Welcome to Suzanne Summer's gardening by the moon. Garden by the Moon helps you plan when to sow, plant, water and harvest on a monthly and seasonal basis. Buy online now or buy direct from Suzanne at firstname.lastname@example.org
Leo Half way through the year already and moving towards the solstice (Summer in the North and Winter in the Southern Hemisphere as the days lengthen). Let the genial aspects of the Leo moon inspire you to celebrate the mid season with a beautifully cooked meal for a few close friends using produce from your garden. Perhaps a barbeque on the North with fresh salad vegetables from the garden, and in the South a warming meal with roast vegetables such as potatoes, pumpkin, parsnip onions, and yams.
Libra The 9th of the month sees the moon under the spell of Libra. Not a lot of sowing and planting will be going on at the moment so plan next year's flower garden. Study the photographs you took in Summer and use them as a basis to decide what colours are wanted in the year ahead. Colour is the first thing the eye is attracted to when looking at a flower garden but fragrance and form are also very important as well. The Libra moon will help you make the perfect selections.
Sagittarius Take a break from garden chores when the moon arrives in Sagittarius on the 14th. Organise a few friends to go on a garden trip. At this time of the year hot houses in botanical gardens are a nice place to visit, or, if you prefer what about attending a course on some aspect of gardening you feel you need to know more about. One of the great joys of gardening is that there is always something new and exciting to learn and because of this we will never be bored by it.
Pisces On the 20th of the month Pisces takes over the moon. This is the time to attend to your compost heap. There is plenty of dead and dying organic material just waiting to be recycled into valuable nutrients which will be snapped up by hungry plants in the Spring and Summer. If you have a shredder then use it to chop up tougher stems as well as hedge trimmings. You should have three bins at varying stages of decomposition to keep a continuous supply for your plants.
Gemini Gemini is one of the rather dry and infertile signs but this month the new moon comes into being in this sign on the 1st of the month. You could sow seeds and let the forces of the new moon work its magic making them ready to take off when the moon moves into the more fertile sign Cancer. Many inexperienced gardeners make the mistake of sowing seeds too deeply so that they use up all their reserves struggling to raise their heads above ground. A general rule is to sow them to the depth of their size
Gemini After the moon has left Gemini it moves into the very fertile sign, Cancer on the 3rd. This will be a great time to prick out, plant out and pot on plants and seedlings which need more room for their next phase of growth. Tender vegetables including tomatoes can be planted outside if you have not already done so. Make sure you keep the water up to them as it is very easy for them to dry out if the weather is very hot. It can be beneficial to use some sort of sub irrigation system.
Virgo When the moon moves into Virgo on the 7th this month. Time to check for pests and diseases. Seek and destroy any you may find. Sadly, at this time of the year, we have to include birds amongst pests. Netting is really the only way to go to protect your plants trees and shrubs fully. Strawberries are best protected by a board around the bed with a wire mesh of about 2cm which will keep the birds out but let pollinating insects in. Fruit trees can be covered with plastic mesh which is lighter and easier to handle.
Gardeners have been aware for centuries of the cyclic effects the moon has on the growth of plants. A few people (Culpeper for instance) were aware of the influence of the zodiac signs. Today this knowledge is undergoing a type of renaissance as people delve through old records and find that many ideas and techniques which had fallen into disuse have a place in today's way of life. Basically the trick is to sow and plant when the moon is both waxing and in a fertile sign and cultivate, weed and eradicate pests and diseases when the moon is waning and in a barren sign. This means that there is an optimal time in each lunar month to perform each type of gardening activity, sowing, planting, harvesting, seed collection etc. By following the phases of the moon and its progression through the zodiac signs it is possible work in harmony with nature to achieve maximum enjoyment from the garden.
The basic activities in the various phases of the moon are :-
New moon brings in an upsurge of energy so we sow, plant, and transplant annuals which produce above ground crops. We avoid harvesting as rot sets in more quickly and we mow and trim if growth is to be encouraged.
1st quarter - the sap is still rising so carry on with more or less the same activities as in the new moon.
Full moon sees a peak in electromagnetic energies - the sap begins to flow downwards towards the roots so it is a favourable time to plant anything for which good root growth is important. We also harvest at this time as there is less chance of rot setting in.
4th quarter - is the barren time of the lunar cycle so it is an optimum time to weed and cultivate as well as harvesting. It is not a good time to sow and plant although transplanting can begin about 3 days before the new moon arrives.
In addition to all this the moon is always in one of the 12 zodiac signs and this adds to the formula as it is better to sow and plant when the moon is in a fertile zodiac sign, harvest in a fire or air sign etc.
Other very important considerations are climate, soil temperature, and season not to mention the fact that each set of rules has its set of exceptions.