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Sunday, 30 December 2007

The Lunatic Gardener!

Having just completed my latest article for Brit'mag on lunar planting (gardening according to the phases of the moon) which for anyone interested is in their January/February '08 magazine. To discover more on this subject why not order a copy!

It's a highly interesting and extremely involved subject but one that makes total sense and a method that clearly works - the moon goes through two principal monthly cycles one in relation to the sun and the other to the stars. The moon's gravitational pull controls many things on earth including the tides, rainfall and even the movement of liquids in plants.Lunar planting is timing your garden tasks according to where the moon is in relation to the sun and stars at particular times during the montly cycle - for instance, around the time of the full moon in particular, the moisture content in the soil is at its highest - so the best time to sow seeds for better germination, this is also when we see the highest tides. Another suggestion is to prune your plants as the moon moves through its waning phase (from full moon to new moon) as this is when there is least sap rising. The list is endless - do add any comments or tips you may have on this if you read this article...

An additional good source of reference is Nick Kollerstrom's book "Gardening and Planting by the Moon 2008 - this also includes a lunar calender for 2008 which gives all sorts of helpful hints and tips of what to do on each day of the year!

11 comments:

Chris said...

Happy new year to you, Miranda :-) I spent an hour in the garden this afternoon, cutting back all the dead plants from last year. It is amazing how many are already shooting from the bottom! I hope to follow the lunar calendar this year, tried last but failed miserably :-) Let's wish for a great gardening year :-)

Miranda Bell said...

Thanks Chris and a very Happy New Year to you too! Over this festive period, it's been great for getting out in the garden - I seem to have achieved quite a bit these last few days - working off a few of the calories!! There was a lot I didn't get to do last year and so am trying to get ahead with stuff this year. The garden we took on when we bought this place had been left for 9 years but amongst the thousands of brambles, ivy and bind weed I've discovered a treasure trove of plants so have been reluctant to rotavate it all up and start again - so have definately taken the more difficult route, but one that I hope which will produce a good result eventually. I'm also hoping that it will be a better year for vegetables... it wasn't great here this last year... A bientot! Miranda

kate said...

I think I will search this book out ... it makes good sense. Thanks for writing about this - lunatic gardeners sounds about right for me too!

kate said...

That was so cool - to find that we share a birthday. So true - lunatic gardeners unite!

Connie said...

Lunar gardening makes a lot of sense...old time gardeners (like my grandpa) can attest to that!
The book sounds good and having a calendar would be very handy.

Miranda Bell said...

I must admit I found the book very helpful and if you're going to follow this - certainly handy having a lunar calendar too! I imagine you'll have access to Amazon - it's available on there!

Meems said...

Hi Miranda: I don't plant veggies - it is something I've always wanted to do just haven't gotten around to adding that to my life yet. :-)

I'm wondering....Isn't this idea of planting by the moon what all the old timers (farmers that is) used (and maybe they still do)when determing times to sow and harvest crops? Or am I confusing with something else what I used to overhear as a child when all the old folks would get together and talk of their almanacs?

It does make perfect sense given the way the universe works together so beautifully.

I enjoyed reading your post and I'm sure I might fall into the 'lunatic' title just because there are many evenings when I work in my garden way past sunset. LOL

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Meems... you're absolutely right about Lunar planting being the routine that people way back have followed - it seems to be coming back alongside all the organic gardening practices too. Luckily though it doesn't mean that you have to plant at night! Although I'm certainly someone who's hard to get in from the garden when the weather is nice in the evenings... my favorite time of day... hard to imagine right now with it being so horrible outside but then again we need rain too as the levels of the rivers round here are definately low for this time of year.

The only advice I could give you if you do decide to grow some veg this year is to dig a small patch, grow a few things that you like - tomatoes, lettuce, potatoes and courgettes are all relatively easy as are herbs too! I love trying new varieties - some work, some don't but you live and learn!

Happy Gardening ;-)

Meems said...

Miranda: Thanks for the good advice. I am all for the 'small patch' idea. I was actually checking into having someone build some boxes for me to do a couple of small raised beds for starters. My hubby is a little leary of my indulging in more gardening just because of the time I already spend on it ---but I figure if I'm already doing it why not do it to the full? I don't think I'll be satisfied until I give a stab at it. LOL

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!meems

kate said...

Night planting is something I'm familiar with ... my favourite time in the garden is the evening. When there is much to do, well I stay at it until I can't keep my eyes open. I'm a night owl though ... gardening by streetlight or by the full moon makes more sense to me than being up at 6 am!

Have you been able to get much

Miranda Bell said...

Funnily enough Kate - Lunar planting or planting by the moon isn't night time gardening at all! It's amazing how many people get put off because of this!! It's more planting certain things on certain days in accordance with the position of the moon and it's gravitational effects on the earth and all that is in it. But having said that I do agree with both you and Meems that gardening in the evening time during the warmer months particularly is so lovely - my husband has a job to get me in and we always end up eating late!!

Hi again Meems - your idea of a couple of raised beds sounds great - you could always start off with the basics and once your husband begins to enjoy all the fresh produce maybe he might just change his mind!! Tomatoes are one of my favorites - the smell in particular is nothing like the ones you buy in the shops. The other thing which is really easy are runner beans - I grew the "Enorma" variety last year - brought them on in the cardboard inners to toilet rolls - see my posting on this - it worked really well and the beans were delcious!

Quite enough gardening talk for one day... see you soon!