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Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Latest Tool in my Arsenal


Planting by the moon is an old practice that may have more scientific merit than my more cynical readers would care to give credit.  Some people swear by it, for the simple reason that it works for them.  Scientists theorize its success is due to the effect that the waxing and waning moon has on the earth, or more accurately, the effect the waxing and waning moon has on the water in the earth.  We all know that tides are affected by the moon, but it turns out that the water in soil is also affected by the phases of the moon.  Consequently, some days are better for planting above ground crops, and some days are better for planting below ground crops.  Some days are not good for planting at all; those can be better for general farm chores like weeding or brush killing.  There are even days that are better than others for setting posts in the ground!

I can't tell you what prompted me to try planting by the moon, but the happy side effect of the practice is that I'm getting a ton done by focusing on doing the chore that the day is good for, and not worrying about the stuff that's not getting done.  Between the information I picked up on winter gardening at the MEN Fair in Puyallup and the planting by the moon guides in the Farmers Almanac, I have most of my winter garden planted already.  The other happy by-product, and I can't stress how important this one is, is that the pressure to get everything done at once is off. What a load off my mind.  I would really like to get the rest of the winter root crops and pumpkins and dry bean seeds into the ground, but this weekend is not a good one for planting things.    Which is great!  I really need to get working on finishing up the chicken coop by building the nest box and feeders, and getting the new hen yard built.  This Saturday and Sunday being a crappy weekend for planting basically makes the decision for me to work on Hensdeep and the yard instead. I'll have two solid days to devote to it, and other than watering it, I won't give the garden another thought.  Really takes the pressure off.

Whether or not it really works, planting by the moon has become a really easy way for me to manage getting stuff done even though I'm busier this year than I was this time last year.  I like it so much that I'm going to start keeping the information in a new box to the right there called This Month's Chores by the Moon.  Notice I didn't say 'by the Moonlight'.  I don't need you out there sacrificing virgins or throwing clams to the sun.  It's just a tool; not a belief system.

Hope you like it.

3 comments:

Hazel said...

Interesting points. My main resistance to planting by the moon was my perception of it's restrictions as to when I could get things done.
I hadn't thought of your flip argument of it prioritising tasks for you. I'm a champion procrastinator and with too much to do I tend to faff and not achieve anything.

And frankly, the British weather has been diabolical this year and I could do with all the help I can get!
Germination rates are abysmal and anything that does bravely poke up out of the soil gets decimated by the biblical hordes of slugs rampaging through garden and allotment.
Maybe I could actually get some carrots!

Anonymous said...

My mom & grandmother always planted by the moon and raised my sister and I to do that. Does it work? Works as well as anything else I suspect, and like you said it takes the pressure off of doing everything at once.

jules said...

This is a great idea! I started to look into it earlier, but think I'll go head first into it now. We just took cuttings from our spring tomatoes to root for fall planting, so need to get the old ones pulled and the bed readied for something else.