay Baxter’s advice is the best you can get so if she says double digging is beneficial, it’s good enough for me. I add ROK solid and Earth Zing when I cultivate and water with a hose-end sprayer filled with EM (effective microorganisms) and seaweed tea. I’ve added compost and mulch all through the summer so the soil is looking great.
Here are the plan versus actual of my winter garden.