DIALOGUE AND DISCUSSION ON EDUCATION, ENVIRONMENT AND RACE
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Namaska Adisa. Where do you purchase seeds? I'm researching seed companies in an effort to learn which ones use GMO seeds and which ones are owned by Monsanto. I have run across a few sites that boast having non-GMO and heirloom seeds. Last weekend I purchased some heirloom seeds at a farmer's market seed swap.
Also, how do you handle pests? In past years, I've purchased ladybug larvae and captured/relocated the occasional praying mantis found lurking about. This year I will be growing a mini insectary as a companion to my crops. www.tiptopbio.com provides a wealth of information about beneficial predators and the pests they control.
Namaska Kimeli. I experimented with container gardening last spring. This season I will have a comparison between container gardening, soil gardening, hydroponics, straw bed gardening and aquaponics. I am marking my calendar today and will start germinating a few seeds this weekend. Keep us posted on your progress.
I'm starting a container garden this spring, and will dedicate a few for an experiment with moon gardening.
The idea of planting according to the phases of the moon is as old as gardening itself. One of the principle rules is to plant seeds two days before a full moon. But, is it just an old wives tale?
Believe it or not there are scientific ideas that lend credence to the idea. Since the earth’s gravitational field is influenced by the sun and the moon. Just as the moon pulls the tides in our oceans, it also pulls upon water beneath the soil’s surface, causing moisture to rise in the earth, which encourages plant growth.
In addition, seeds absorb a larger volume of water when the moon if full, causing them to plump up, open and begin the germination process faster than at any phase of the moon. Here’s a quick guide for what to plant when, based upon the moon’s phases.
Waxing / New MoonThe increasing moon light of the period of the waxing to new moon allows for more balanced root development and leaf growth. Sow seeds for above-ground crops that produce seeds outside of the fruit, including:Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Grains, Lettuce, Spinach.
As with any rule, there’s an exception. Cucumbers also benefit from being planted with the new moon.
The 2nd QuarterDuring the moon’s second quarter, the gravitational pull is reduced, however the moonlight is strong which encourages strong leaf growth. This moon phase is also great for planting because of the strong light which helps encourage strong leaf growth. Plants that thrive when planted in the moon’s second quarter tend to form their seeds inside the fruit, including:Beans, Eggplant, Melons, Peas, Peppers, Squash, Tomatoes.
Waning MoonFollowing the full moon, the moon wanes. While the gravitational pull is high so that more moisture is pulled up in the soil, the amount of moonlight is decreasing. This time period is terrific for root crops because the focus is on the part of the plant growing underground and not it’s leaves growing above ground. The waning moon is a great time to plant vegetables like:Beets, Carrots, Garlic, Onions, Potatoes, Peanuts, Radishes.
In addition, the waning moon is a good time to plant perennials, biennials and bulbs because of the favorable conditions for root growth.
Fourth Quarter of the MoonThe moon’s fourth quarter is generally considered a resting period because of the decreased moonlight and gravitational moon. For these reasons, it is a good time to cultivate, prune, divide perennials, transplant and harvest.
CaptionThe moon planting rule says to plant crops that produce above the ground during the increasing light of the moon (from new moon to full moon) and to plant crops that produce below the ground during the decreasing light of the moon (from full moon to new moon).
By Lisa Greene
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