Garden by the Moon
Written by: Dottie Baltz
You feel as if you are a pretty good gardener. Your fruit and vegetable crops produce well, your flower gardens look good most of the year and you try to garden organically. But sometimes you feel like something is missing, like your timing is off, just ever so slightly. Why not try something different, something that the old-timers do. Garden by the Moon.
Gardening by the Moon is an excellent companion if you are an organic gardener. You will be harnessing the gravitational pull of the Moon to improve germination rates, increase root and leaf growth and improve yields, all without chemicals. You won't be adding anything to the landscape that could potentially damage soil microorganisms or contaminate water sources.
As with the ocean tides, plants are manipulated by the Moon, in a very good way. All we need to do is plan ahead, just a little bit, and give it a try and see if it actually works for us.
The cycle of the Moon will change every year, from day to day, but here are some basics to remember.
- The Moon is WANING between the full Moon and the new Moon.
- The Moon is WAXING between the new Moon and the full Moon.
- WATER signs include: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
- EARTH signs include: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
- FIRE signs include: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
- You will use a combination of the signs along with the waning or waxing of the Moon to plant, harvest and fight pests.
- You will need to use a specific calender for each year to know exactly which days are in which zodiac sign. For beginners, you may want to check out the Farmer's Almanac for the first year or two until you get the hang of it. The Farmer's Almanac offers a free calender that will guide you thru May and June. You can find that link here.
- Soil is most fertile in a WATER or EARTH sign.
- Underground or root crops grow best when started when the Moon is WANING.
- Above ground crops grow best when started when the Moon is WAXING.
- Use the calendar from Farmer's Almanac to find out what days of the month are in WATER and EARTH signs.
- Pruning is best for the plant when the day is in a FIRE sign.
- To encourage growth in a plant, prune when the Moon is WAXING.
- To discourage new growth after planting, prune when the Moon is WANING.
Pest and Weed Control
- Go after pests and weeds when the Moon is in a FIRE sign. You will be more successful.
- EARTH signs are best for harvesting, but WATER signs are good also.
- Harvest above ground crops when the Moon is WAXING.
- Harvest root crops when the Moon is WANING.
- Logically, herbs dry best when picked on a day of a FIRE sign. Pick herbs early in the day, when they are no longer wet from dew. Bundle with string and hang in an airy, shady spot like a screened-in porch.
- Preserving foods thru canning and pickling are best done during a WATER sign when the Moon is WANING.