Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Moon Planting

It's amazing that plants are so connected to the moon, as the sun and the seasons have a more obvious effect.  I've learned in my gardening that they do.  In the Farmer's Almanac there is a small section that describes gardening by the moon. The basic idea is to plant above ground vegetables when the moon is waxing and below ground vegetables when the moon is waning.  There is next to this a section that describes the best moon constellations for planting, fertilizing, pruning, etc. They go in to times for special work in animal husbandry, as well. Since I have no animals, I don't pay much attention to that.

I like gardening with the moon.  I've used the Farmer's Almanac suggestions and also a calendar by the name of Stella Natura.  It is set up like a regular calendar and tells you when to work with certain kinds of plants according to the zodiac constellation the moon is in. Not so far from the Farmer's Almanac, just a slightly different take.

I've done my own experimenting by noticing when plants seem to do best, if I take all this moon advice.  And I've discovered some patterns of my own.  It can get to be a bit technical, if you don't keep a garden journal.  But I just mark things on the calendar and note if the seeds came up, the transplant worked, or didn't, etc.  Sometimes I just remember.

I planted my fall garden seeds in old annual six-pack trays a week or so ago. I planted all the leaf seeds, the seeds of leafy vegetables, at what I though was the best time by the moon.  They came up in two days.

They were sitting outside on the patio. I plant them this way rather than straight in the garden, as the squirrels are hard at work burying nuts. If I till and plant seeds, that's the perfect place for them to plant nuts, or so they think.  So I'll give them a head start on the patio.

I am always so surprised when my seeds come up in record time.  Ever since I've been trying to plant by the moon, this will happen to me.  It doesn't happen every time, as I often don't select the very best time.  It's a matter of connecting with my intuition and all the moon planting advice I've read, and then planting.  It feels so good to get the right time.  Sometimes I can sense that I've gotten the right time when I plant. I have the feeling that I've put the money in the right slot this time.  Hope you understand what I mean.

Here are the little fellows just coming up-- my lettuces and mesclun mix.  Seedlings are terribly exciting for me.  They have all the promise of big plants with a salad to offer or big blossoms to come.  They are little plants coming into being.  I love it.

Here they are after a few more days. Getting to be big guys.  Secondary leaves just starting to appear. I used to always water them with chamomile tea to prevent damping off, but lately I haven't had this problem.

I find this part of gardening needs a delicate touch and a watchful eye. I have to be cognizant each day of the seedlings. They are easily disturbed at this point, by lack of water, too much sun, insects.  But it is one of the more fulfilling parts of gardening-- watching a seed grow into a whole plant with leaves and or flowers.  It can be a frustrating part, as well, when the seeds don't come up or they're struck down by something or other.

The moon planting just gives me a jump on seed sprouting and, later, on the strength and health of the plant (more on that later).  Have any of you done these kinds of experiments? Tell me about it.


azplantlady said...

Hello Mary,

I think that the fact that you have a "Green Thumb" also helps. I agree, that it is so exciting to see seedlings come up like little babies- because we know how much potential they have.

PS. I love your new title photo.

janie said...

I plant by the moon as well, and I have a terrible fight with myself if I deviate. I learned from my Dad, and my Grandmother to follow the almanac, or if I didn't have that to remember to plant above ground crops on a waxing moon and underground crops on a waning moon. It seems to work.

James Missier said...

Amaze to note that there is such thing as moon planting. The moon here is very much elusive and rarely found in my place as I live by the hillside and its often hidden.
But the seedling success is high and they seemed to do well in my place. (with or without the moon)

Laura Gardens in Desert said...

I plant by the moon and I am glad that you do to. I have had excellent results and like Janie, I won't let myself waiver. I will wait the week, day or even the few hours if the moon is "void of course". I like the Matrix program by You can upload a 30 day free trial and give it a whirl. Totally cool program, it's what I use.

Urban Green said...

This part of the gardening cycle is the best time for me - seeds sown vs a nice feeling..

Anonymous said...

I was thinking of this approach of planting, but the calenadar I got was too confusing...
So I didnt do it this year. But if all that there is to it that I should plant above ground vegetables when the moon is waxing and below ground vegetables when the moon is waning, then this is easy.

My calendar had time for:
1.below ground vegetables,
2.leaf vegetables,
3.flower vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli)and
4. all other (tomato, cucumber, beans...)
- this was too much for me.

The Violet Fern said...

I have always heard about this and in fact have a "post it" here on my desk: BioDynamic Gardening - Steinberg. I think I will try that calendar and let you know - thanks!

FlowerLady said...

I've not tried moon planting yet, but you've got my interest up that's for sure. I love growing from seed and want to do more of it.


Linda said...

I enjoy looking at the Farmer's Almanac but I've never tried planting by the moon. I do like experimenting with my garden, so I may try it and see what happens.

Rosey Pollen said...

It stands to reason that nature would guide us along in our planting schedule. I can tell a difference when I do or don't plant by the moon. But I get lazy and forget sometimes. Thanks for this informative post, Mary Delle!

Kiki said...

Wonderful post! I am a huge fan of the Farmer's A it! your seedlings are gorgeous!! I love everything moonwise too..and how that gravitational pull of water/moon energy, is what draws ups nutruents to the soil to nourish the seedlings and roots at the most perfect timing..all becuase of the moon's powerful current! awesome post!

Douce France..... said...

I have never of moon planting, very interesting! Thanks for visiting my blog: I answered to you on my comments.

Anonymous said...

My husband's family in Kentucky believe very much in moon planting they have been doing this for many years. At first I thought it sound odd-but it works so well for them.
Here in Michigan we just plant real fast!

Anonymous said...

Sounds fascinating. I've seen planting schedules from the farmer's almanac, but haven't tried it, yet. Being so new to gardening, I've been obsessing over companion planting, amending soil, lighting and spacing requirements, etc. I'm sure planting by the moon will be added to that list sooner or later. :)

janie said...

I was tickled by Vicki's comment- "We just plant real fast!"

I have lived in Michigan, on the UP, and I know what you mean!