Taking on a gardening project may seem like a fun summer project, but very often when plants are not growing or are going bad quickly-the garden can become the summer nightmare. According to our expert Vicky Shaffer, if someone is having a lot of trouble growing, they probably didn't know to plant by 'the sign of the moon.'
A long time tradition of 'old school' gardeners, planting by the moon dates back to ancient times. According to The Gardeners Calendar, this idea was actually a very advanced method to tell time and determine planting and harvest seasons. So why would it not work now?
Vicky utilizes a physical Farmer's Almanac and calendar to plant-by-the-moon. Although, the Gardener's Calender (linked above) and The Farmer's Almanac both have online calendars that can be utilized too! These calendars are great ways to walk you through the process without the pressure of doing everything today and timing out your crop so they will produce veggies at a prime time of year. For example, one theory is you're supposed to plant your potatoes in the dark of the moon on Good Friday. Potatoes take a very long time to mature-so you need to get them into the ground first.
Another theory is about planting any root vegetables. Root vegetables thrive when they are planted in the dark of the moon (when the moon isn't out during the day) because it stimulates growth underground. Vegetables like radishes, turnips and carrots like to be planted. This year, the dark of the moon occurs on April 10th. Even though, sweet potatoes are a root vegetable, they do not need to be planted until after Memorial Day as they hate the frost.
Vicky explained to me that in addition to planting by the moon she also runs her garden through 3 seasons and organizes her crops accordingly (your almanacs/calendars will show you this too).
Spring Summer Fall
(cool weather) (hot weather) (long maturity)
radishes tomatoes brussel sprouts
turnips peppers *more to come later-not a complete list
peas green beans
To read more on Vicky's gardening tips read:
Tips for success: When is the right time to plant?
Zone 5 Gardening: How to get started for the year
or Just click on the 'Community Garden' Tab at the top!