We are into the season for planting the seeds that we will nurture to grow, and in turn will nurture us. Since I was a child unknown to me, through my Mediterranean background and upbringing in the Caribbean, I was being stealthy groomed and taught to live with and off the cycles of nature. I was becoming a champion of sustainable organic urban gardens.
How can you get the full potential out of your fruit and vegetable garden? How can you reap the goodness that you sow?
Plant by the phases of the moon to enhance your crop. Here is how I have been taught….
The Moon has 4 phases or quarters, spanning from the New Moon to the Full Moon, each phase spanning 7 days. The first and second quarters of the moon are known as the Waxing Moon, when we have an increase of light from the moon. The third and fourth quarters are when the moon is “Waning”, so there is a decreasing of the moons light.
The Sun and Moon have a direct effect on the Earth’s gravitational field. During a Full Moon and New Moon, the Moon is in alignment with Earth, causing the Earth’s tides to be at their highest. As the Moon pulls the tides, it also has the same effect on all moisture, causing it to rise from the earth. It is during this time that your soil will be full of moisture; seed will absorb the most water during high phases of the moon.
What to plant and when?
–New Moon (dark moon) – 1. You begin towards more moon light, 2. During this period the moon has a strong gravitational pull. Water is pulled up from the earth, It is in this time that seeds swell and begin to germinate, coupled with more light roots and leafs have increased growth. Plant above ground plants that have seeds that grow outside the fruit or vegetable. Ideal planting is leafy greens, such as spinach, lettuce, celery. Cucumbers are ideal to plant now even though their seeds grow inside the fruit. They are mostly water and do well in this phase.
First quarter (half moon) -1. Moonlight is still bright, 2. Gravitational pull is a bit less. Leaves will have good growth, this is an ideal time to mow your grass to encourage more growth, plant crops that have their seeds growing on the inside, such as beans, peas, tomatoes.
-Full Moon- (full illumination) Once we hit the full moon we enter the “waning” moon. There again is high gravitational pull, so moisture is still high in soil, however we now begin towards decreased moonlight. Energy instead of going the leaves goes right to the roots. Full moon is ideal to plant root crops, beets, carrots, onions, also any bulbs for flowers are perfect for this time.
Last Quarter (half moon) – Gravitational pull is a lot less during this time and again less moonlight. During this time it is ideal to prune, or mow the lawn if you want to slow down grass growth.
By following these simple guidelines and gardening within the natural rhythm of nature, your garden will be sure to grow to its full potential. Plant with love, plant a variety of things, growing , sharing, eating your own fruits of your own labor is the most rewarding thing you can do for yourself and to pass on to others. Inspire family, friends and neighbors with your creative gardening and discover your green thumb!by Denise Pala, Living and Eating expert. Lifestyle and wellness