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Gardening with the Moons

Moon Garden Calendar

“Most people don’t see the sun, soil, bugs, seeds, plants, moon, water, clouds, and wind the way gardeners do” – Jamie Jobb

Yesterday, the 27th of December, marked the 3rd day of the new moon.

This means it was the first of 11 days of super growth in the garden for anything above ground.
Some of you may raise your eyebrows – or even roll your eyes at me – but seriously, this gardening with the moons caper seems to work.

I haven’t put it to the test with any randomised, controlled trials or anything like that but there is a lot of anecdotal evidence going back to the ancient Greeks and Romans – when people were more tuned in to the environment and their survival depended on their ability to grow their own food.
They couldn’t just head down to the supermarket and pick up some veggies trucked down from the lush food bowls of Queensland. If their home gardens and crops failed, then so did they.
With skills born out of need, they observed that the moon phases affected seed germination and the growth and yield of their plants.

The theory of planting with the moons goes along the lines of this:

Just as the moon influences the rise and fall of the tides, so it is that plants, having a high water content, are also influenced by the moon phases.” - J & R Scott,

At different moon phases the gravitational pull of the sun and moon are combined to create a high sap run in plants. At other times these natural forces create a rest period when water needs are reduced…Seed germination times can be cut by more than a third, crops grow faster and healthier, so are less prone to disease and insect
attack, producing higher yields. Even grafting and cuttings are far more successful when done at the right time, when there is more sap in the plants as this offers the new plant more nutrients to draw from.”
- Sheree Scott, Moon Gardening Traditions

I have absolutely no doubt that the best tasting, most nutritious food is that which you grow yourself, so to make the most of my 11 day leafy crop window, I got down and dirty in the garden.

This is what I got up to yesterday:

  • Gave my tomato plants a water with some of the milk that was leftover from Christmas. My mum, who is the head gardener at the Rangiora Community Gardens, posted up on their Facebook page a great tip for when you are potting up tomato plants:

    milky water for black cherry tomato plant

    When planting tomatoes put some milk powder under them as they benefit from lactose. When you’re washing out your used milk containers leave a bit of extra milk in and fill with water to water your tomatoes…. they’ll love you for it!” - Kathy Reid, Rangiora Community Garden FB page

    Andrew’s mum told me this week that she saw the Facebook conversation and gave it a go because her tomato plants were looking a bit sad.
    They have absolutely taken off and now have heaps of new flowers on them.

    My tomato plants have amazed me. I repotted them in with the last new moon, in November, after almost month of semi-neglect while I was waiting for the right time. I had made sure they had enough water but otherwise subscribed to the “treat-em mean, keep-em keen” approach to tomato success.
    Since then I swear they have tripled in size, I am kicking myself for not thinking to take before and after pics, but I had no idea they would grow so well!

milky water for mini yellow capsicum plant

  • For good measure, I gave my mini chocolate & yellow capsicums, jalapeño and rocoto chilli plants a milky water as well.

    My capsicums in the glasshouse at home are near flowering they also get a splash of milky water…. not sure if they they like it or not but they are in the same family as tomatoes!…Capsicums and chillies are heavy feeders, I read recently that you can give them a liquid feed up to 3 times a week! I have been giving mine worm tea, will add comfrey tea once the fruits start to form, the potassium in it helps with the development of fruit.” – Kathy Reid, Rangiora Community Garden FB page

  • I sowed some more seeds in my Veggie Trugs and window sill tubs to serve as micro-greens. These included mizuna red and lime streaked greens, heirloom spinach, mesclun provencal lettuce blend, and watercress.
  • I sowed some herb seeds into peat pots to be transplanted into the garden when they are big enough. Some basil to go under the tomato plants and also oregano and thyme.

seeds for basil, oregano, spring onion, thyme

  • Every morning I do the slug and bug check of my garden plants and I am so over seeing gnawed up leaves & plant stems and tell-tale snail trails left in the wake of an overnight party in my garden.
    I even had a container full of coffee ground pucks sitting next to some pots on which I had sprinkled coffee grounds and one morning I found snail trails all over the coffee pucks, go figure!
    I must have some very hardy, caffeine buzzed snails, so I put copper tape around the legs of my veggie trugs and also the pots that they seem to like the most.They can’t cross the copper because it sends an electrical current through them when they try…[maniacal laughter]…

Slugga Copper Tape - keeps snails and slugs from munching on plants

I still need to repot my rocoto chilli seedlings, rosemary & mint bush and plant my goji berry twig but hey, tomorrow is another day.

seeds sown into window sill tubs

There are no gardening mistakes,
only experiments” - Janet Kilburn Phillips

Have you ever noticed that at some times your plants grow faster and better than others?
What do you think about gardening with the moons? Has it worked for you?
Do you think you would ever line up your activities in the garden with the moon phases?

Feel free to leave your comments below, I am keen to hear your thoughts.

Until next time…eat, sleep, move…& get out in the garden, you still have 9 days to maximise leafy crops!

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