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Results/experiences with biodynamics  RSS feed

 
Rion Mather
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I would love to hear from those that have started to use the biodynamic methods for gardening.
 
Rion Mather
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Lol. Guess I will go first or be the only one. Either way...my germination rates seem to be improved by starting seeds during the correct phases of the moon.
 
Paulo Bessa
pollinator
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Location: Portugal (zone 9) and Iceland (zone 5)
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Rion Mather wrote:Lol. Guess I will go first or be the only one. Either way...my germination rates seem to be improved by starting seeds during the correct phases of the moon.


Definitively it works with me. I transplanted plants over the New Moon and in the Full Moon (just 2 days ago). At New Moon usually growth is minimum and more root oriented, at Full moon growth is generally very high, especially of aereal parts, thus plants are more sensitive to transplant shock at this time, because it is when they are growing most active.

For example, I transplanted some plants 2 days ago (Full Moon), some suffered transplant shock (like the jícama, which I assumed it is better to transplant at New Moon to avoid disturbing the maximum growth that occurs around the Full Moon). Other seedlings continued to grow fast, not suffering any transplant shock. At New Moon, usually plants are sluggish, and this seems just the perfect time to transplant those root sensitive plants.

This is an example of what I observed. You then decide, based in these observation what you do with it.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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Location: North Central Michigan
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i have no results yet but did buy the biodynamic calendar for 2013 so I'm all ready to start getting results this year.

It makes total sense to me now to plant by the moon after studying it..and I always planted my tender plants after the first full moon in June..so they wouldn't freeze..here in Michigan and that always gives better results than earlier..

looking forward to hearing more results though
 
Josh T-Hansen
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Location: Zone 5 Brimfield, MA
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I may have witnessed modest improvements in consumer confidence for those certified bio farms.
 
Shawn Harper
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Location: Portlandia, Oregon
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I have noticed that my plants tend to follow the moon cycles even if I don't. Though this year I'm going to try to plant by them.
 
Karl Teceno
Posts: 91
Location: Portland Maine
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Brenda... where did you get your calendar?

Karl
 
Jennifer Ludwig
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This is the calendar I use.

http://www.stellanatura.com

Remember to adjust the the time to your time zone. I believe the calendar is made for Eastern Standard Time.

I seed and transplant according to the calendar. I've also tried to weed my garden on DARK days, and harvest crops in conjunction to their days on the calendar. I went to a BD conference in November and I heard a suggestion to EAT by the calendar as well, which I am very interested in trying out.


Cheers!
 
Stewart Lundy
Posts: 77
Location: Eastern Shore of Virginia, USA, Zone 7b, KeB Bojac Sandy Loam
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I will be trying to follow Maria Thun's biodynamic calendar this coming year. This is my first attempt and I am skeptical, though if it works, it works.

I have been preparing compost and beds for the coming year and tending to my plants according to Fruit/Leaf/Root/Flower days. I will continue planting seeds from the same batches on random days before and after the "correct" biodynamic days -- and at other times intentionally starting seeds on the "unfavorable" days.

For those interested in a free online biodynamic calendar, this is one that matches up pretty faithfully to Maria Thun's calendar; it also claims to be accurate through 2099 which, at least for me, is probably enough for this lifetime:

http://www.astrologie-info.com/mocal.cgi?&language=eng&sidtrop=sid [note: be sure "sidereal zodiac (Maria Thun)" is selected]
 
Marc Troyka
pollinator
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Location: East Central GA, Ultisol, Zone 8, Humid
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Stewart Lundy wrote:
I have been preparing compost and beds for the coming year and tending to my plants according to Fruit/Leaf/Root/Flower days. I will continue planting seeds from the same batches on random days before and after the "correct" biodynamic days -- and at other times intentionally starting seeds on the "unfavorable" days.


Finally, someone willing to do a side-by-side test. I dread the reactions to the results, though.
 
Stewart Lundy
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Location: Eastern Shore of Virginia, USA, Zone 7b, KeB Bojac Sandy Loam
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M Troyka wrote:Finally, someone willing to do a side-by-side test. I dread the reactions to the results, though.


As do I.

To her credit Maria Thun has done a lot of tests herself and claims that many varieties of plants are more responsive to planting on the biodynamic schedule than others. The free online text of Maria Thun's book The Biodynamic Year: Increasing Yield, Quality, and Flavor is available here: http://books.google.cz/books?id=PR9zw4ukqv4C&pg=PP1&lpg=PP1&dq=biodynamic&hl=cs

Maria Thun compares a lot of seeds planted on sequential days.

I will be attempting a range of many seeds and I will let you all know about the results. I am also making a point of using seeds from biodynamic farms alongside certified-Organic seeds of the same varieties. If the biodynamic method doesn't work, at least using their own seeds is one less criticism that can be brought against my results.

I'm not out to prove them wrong -- I'm happy to prove them right. But the simple truth is that: if it works, it works; if it don't, it don't. And I'm only interested if it works.


 
Rion Mather
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I have sweet pickle peppers! Yes! I have been trying for weeks. Finally worked on a full moon planting.
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 5911
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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bike chicken fungi trees urban woodworking
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I would go for 5 to 10 years to decide if it does or doesn't work. There are just too many other variables for a year to prove anything, in my opinion.
But, I try to plant by moon signs and quarters and can't really prove to anyone that it works, many grdeners I respect follow a lunar calendar and I like it as a way to organize my work. We do grow good, reliable food.
I don't know the differences in Llewelyn's moon sign calender (what we use) and a biodynamic one, though.

 
John Polk
steward
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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The Farmer's Almanac has been publishing lunar planting info in their publications for more than 2 centuries.
There must be something to it, or they would have stopped years ago.

I will say, however, that prevailing weather conditions at planting time can throw you off of the calendar. If the weather is unfavorable for planting, especially in short season areas, you cannot just wait another 28 days to get your seeds into the soil. Short season areas do not give you such a luxury of waiting for the perfect moon phase/planet alignment. You plant when you must.



 
Judith Browning
Posts: 5911
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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bike chicken fungi trees urban woodworking
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Yeah, John, I think if anyone tried to follow planting dates no matter what that's where the failure and frustration could happen. I try to at least stay in the appropriate moon phase but not always an appropriate sign...and my knowledge is pretty slim...I just figure "why not?".
Every checkout at the stores here carry a farmer's almanac and I know folks follow it. I like it too but prefer a calendar format.
Lately I've been using an online calendar...Lunarium:Universal Lunar Calendar. I am still unclear about biodynamic calendar differences.
Maybr someone here knows?
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 5911
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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bike chicken fungi trees urban woodworking
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Rion Mather wrote:I have sweet pickle peppers! Yes! I have been trying for weeks. Finally worked on a full moon planting.


Wonderful! Are they those yellow pickled peppers they give us when we buy a pizza? I need to grow more sweet peppers.
 
Jennifer Ludwig
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I am still unclear about biodynamic calendar differences.


The Farmer's Almanac uses the Moon phases and climatic conditions of North American to suggest planting dates.

A Biodynamic planting calendar uses the Moon, Sun and other Celestial phases to suggest the best times to plant crops that will optimize Fruit, Flower, Leaf/Stem and, Root organs of that crop. Also to point out dark days or perigee period where no plant should be influenced. This is a very specific reference calendar. A grower most calibrate the time to her time zone. I know the Maria Thun's calendar is printed for Eastern Standard Time, therefore I read the calendar 3 hours fast as I am on the West Coast.

*Side Note* The influence of the Moon, Sun and, Celestial phases on various plant organs, types and, crops have been observed and documented within the Biodynamic community in repeatable scientific manners.

Hope that clarifies the difference between the two calendars.
 
Rion Mather
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Judith Browning wrote:
Rion Mather wrote:I have sweet pickle peppers! Yes! I have been trying for weeks. Finally worked on a full moon planting.


Wonderful! Are they those yellow pickled peppers they give us when we buy a pizza? I need to grow more sweet peppers.


No, those are banana peppers.

The sweet pickle pepper is a variety of ornamental pepper. It is supposed to be one of the best tasting ornamentals. The peppers are also good for a variety of uses. I needed a smaller mild pepper to grow indoors.



Be careful with the ornamental varieties. They tend to be rather hot.

 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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Location: North Central Michigan
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the north american biodynamic sowing and planting calendar 2013 maria and matthias thun
$13.95 US isbn 978-086315-918-3 florisbooks.co.uk can't remember where I ordered it..somewhere online think it might have been amazon
 
Stewart Lundy
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Location: Eastern Shore of Virginia, USA, Zone 7b, KeB Bojac Sandy Loam
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Judith Browning wrote:I am still unclear about biodynamic calendar differences.


As mentioned above, it divides the month into sets of days that favor Fruit/Seed, Leaf/Stem, Root, and Flower plants. From my understanding of it, when the moon is "ascending" (moving into your hemisphere) that is the time to start seeds; when the moon is "descending" (moving back down towards the equator) that is the "Northern Transplant Time" and encourages root growth -- thus, it is a good period to move seedlings outdoors and get their roots growing quickly. Some biodynamic calendars do not avoid nearly as many times as Maria Thun does -- in fact, some favor days she expressly says are "unfavorable."

These days are not necessarily in conflict with a lunar calendar -- you could probably overlap them to find especially "favorable" days to start seeds. For example, you might find it better to start your Tomato seeds on an ascending moon, waxing moon, and fruit day.
 
Mark Wells
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Brenda Groth wrote:i have no results yet but did buy the biodynamic calendar 2013 so I'm all ready to start getting results this year.

It makes total sense to me now to plant by the moon after studying it..and I always planted my tender plants after the first full moon in June..so they wouldn't freeze..here in Michigan and that always gives better results than earlier..

looking forward to hearing more results though


I did the same thing. The calendar is what most people start on i think.

Brenda Groth wrote:the north american biodynamic sowing and planting calendar 2013 maria and matthias thun
$13.95 US isbn 978-086315-918-3 florisbooks.co.uk can't remember where I ordered it..somewhere online think it might have been amazon


I found the link of this blog:biodynamic calendar 2013 blog
 
Adam Klaus
author
gardener
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Location: 6200' westen slope of colorado, zone 6
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Thought I would stoke the BD conversation here with a nice observation from this past week-

We put up a huge (~12 cubic yard) compost pile comprised of dairy cow manure and partially decomposed woodchips. This was two years worth of bedding/manure pack from the winter loafing shed.
It definitely smelled, you know, like the backside of a cow. It was at the edge of the garden, and everytime I got down to that end of the planting beds, the smell was there, full force.

Five days later, my BD compost preps arrived from JPI, and I inserted them in the pile. Not my first rodeo by any means, but still the results amazed me.
Instantly, like within hours, the smell was gone. Without a trace.

Something more than just microbes to make it happen this fast. Simply magic. Like Biodynamics itself, the results went beyond rational causation. Magic.
Experiences like this are why I love Biodynamics. The unseen. The un-understood. That works magically.

Raise a shovel of good compost to that!
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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Location: North Central Michigan
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it does seem like I have had some better success with some things planted according to the biodynamic calendar..however..we have also had a drought this year so some things are suffering.

I'll continue to use the calendar though
 
Weston Ginther
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Location: NW South Dakota - Zone 4b
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John Polk wrote:I will say, however, that prevailing weather conditions at planting time can throw you off of the calendar. If the weather is unfavorable for planting, especially in short season areas, you cannot just wait another 28 days to get your seeds into the soil. Short season areas do not give you such a luxury of waiting for the perfect moon phase/planet alignment. You plant when you must.


Most certainly; during one of the agriculture lectures, Steiner even addresses this. To very roughly summarize, he basically said that planting by the correct moon phase was the optimum and that farmers should merely strive to get as close to the optimum as possible. He also explained how grateful he was that there are multiple phases of the moon during the growing season that will somewhat make up for an incorrect planting date.
 
Alicia Gauld
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Hi. I agree, one must be an opportunist as a farmer/gardener. Sometimes it's ideal conditions, sometimes not. My observation is simply that there is more moisture around full moon on leaf days, so it makes sense to make use of this time. Our own observations are important as we're all in such variable & different unique locales.
I personally use the morning & afternoon rhythm for shaping my day, eg. sow in the morn, transplant in the noon. The calendars are a great resource to begin basing your observations on.

Goodluck everyone!
 
Matt Smaus
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Location: Minneapolis, MN
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There is actually at least one bona fide scientific study supporting the application of BD sprays in lieu of lime. From the report:

"As expected and normally observed, liming the soil did increase soil pH to 6.6. What has never been documented before is that there was also an increase in soil pH with the BD preparations, to 6.4. Statistically, the untreated plots had the lowest pH, BD plots had higher pH than untreated plots, and limed plots had higher pH than both the untreated and limed plots. However, the pH difference between limed and BD plots was small, and in both instances sufficient to improve the availability of essential nutrients."

and

"Both BD and limed plots had different forage quality than the untreated plots. However, the direction of change was different between treatments. BD plots improved in forage quality, shown by higher forage protein, while limed plots declined in forage quality, shown by lower forage protein. Neither change was very large, but they are statistically significant."

I personally think this is FASCINATING.

The two primary writers are Ag scientist at WSU, and I worked with the farmer, Henning. You can read more about the study here: http://www.sshomestead.org/sites/all/files/file/Final%20SARE%20Report.pdf
 
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