With the full moon of February greeting us tomorrow, thought a shout out to moon gardening should prevail. Lets be clear….I am talking about gardening BY the moon, not ON the moon! Throughout history Native Americans and Farmers have planted by the moon. My dear old neighbor George introduced me to this practice over 20 years ago. As I am always searching for new ways to improve my garden practices, I spent time reviewing the subject with the Old Farmers Almanac as my guide.
The full moon we will see in tomorrow night’s sky has traditionally been called the Full Snow Moon due to February’s long history of producing the heaviest amounts of snow fall. Some Native Americans also called the February full moon the Hunger Moon, as hunting was more difficult and food sources scarce.
I have always used the full moon of May as my guide for beginning my planting season in our region. This I learned from my old friend George. My annual displays or tropical planters are not installed until after that last full moon. I find it is generally frost free from that point. But I never considered using the full season of moon cycles as a guide for planting all my flower beds and vegetables. Gardening by the Moon, as it is referred to, is a way to plan your planting of above and below ground crops. The general rule of thumb for this is:
- plant the flower (ex: annuals) or vegetable that bears crop above ground (ex: lettuce, peppers, broccoli) during the light of the moon; from new moon phase to full moon phase
- plant flowering bulbs (ex: iris, gladiolas, daylilies) and vegetables that produce below the ground (ex: carrots, beets, radishes) during the dark of the moon; day after the full moon to the day before the new moon.
A new practice twist for your consideration as you begin to plan out your 2017 gardens. Want to find out more about specific 2017 planting dates and moon favorably? check out this link: http://www.almanac.com/content/gardening-moon-calendar It is a helpful resource for our regional planting. Using the moon gardening guidelines, it has a quick reference chart comparing best dates to plant in our region and moon cycle compatibility. Once on this site you will be also able to check out the full year lunar cycle calendar for Saratoga Springs. Very interesting stuff to consider in our garden practices. As always offering common sense and sustainability in garden practices.