Riveted by the Chelsea flower show? The planets might give you the edge to win best veg! I love this time of year as the vegetable garden is bursting to life. Food is sacred and planting and eating home grown food is the way of the future. Even if you have the tiniest space food can be grown in pots and containers.It might surprise you to know that back in the day astrology and the movement of the planets played a great part in how people planted for best crops. Many modern day gardeners still plant with the Moon and here is how.
Astrology has always played a part in agriculture. In ancient times all our ancestors had to guide them were the positions of the Sun, Moon and other objects in the sky. In a world where only the rich and powerful were literate and with no mass communications, the planets were the only thing people had to work out when to harvest or plant. Many discovered that by planting specific crops in certain phases of the Moon made their crops or plants grow more prolifically.
Today, we can use this knowledge accumulated over the centuries, to plan our own gardens and hopefully reap a bumper crop like the one growing in my own veggie patch!
First get yourself an almanac, ephemeris or moon phase calendar. There’s plenty available for free on line. You need to know the exact time and date of the Moon’s phases and when it moves from one sign to the next. Remember – the Moon changes signs every two and a half days. Then take note of the four main Moon phases.
New Moon to First Quarter: Waxing. Time for planting above-ground crops with seed that is large enough to see clearly. Think cabbages, cauliflowers, lettuce, Brussels sprouts, herbs like parsley and spinach.
First quarter to full: Waxing. Continue to sow above-ground plants with visible seed and anything that produces a fruit, pod or flower – for example peas, beans, cucumbers, tomatoes and all flowers.
Full moon to last quarter: Waning. Time to plant your ‘underground’ crops – bulbs, root crops, beets, carrots, garlic, onions, radishes as well as perennial non-edible plants. Also anything that has tiny seeds that are barely visible.
Last quarter to new moon: Resting. Now is not the time to plant anything! Use this time to weed, fertilise or deal with any pests. Get your garden in order for the next sowing phase.
There are also ‘fruitful’ and ‘barren’ signs of the zodiac.
Fruitful: Cancer and Scorpio: Plant, transplant, graft. Taurus: Excellent for root and leafy crops. Capricorn and Libra: Root crops, tubers and anything ‘climbing’ especially vines.
Barren: Leo: The most barren sign of all. Go back indoors and read a gardening mag unless you are harvesting! Virgo, Gemini and Aquarius: Great for weeding and eradicating pests but not much else. Aries and Sagittarius: Plant onions or garlic and confine yourself to weeding.
For the best results, time your planting to the correct Moon phase and when the Sun is in a ‘fruitful’ sign.
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