More Reading Suggestions

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

I’ve been enjoying an new ezine called Soiled and Seeded…isn’t that a great title? Their subtitle is ‘Cultivating a Gardening Culture’ which is why their topics in their latest issue are so broad-ranging – from growing fava beans to growing moss, from storefront gardeners to greening Tokyo, from passionate monoculturists to passionate biodivercitists (I’m not sure that’s a word but it should be) - gardeners are sure to find something to interest them.

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Wired Gardening

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Oh joy! oh bliss!…a favorite writer in a favorite magazine on a favorite topic!  Check out Dominique Browning writing in Wired on gardening (or, as she calls it “domestic terraforming”).  I wholeheartedly agree with the first sentence!

Whole article can be found here.

What a Little Moonlight Can Do

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

I admit that when I first heard about gardening by the lunar cycles I was, to say the least, extremely sceptical – it just seemed a bit too woowoo for my stolid northern soul.  But then – and I don’t know why – I decided to try it out…and became a convert!  How could I not when my peas went from planted to harvested in less than a month, a good week and a half before the seed packet said they were supposed to be ready?  And I noticed other things too, like the fact that shrubs respond better when pruned during a waning moon, or that weeds take longer to come back if beds are weeded during a waning moon.

But don’t take my word for it…try it for yourself. 

I’ve included a link to an online site that shows phases and signs but I rely exclusively on the book  Guided by the Moon: Living in Harmony with the Lunar Cycles by Johanna Paungger and Thomas Poppe.  It’s the reference I use when, for example, I need to calculate the correct time to start sowing my seeds, which is what I did the other day. 

After calculating the number of weeks to last frost – typically, May 7th, here in Edmonton – and determining the length of time needed from seed to tansplanting for each type of plant, I cross-reference the date of planting with the moon phase and sign to find the optimal sowing date.  For example, tomato seeds need to be sown indoors 7 weeks from the last frost date which puts that sowing at March 19th.  But since tomatoes are a fruiting plant that bears above ground, they’re best planted during a fruit sign and a waxing moon.  The closest that those appear to March 19th is March 17th and 18th – Aries in a waxing moon.

Too complicated?  Sometimes it can only make sense if you do it but if you’re still feeling overwhelmed, I’m linking a spreadsheet showing my planting schedule based on the lunar cycle.  Using my schedule and the website I linked to, you should be able to calculate something similar, keeping in mind the following guidelines:

  • Plants and vegetables that grow above ground should be sown when the moon is waxing.  The exception is lettuce, which should only be sown when the moon is waning.
  • Vegetables that grow below ground should be sown when the moon is waning.  With the potato though, you should plant as close as possible to the full moon.
  • Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius are fruit days.  All fruiting plants are marked in red on the spreadsheet.
  • Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces are leaf days.  All leaf plants are marked in green on the spreadsheet.
  • Virgo, Taurus, and Capricorn are root days.  All root plants are marked in orange on the spreadsheet.
  • Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius are flower and medicinal herb days.  All flower and herb plants are marked in purple on the spreadsheet. 

2010-Planting-Schedule