Gardening by the moon

Since posting this, lots of people have been asking me about gardening by the moon. While it would be fabulous, it does not mean that you’re digging around on your knees in the dead of night. What I’ve been doing, and what I learned from my mother, is to consult ye olde Farmer’s Almanac. Turns out there are quite a few out there, so let me know if you have any knowledge or experience of which is better and why. I wanted to like The Old Farmer’s Almanac the best, because I tend to trust old things. Instead, I’ve been using the Farmer’s Almanac which has been published every year since 1818. It’s not as old as The Old one, which started in 1792, but I like its layout better. I bought both and have been comparing them. They disagree on auspicious dates for various things, which 1) make me wonder if this is all a bunch of malarkey and 2) makes me curious about the secret formula each one uses for its calculations. And it is most definitely a secret formula. This from The Old Farmer’s Almanac:

Based on his observations, Thomas used a complex series of natural cycles to devise a secret weather forecasting formula, which brought uncannily accurate results, traditionally said to be 80 percent accurate. (Even today, his formula is kept safely tucked away in a black tin box at the Almanac offices in Dublin, New Hampshire.)

According to my trusty Almanac, on Easter Sunday, I planted seedlings. As my friend C says, it was an auspicious day to plant seedlings.

The kale sprang right up, 3 days after I planted the seeds. Don’t they look jurassic?

Thursday the 19th was a “Favorable day for planting root crops, extra good for vine crops. Set strawberry plants. Good days for transplanting.” So I transplanted into our new driveway planter boxes.

I planted my seeds in eggshells, which was recommended by my friend R. It was a dream. And also, delightfully seasonal, if you’re into that whole Easter egg thing.

Once it was time to plant, I just broke the shells apart and plunked the seedlings in the ground. The next morning, when I went out to check on these babies, they looked like they were flexing their little seedling biceps into the sky.

Extra super lunar power seedlings? Perhaps.

10 thoughts on “Gardening by the moon

  1. Oooh, that kale looks amazing! I’m just barely flexing my green thumb by planting carrots, and I’m so pleased that they actually survived! I still have about another month and a half for them to grow but I’m looking forward to pulling them from the ground. I hadn’t heard of moon gardening but maybe I planted my carrots on a good day 🙂

    1. yes! i’m just flexing mine after a long hibernation too! its just so gratifying–and miraculous!!–to have seed become plant and plant become food. here’s to some juicy plump carrots.

  2. adorable, kawaii kale! i’m planting by the moon too. all my seedlings are sprouting super fast and doing well so far. i didn’t realize how fast soybeans GROW once they sprout. it’s a week old and 9 inches tall!

      1. various times. i mean…now that the beds are done, i can cover them with plastic in case of frost, but i’m not sure i’m confident enough about the weather to try that. ultimately, i’ll be transplanting several things like tomatoes and eggplants. hoping to get peas, chinese cabbage and onions in soon.

  3. I’m guessing that Farmer’s Almanac advice is most helpful for temperate areas of the Northern Hemisphere. I mean, does it actually have a Wyoming (or high mountain) section? If I tried to plant anything right now, it would probably have a good chance of freezing. Just curious.

    1. The Old Farmer’s Almanac has different editions for different regions. I bought the Western Ed. which includes most of the west coast–huge variability, but it also breaks its gardening calendar further by zone, so I think it’d even work for Wyoming!

  4. I was just going to wing it and not plant anything until June 1st. 🙂 Perhaps I’ll investigate the Almanac. In Durango, we always went by the rule of not planting anything until there was no more snow on Smelter Mountain. It usually worked. Perhaps there is a similar Laramie rule? Your seedlings look brave.

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