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VV Calendar - May 2015

Peas
Peas are the flavor of the month and we’ve been planting them in lots of gardens lately.  They grow happily over winter and provide delicious pods for harvesting in spring.
 
Planting peas
We soak the dried peas overnight in soil catalyst to loosen the tough outer coating then plant them directly into the soil where they’ll grow (the delicate pea seedlings don’t transplant well).  Netting or a trellis is needed to encourage them to climb upwards, so they’re a great choice for planting in small spaces.
 
Nitrogen fixing
Peas are very soil friendly.  They work with bacteria in the soil to ‘fix’ nitrogen from the air and deposit it in the soil. This reduces the need for artificial fertilizers since one of the main ingredients in fertilizers is nitrogen. Peas are able to grow on minimal moisture, so they are a perfect crop in many areas due to not needing irrigation or using up valuable water supplies.
 
Nutritional benefits of peas
Peas are rich in Vitamin A, C & K, protein, fiber, calcium and an excellent source of folic acid and ascorbic acid. This plant has many benefits. It helps prevent stomach cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, bronchitis, osteoporosis, Candida, heart disease, wrinkles and constipation. It also helps regulate blood sugar, reduces bad cholesterol, boosts immune system and gives us healthy bones.
 
May Planting
During autumn, the soil temperature is dropping rapidly and there’s not a lot left you can safely sow or plant now.
 
The following can still be planted out in Adelaide during May:
Broad Beans
Peas
Radishes
Shallots
Spinach and Silverbeet
Garlic
Onions
Rhubarb
 
Take a chance and plant some more brassica seedlings or root vegetable seeds, but be warned, if the weather turns cold quickly they may not do well.
 
May Pests
Gray Cabbage Aphids are attacking a lot of brassicas now.  The best defense is to gently and diligently wipe them off, or spray with a jet of water, or apply Neem Oil regularly to the affected plants.
 
Mice and rats are out looking for food as winter approaches.  If you can’t limit their food supply, traps are the best and most humane option.
 
Remove any old plants from summer (eg. zucchini, pumpkin, tomatoes, eggplants) that are looking diseased, as well as yellowing leaves on growing brassicas.  This housekeeping will prevent further spreading of diseases.
 
VV Lunatic Gardening
FULL MOON
Monday, 4 May at 1:12am
From the full moon to the last quarter is the waning moon when the sap flow in plants is more concentrated in the root area and lower in the foliage so its the best time to plant root crops: carrots, onions, radishes, beetroot, parsnips and turnips etc...
This week in May is perfect for planting new sets of rhubarb.
 
LAST QUARTER (Waning Moon)
Monday, 11 May at 8:06am
The week of the last quarter is the barren moon phase and is best used to attend to your soil, apply mulch and manure teas, make compost, remove weeds, and dig over the ground.
 
NEW MOON
Monday, 18 May at 1:43 am
From the new moon to the first quarter is the best time to sow or plant your leafy greens like lettuces, spinach, cabbages, parsley etc.
Mow your lawn and transplant leafy annuals during this phase.
 
FIRST QUARTER (waxing moon)
Tuesday, 26 May at 2:48pm
From the new moon through to the full moon sap flow is increased in the above ground parts of plants.
During the first quarter to the full moon, plant your winter crops that fruit above the ground such as broad beans, peas, radishes and brassicas.  This will be your last chance to get them in before the frosts.

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