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Celestial Gardener

Submitted by on February 10, 2011 – 3:28 pm 3 Comments

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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.

I planted this row of spring onion and carrots at the end of January - just after the full moon. Look at those little suckers go!

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. Ah right, wanted to read more reviews here, to make sure my mower is the best one.

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.

Is there any scientific merit in this gardening method? Well, this idea has been around since Aristotle first suggested it, and being the well-liked guy that he was, gardening by the moon just kind of stuck. Many people argue that it is the only way to garden, and there is an American University that has proven seeds do take up more water over the full moon phase. However many, many people will argue that it walks on the wrong side of the scientific track – if you follow my meaning. It’s association with Astrology, doesn’t do it any favours in the stauncher scientific circles.  As far as I’m concerned, the only real scientific proof I need, is in the lunar pudding. So, I’ve done a little planting myself.
This corn was also planted during a full moon. It went to seed very early and has produced tiny little cobs – it has irked me! I don’t want to suggest that the lack of vigour proves anything, it has also been an odd growing season. I’ll experiment with corn again next year, I’ll plant a few crops.
And so, ignoring the potential influences of soil type, drainage, pH level and nutrient availability, I have implemented the

I planted the tom's during a full moon also, but they're doing ok.

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.

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  • Mrs Dale says:

    Love, love, love your writing style Mrs Whaley! It’s like we’re sitting down with a cuppa and chatting while eating brownie … mmmm brownie! xxx

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  • karawhaley says:

    I like the way you’re thinking Mrs Dale! Cuppa and Brownie with the Dales!!! These are a few of my favourite things! X

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  • Ms Sam P says:

    Mrs Whaley, not only have I found a ‘kindred spirit’ in book club, but your planting by the moon as well! We must talk moon calenders and swap tales of seedlings and such. Another fab article, where do you get your energy (are you able to bottle that and sell it off?). Kiss Kiss

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