Mostly quilting with a little bit of astrology, vegetarian cooking, small town life and cats thrown in.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Blogging by the Moon
What a week! I feel like I've been stitching up a storm. I think 2011 is going to be a year of finishes for me. That's just fine and dandy. I've been working on a present that I started in May 2009. Finished it last week and decided to make a couple of little mug rugs to send with it - had some leftover stars from the main piece and lots of leftover fabric. I'm just finishing the binding now.
And I have to say, the stitching went well, the freemotion went well - no picking stitches out and restitching this time. I only made one little mistake while putting the binding on. I'm learning! And then, of course, as I sew the binding down it looks like some of the worst slip stitching I've ever done. Ah, perfection <-- not me.
So, while I'm sewing, this is what I'm thinking of.
My parents were gardeners. My mom was born on the prairies to farmers, who left their Saskatchewan farm during the Depression and moved to rural Ontario. Mom had her flowerbeds and dad (city boy!) had his vegetable garden. They encouraged me while I was very young to grow things - anything. I've gardened all the years since, but in a very neglectful way. My herb gardens resemble more of a weed patch and some years they're so overgrown and I'm so busy at work that I have no harvest at all.
I would love to some day plant a vegetable garden, and each year I aspire to that goal. And each year I fail. But it never stops me from hoping. Maybe this year. The climate here is so hot and the growing season is long, and it would be ideal for growing the usual kitchen garden variety of vegetables, plus a few hot peppers and maybe a few hundred Basil plants. So, although I'm late with planting, I don't think I'm too late yet. Everything just takes off here when Summer hits its full stride. So, I've been collecting some information on the Internet about gardening by the Moon phases:
New Moon to Full Moon (waxing)
At the New Moon, the lunar gravity pulls water up, and causes the seeds to swell and burst. This as well as the increasing moonlight creates balanced root and leaf growth. Wait until you see the first crescent for planting above ground annual crops that produce their seeds outside the fruit. Examples are lettuce, spinach, celery, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and grain crops. Cucumbers like this phase also, even though they are an exception to that rule.
When the moon is in the first quarter and is moving towards a Full Moon you can also plant ground crops that have inside seeds such as tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers etc. It is also the time to plant
annuals and flowers that you want to produce showy and fragrant flowers such as roses.
The last two days of the first quarter, just before the Full Moon is considered an ideal time for grafting fruit trees. The best zodiac signs for sowing and planting your Moon garden are during the first quarter when the moon is in a water sign, such as Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces.
In the second quarter the gravitational pull is less, but the moonlight is strong, creating strong leaf growth. It is generally a good time for planting, especially two days before the Full Moon. The types of crops that prefer the second quarter are annuals that produce above ground, but their seeds form inside the fruit, such as beans, melons, peas, peppers, squash, and tomatoes. Mow lawns in the first or second quarter to increase growth.
Repot and groom houseplants
Sow seeds of plants that grow above ground
Graft fruit trees
Plant evergreen and deciduous trees
Full Moon to New Moon (waning)
All plants are at their peak when the Moon is full. After the Full Moon, as the Moon wanes, the energy is drawing down. The gravitation pull is high, creating more moisture in the soil, but the moonlight is
decreasing, putting energy into the roots.
While the Moon wanes during the 3rd and 4th quarters, it is a good time to prune plants, as the water table is diminishing and so less sap will flow out of the cut ends. For the same reason, the third quarter is a good time to harvest your crops, your herbs, especially medicinal herbs which will be more potent if picked at this time, mushrooms and grapes. This is the time to plant crops and flowers that produce growth below the ground such as root crops, tubers and bulbs and for flowers, your biennials and perennials, and the perennials can be divided now too. Therefore it is time to plant onions, potatoes, carrots, swedes, turnips, beets, parsnips and radishes. It is also the time to plant trees, fruit trees and saplings towards the end of the waning period and any spraying of fruit trees should be done during this period of the moon phase. You can also plant strawberries now and harvest any vegetables or fruit that have to be stored for a long period of time, because they won't rot as quickly.
In the fourth quarter experiences a decreased gravitational pull and moonlight, and it is considered a resting period. This is the best time to do some tidying up in your garden, pull the weeds, see to the compost heap, spread the manure and turn over the beds. Mow lawns in the third or fourth quarter to retard growth. Wait for the first crescent of the new moon to plant new seeds.
Plant crops that grow below the ground, such as potatoes, carrots
Plant biennials and perennials because they need strong roots
The Moon and the constellations
When gardening by the moon, planting seeds for annuals are best when planted when the Moon is in a fire sign. Fire signs are Aries, Leo and Sagittarius. Wheat, corn, squash, peas, beans, tomatoes and all fruit
are best planted here.
The best time to plant flowering plants is when the Moon is in an Air sign. Flowers planted when the moon is in Gemini, Libra or Aquarius will result in showy, fragrant blooms.
Root crops should be planted when the Moon is in an Earth sign: Taurus, Virgo or Capricorn for carrots, turnips, swedes, beetroots, potatoes etc.
Tennis ball love: Ginger is happy with or without her fresh, organic home-grown Catnip
Finally, when the Moon is in Cancer, Scorpio or Virgo this is the time to plant leafy vegetables. Cabbage, lettuce, spinach, silver beet, grasses and cress will do best when planted during this time.
Of course, sometimes you just can't co-ordinate your schedule with the Moon, in which case you just plant your seeds whenever you can. It'll all work out. It's all good.