We're over the moon for this perpetual calendar to plan gardening by lunar phases, an age-old practice recommended by the Farmers’ Almanac.
Upon first hearing the phrase “moon gardening,” images of gardeners on goddess garb sowing seeds by the light of the moon may come to mind. Which would be really fun, come to think of it, but in fact, moon gardening is much more than that.
The ancient practice uses the phases of the moon to determine the best times for sowing, planting, weeding, and other garden tasks. The idea is that just like the gravitational pull affects the ocean tides, so does it affect the water in the ground and plants.The Farmers’ Almanac notes that gardening by the Moon has always been their philosophy, and that their readers “have long sworn by this method of managing their gardens and crops.”
During the moon’s 29.5-day cycle, it waxes from new to full with two quarter phases, and then wanes back from full to new again, also with two quarter phases.
So what to do when? For starters, here are some tips from the Farmer’s Almanac:
• During the New Moon is the best time to sow or transplant leafy annuals such as lettuce, spinach, cabbage, and celery.
• Aboveground crops should be planted when the Moon is waxing.
• The First Quarter phase is good for annual fruits, and foods with external seeds, such as tomatoes, pumpkins, broccoli and beans.
• When the Moon is just past Full, it’s a good time to sow or plant root crops and fruit trees like apples, potatoes, beets, turnips, asparagus, and rhubarb.
• Root crops do best when the Moon is waning.
• During the Last Quarter phase, it’s best to avoid planting at all. Work instead on improving soil, weeding, mulching, composting, etc.
But we are particularly smitten with the moon calendar above, created by the sustainability-minded Riverton Organic Group in New Zealand. They sell the calendars to raise funds – and you can one directly from them or you can purchase one at Country Trading Co.
For more information you can visit Gardening by the Moon and start plotting your plots accordingly. And if you want to sow some seeds by the light of the moon, just make sure it's in the right phase first.