As a child, I remember hearing of Gardening by the Moon, and imagining our neighbour – Mr Yates, because he was the only gardener I knew – beavering away in his strawberry patch, to the light of a shining full moon. And so, as I matured and began to fancy the idea of feeding my family with the fruits of my toil, of one thing I was confident, twilight gardening, was not for me!
I will not romanticise this. I have practically donated hundreds of dollars to garden centres in exchange for plants and seeds that I have taken home and horribly tortured. Some have been kind enough to bear produce, perhaps in the suggestion of a harmonious give and take scenario, I don’t know. What I do know is that, I am not a natural gardener, no matter what my ego tries to trick me into saying.
It’s not that I have taken delight in the cruelty and neglect forced upon this unsuspecting flora, but more that I’m kind of a ‘put it in the ground and hope for the best’ kind of gal. If I have learnt anything from the years of floundering about in my gardening gloves, it is that the ‘treat ’em mean, keep ’em keen’ ethos, does not apply to the vegie patch.
Anyone who’s ever spent anytime around a fisherman may be able to recall, through the white-noise of the one that got away, something about the tides being effected by the moon. It’s all true! The moon’s gravitational pull manipulates all water found on Earth. This includes the world’s oceans, rivers and lakes, the water found in every cell of our bodies, AND the water found in the soil in which we grow our food.
New moon or no moon – water is being pulled up, so plant anything that produces above the ground with seed outside of fruit – eg. Lettuce, Brassicas, Grains
2nd quarter – not much pull, but more light, so plant above ground crops that produce seeds inside fruit – eg. Peas, Beans, Melons, Tomatoes. Apparently mowing lawns right now will increase growth, I’m puzzled why I would encourage my lawns to grow.
Full moon – pull is strong but light is getting less and less, so plant root crops – eg. Beetroot, Carrots, Potatoes, Bulbs.
4th quarter – very little gravitational influence and very little light, so this is a gardening rest period. Mowing lawns now will retard grass growth – I will be particularly conscientous in this area.
lunar rules of gardening. Who knows if it has made a difference or if the twist on planting has piqued my interest long enough to keep the weeds at bay. All I can say is, with my new-found hobby of planting by the moon – in the daylight, I should be able to put some food on the table this year. And the whole of the Plant Kingdom can heave a collective sigh of relief in acknowledgement of our treaty.