Friday, May 2, 2008

Planting by the Moon

Planting by the Lunar Phases

Gardening by the moon is as old as ti
me. Going back as far as Babylonian times. Unfortunately, most gardeners have cast it aside in modern times.
Not only does the moon affect the tides, many scientist will tell you it affects human behavior, animal behavior and plant behavior.
The practice, known as moon or lunar gardening, centers on the moon's gravitational effect on the flow of moisture in soil and plants.

The basic concept is:

Plant above ground crops during the "Waxing" or rising moon. This is a period of increasing light from the new moon to the full moon.

Plant root crops during the "Waning" or declining moon. This is from the full moon to the new moon when the moonlight is declining.

The moon moves through a complete cycle every 29 days. For moon gardening purposes, this cycle is divided into four quarters or phases. The first two quarters are waxing increasing) phases and the two latter quarters are waning (diminishing) phases. The term phase refers to the moon's apparent shape as viewed from earth during the month.The full moon as marked on a calendar is the demarcation between the two types of phases. To plant by the moon phases you will need an almanac or calendar that lists the exact time and date of the moon phases.

So how does this all relate to your garden? Well, in the waxing phase, the theory is that the water table rises and plants take up nutrients faster, making it an ideal time to plant.

The waning phase is much better for pruning and weeding as the water table is lower and things like tree sap run much slower. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that harvests are larger and plants don't go to seed as quickly if planted in the appropriate cycle.

Here are two sites that explain it in depth and are dedicated to the topic.

Names of full moons

January: Wolf
February: Snow, Quickening, Storm
March: Worm, Sap, Chaste
April: Seed, Pink, Grass, Sprouting, Wind
May: Flower, Corn Planting, Hare
June: Strong, Rose, Sun, Strawberry
July: Mead, Thunder, Buck

August: Sturgeon, Wort, Corn
September: Barley, Harvest
October: Hunter's, Blood
November: Mourning, Beaver
December: Cold, Oak, Long Night's

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Getting Ready for the Garden

Almost Go time

Whew!!! I've been re-potting and hardening off the plants for the garden. Just the hauling them in and out of the garage everyday is a 15 minute job if you're working fast. Finally have the garden tilled and the 4 new herb beds done. I decided at least for this year to put the perennial herbs in the beds and put the annuals out in the open. The whiskey barrels are for the mint. That stuff will go crazy on you if you let it. Doing some new things when planting this year too. Going to be doing some pruning the Euro way on the maters. Can put them closer together but that means bagging blossoms for the seeds I want to save. I have my new St. Fiacre in his new home. taken Here's a pic on the left of my baby lettuce coming up. Whoo hooo!!!! Now to just keep the pesky rabbits out. I ordered a tomato plant by mail which I normally never do. It's called T.C. Jones. A newly discovered Ky heirloom. Big yellow beefsteak. Kept going in the same Ky family for 5 generations. Picture on the right for your viewing pleasure. LOL Trying out some new Basils this year. So far the winner of the beauty contest is one called Ararat. Beautiful varigated purple and green. I think I will do a special post just on the different kinds of Basil. I never realized how many there are. Of course, then there's the Starbucks coffee grounds. I think my garden gets more caffeine than I do.
I figure two more weeks and I can put the maters in the ground!!!!!