Gardening with the Moon: Prep 501 – horn silica

Harvest !!!

This time I’m talking about using the horn silica preparation 501, the other spray-prep. Where 500 was for the soil and everything in it, the critters and plant roots, 501 is for all the parts of the plant above the soil, the leaves, flowers and fruits.

  • NB – we use it on root vegetables too but in a very different way. I talk about that in the section on Planning to Use 501.

How does 501 work?

At first glance Prep 501 is a bit more complicated to use than the horn manure. It’s easier to go wrong, whereas it’s really quite hard to go wrong with the 500. You need to understand a bit about how it works.

From the Moon-perspective, 501 is all about the Earth breathing OUT whereas 500 is all about the Earth breathing IN. the other way around from 500. the two spray preps are complimentary and, together, they work with the full cycle of the moon. Once you get this clear in your mind the rest tends to fall into place.

  • So, the stirring is done in the morning … the time of day when the Earth is breathing OUT … not the afternoon as with 500
  • And it’s done during the time of the month when the Earth is breathing OUT … not the time when she’s breathing in as for 500
  • 501, horn silica, helps the parts of the plant above the ground instead of the parts below the ground as with 500

Additionally, prep 501 is very specific and does exactly what you ask it to do … this means you have to get it right too! It works closely with the star energy the moon is focusing on that day. Let’s do that in layman’s language.

Lettuce … the part you are most interested in, the part you’re going to eat, is the leaves. You want the lettuce either to heart up nicely or to continue giving fresh leaves if it’s of the cut-and-come-again variety. Either way it’s the leaves you want. The same goes for other plants like hostas, grasses (ornamental or lawn) and any plant grown for its foliage. Whereas with a rose or broccoli you want the flowers; with a tomato or holly or spindle tree you want the fruit; with potatoes and beetroot you want the root. You use prep 501 to enhance that part of the plant.

  • So, to use 501 to help the lettuces we look in the calendar for a Leaf day when the Earth is breathing out.
  • And we work in the morning.

OK. But if we go gaily splurging about with that paintbrush we might well hit other plants beside the lettuce, plants in which we want to enhance features other than the leaves. What will happen to the tomatoes, say, if we spray them with 501 on a leaf day? I did once, sprayed the broccoli on a leaf day – great leaves but no broccoli! Not what I wanted at all. Or, another time (early on in my biodynamic career!) I was off to do the tomatoes on a fruit day and I accidentally hit the lettuces as I was dashing about. Oops! All the lettuces promptly bolted, went to seed! Bother! It was very annoying!

You see what I’m getting at … 501 is very specific, it does exactly what you ask it to do so if you spray the plant on a fruit day, it encourages everything it touches to fruit, to go to seed. If this isn’t what you want then you have a minor disaster on your hands. Nothing that can’t be fixed by re-sowing if it’s veg, or waiting a bit and doing it right for perennials … but still a darn nuisance. So you have to be careful, check your Star Calendar to make sure you’re doing the right plant on the right day.

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