February 18, 2010: Loony Over Lunar

It looks as though a few of us garden bloggers have decided to try planting according to moon phases this year. Back on February 3, I wrote of my desire to try this method of planting, and showed the perfect, plastic covered monthly planner I'd purchased at Dollar Tree. Of course, I used a Sharpie pen to mark my planting dates, then messed it up and wished I had purchased more than one planner. Well, I stewed and stewed over it (yes, I am a bit OCD about my garden planning), so of course I couldn't just let it go. I drove that 100 mile round trip back to Dollar Tree on a chance they would still have at least one planner left of the three that were there earlier. As luck would have it, they had an entire new case of them on the shelf! And this time they were only 50-cents apiece, so I purchased three.....one for the house, one for the garden shed and one as a backup, just in case I mess up again. This time I was smarter and used pencil. The cover I made isn't pretty with graphics, like the first one I made, but it is an updated planting guide, complete with named varieties of the veggie seeds, which will be a handy at-hand reference when I get ready to plant.

I filled in the calendars in the planner according to the Farmer's Almanac Gardening Calendar. I went a bit farther by marking a L (leafy) or an R (root) in the corner of each calendar day, which gave me a bit more leeway on which days to plant, and barren days were X-ed out. I then consulted my planting schedule, which had been carefully planned earlier this winter, and changed those dates to correspond with the lunar guide. There were dates that had to be changed by as much as a week or two to correspond with the Leaf or Root days.



After I finished the paper calendar, I entered all the information into my Works Calendar, so I'll have a reminder for each planting session. It remains to be seen if I can stick to such a strict planting schedule, or if I just throw the moon to the wind and revert back to my old way of planting, which is whenever I'm in the mood to do it.

A sample of my Farmer's Almanac Planting Guide (incomplete, I actually have it done through the first week of June). Most things will be planted a bit late, as I won't be back home in Washington until March 2nd. That means the earliest lunar planting date for starting my leafy veggies will be the 15th and 16th.

March 2010

1st-2nd. A Most Barren Period, Best For Killing Plant Pests Or Doing Chores Around The Farm.

3rd-4th. Favorable Days For Planting Root Crops. Fine For Sowing Hay, Fodder Crops, And Grains. Plant Flowers.

5th-6th. Excellent Time For Planting Root Crops That Can Be Planted Now, And For Starting Seedbeds.

7th-9th. Poor Planting Days.

10th-12th. Any Root Crops That Can Be Planted Now Will Do Well.

13th-14th. A Barren Period, Best Suited For Killing Pests. Do Plowing And Cultivating

15th-16th. Good Days For Planting Above Ground Crops. Fine For Vine Crops. Set Strawberry Plants.
Broccoli (start seedlings) Cabbage (start seedlings) Eggplant (start seedlings) Parsley (start seedlings) Peppers (start seedlings) Lettuce (start seedlings) Set Strawberry Plants

17th-18th. Cultivate And Spray, Do General Farm Work, But No Planting.

19th-20th. Favorable For Planting Crops Bearing Yield Above The Ground.
Basil (start seedlings) Dill (start seedlings)

21st-23rd. Seeds Planted Now Tend To Rot In Ground.


24th-25th. Best Planting Days For Above Ground Crops, Especially Peas, Beans, Cucumbers, And Squash Where Climate Permits. Plant Seedbeds And Flower Gardens.
Lettuce (1st. planting) Peas (1st. planting) Spinach (1st. planting) Tomatoes (start seedlings) Marigolds (start seedlings)

26th-29th. A Most Barren Period, Best For Killing Plant Pests Or Doing Chores Around The Farm.


30th-31st. Favorable Days For Planting Root, Fine For Sowing Hay, Fodder Crops, And Grains. Plant Flowers.


So what do you think? Is planting lunar a bit loony or not?

30 comments:

  1. Wow! That IS a rigid schedule. I tried looking through my Almanac, and my vision went blurry from it all. Crossing my fingers that it goes well for you! If you have success, maybe I will take another stab at deciphering the Almanac for next season.

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  2. Hello,

    I have not tried it that way, but there must be something to it, don't you think? I mean, the farmers of old, did, so maybe it works? I look forward to seeing your results :^)

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  3. Loony? No not at all. I did this last year because I had no idea what I was doing and it gave me a good schedule to work with. This year? Well I don't want to mess with the planting Gods so I will be using the same schedule the best I can. :-)

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  4. Granny, thank you so much for doing my homework for me! I have been mulling over doing moon phase planting as well this year, but as of yet haven't had the time to research my first plantings. Although, on second thought, I will have to research for my proper days since my stuff is probably planted later than yours, darn!

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  5. Momma_S, it is a bit time consuming, and I'm not 100% sure I got everything entered. I'll have to go over it a few more times to make sure.

    ********
    Noelle, my grandmother swore by it and she was the best gardener I ever met. It's worth a try!

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    Liisa, your garden certainly turned out well enough last year. Maybe moon planting will be the secret to good radishes...I never could grow the darned things.

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    Erin, you have mail ;-)

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  6. You were lucky to find more of the planners and what a score at 50 cents. I finished up my variety list last night and posted today. Hopefully I will get my planting schedule done tonight or tomorrow. Spring is coming up fast!

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  7. Dan, I counted 81 varieties on your list, and I'm just one short of that. However, I have several packets waiting for me in my Washington PO box, so I may surpass you on varieties yet! I have managed to find a spot to plant most of, of what I have so far, but I don't know where I'd put anything else.

    That google documents is way cool. I couldn't figure out how to get my spreadsheet posted, now I know. I'll be giving it a try soon.

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  8. I'm still skeptical on whether the whole thing works, but the schedule is awesome. I honestly need to have more of a schedule than, "I'm bored...what can I plant?"

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  9. Well, I just don't know about this lunar stuff....although, I will agree that you are looney. Ha!

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  10. The difference is you have like 1200sfq if I recall correctly and I have 163sqf. It's going to be a tight fit :-) I should really add my trellis space as well, I wouldn't be able to grow half as much stuff without them.

    I was happy to find out about the google doc. It works much better then the manual html one I did last year. I found the following link that gives you the code to embed the spreadsheet into your blog: http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2009/09/embeddable-google-document-viewer.html

    If you need any help let me know.

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  11. Ribbit, the planning is keeping me from going freaking nuts with boredom down here this year. If it works, that's just frosting on the cake.

    Hey, if it works, does that mean I'm going to have more than the 1075 pounds I harvested last year? Oh, dear.

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  12. EG, it rubs off from my fellow bloggers ;-)

    ********

    Dan, I have about 520 sf to garden in this year, and that's up from around 450 last year. I'm adding the area behind the garden shed this year, for extra tomatoes and summer squash, and I'll utilize more of the beds around the patio, plus lots of buckets and pots.

    I'll holler at you if I need help figuring out how to post a google doc. Thanks!

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  13. Well I think we all know that Granny is a bit loony about gardening. As to the moon, well I'm guessing it does have a small influence over germination and growth. The thing I can't believe about it is that all veggies of the same type should be planted on the same day. I would think it would more affect a plant once it germinated (or right at germination).

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  14. Daphne, this loony lady doesn't know diddly-squat about gardening by the moon. I wonder if FA does, as I accessed a seed starting guide that gave me some planting dates that fell on the "barren" dates on their other calendar. But I'm still going to give it whirl, just for the challenge.

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  15. Sounds like a lot of work to me! I'm sure glad you're the gardner in the family!

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  16. If your adjustments are only a week or less form what you would have done any ways... what can it hurt? I have my general schedule I follow with starting the seedlings indoors - and a rough timeframe expectation for outdoor direct sowing - but honestly, soil temp and weather conditions dictate the actual direct seeding and the transplanting out dates much more than any schedule does. I stick pretty religiously to a schedule for the indoor seed starting - but from there the final planting is more a funciton of the conditions than a date on the calendar (or the moon!).

    I am interested to hear more about how this works for you because I just love to learn about new things, however I am probably not going to change my stripes at this point and modify my routine and schedules to try and incorporate a lunar element too.

    Those planting planners you picked up for $0.50 are really nice!

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  17. I'm a bit skeptical at the moment I must admit. I'll have to see how things work out for you following this schedule Gran. I have tons of stuff to sow this weekend. Maybe I should get them in before the 21-23 just to be on the safe side.

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  18. Amy, what if all the seedlings live like they did last year? Bryan will really have to put in a garden, not just talk about it like he did in '09!

    ********
    Kitsap, it's not a new way of gardening, it's reverting back to a centuries old way of gardening. It's just a way of challenging myself. Last year I had the 1000 pound challenge, and I met it head on. This year I needed a different challenge...this is it. Next year, who knows? Maybe growing orange trees in Washington! Ah, I think not ;-)

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  19. LOL, Thomas...don't let it worry you. I'm taking this with a grain of salt, and if my seedlings get ready to transplant before the moon date, those babies are going in the garden anyway! I'm also going to do some non-moon comparison planting.

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  20. My Mom used lunar planting. Not strictly, but she tried to watch what days were good/not good for planting certain vegetables. I personally believe in the idea behind a lunar planting. Good luck to you!

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  21. Thanks, Tatyana. I'll give it a try!

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  22. I used to go to school with a boy called Edwin Strange. The irony was that he was really strange indeed. He used to spend his break times in a cupboard - not always the same one, but he felt a need to hide in small dark places.

    When we left school he worked in a butcher's shop. He got the sack after he was found making love to an ox liver. He spent the next 20 years in various institutions, and at one time believed he had perfected a way to power the whole of Europe using teaspoons.

    He also set out to prove that dogs were robots used by the Catholic Church to spy on sinners. He believed that the earth was a meat and potato pie, being carried on the back of a giant caterpillar, and that the sun and moon were salt and pepper pots.

    I mention Edwin for one reason. Last time I saw him, he was sat alone, laughing hysterically. I asked him what was so funny, and he told me he'd read that some people believed in planting stuff accordng to phases of the moon.

    That's all I have to say!

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  23. TIG, as I read that last paragraph, I spat my morning coffee all over my computer monitor. That was hysterical! I would love to use your story as a follow up to this post. May I have your permission to do so?

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  24. make that 2 coffee spits, LOL! I do think that funny blog entries should be rated by how many people spew their morning coffee laughing hysterically!

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  25. Erin, I do hope TIG allows me to publish this on the main page, where it can be enjoyed by all.

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  26. Of course you can, Granny, feel free to do with it as you wish!

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  27. TIG, thank you...it's just too good not to share :-)

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  28. That post is hysterical...I'm working and laughed out loud, customers wondering why I'm laughing at the computer.... I'm impressed with your schedule and you're inspiring me to put a bit more planning into my planting. I do think there is a lot to the old methods, it will be interesting to see how it works out for you and I might give it a try as well. Thanks for the fascinating post and all your work on the schedule.

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  29. I am so impressed with you planting plan and calendar! I may have to copy you as I am still feeling a little lethargic in the garden category this spring. Love the blog!

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  30. Heather, thank you! I love your blog, too. Did you ever read all of those books? My favorite gardening book is still the old "Crockett's Victory Garden". I don't use all the chemicals that they used back then, but other than that, I've never read a better gardening book.

    I'm an old Idaho gal, born and raised in Lewiston.

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