Autumn is a transitional time for plant and soil life. Summer grasses are losing their vigour and winter grasses are gaining momentum. Dairy and beef farmers choose this time to broadcast out oat and rye seed to give their stock extra feed during the winter.
Autumn is the optimal season to be putting out the Biodynamic Soil Sprays as they help the soil food web digest all the extra organic matter, from dying off of summer grasses and their roots, which is converted to humus.
In the vegetable garden, beds are being refurbished ready for those beautiful winter vegetables. Compost is being made out of all of the weeds and old summer vegetable plants. For this Biodynamic Preparation Balls are a must.
When the beds have been weeded, biodynamic compost is incorporated with a fork or a broad fork at the rate of 5kg or a 10 litre bucket full every 5 square metres of garden. Now is the time to spray the beds with a biodynamic soil spray – the most convenient one to use is Biodynamic Soil Activator. After their biodynamic soil spray the beds need to be lightly mulched with old hay, grass clippings, straw or sugar cane mulch to avoid their drying out. Beds are now ready for planting with winter seedlings or seed.
Winter Green Manure crops can be planted in fallow beds, vetch, duns field peas, rye and oats are a traditional combination. Clear the beds, fork in compost at about a 10 litre bucket every 10 square metres and rake in the green manure seed. It can then be covered with a light mulch through which the seeds will grow.
In the orchard, Autumn presents an ideal time for planting many fruit trees, pruning others and harvesting others. Which fruit tree crops you work with for each of these activities is dependent on your local climate.
A good time to manage fruit trees is when all the fruit has been harvested. Prune out any crossed over, damaged or dead limbs, mow any long grass under the tree, apply Biodynamic Combined Soil preparation in conjunction with Biodynamic Fish/Seaweed Concentrate, then spread about 5kg of biodynamic compost around the drip line and cover it with mulch – wood chips or pasture hay.
Coat the tree trunk and larger branches with Biodynamic Paste which nourishes the tree through the bark and gives protection against insect attack and heals the pruning wounds. Then dilute some BD Paste with water, strain it and spray it over the rest of the tree. A 10kg bucket of Biodynamic Paste will cover 4 mature trees or 100 vines.
The last biodynamic management strategy is, on a sunny early morning, to spray out the combined atmospheric preparation of horn silica, summer horn clay and fresh equisetum.
This spray will help the establishment of good strong fruiting buds for the next season and aid the flow of sap from the tops of the tree to its roots.