Planting by the Moon-Part 3

While the gravitational pull of both the sun and the moon affects us, it’s the moon we feel more acutely (while the moon has a much smaller mass, it’s 390 times closer to us than the sun.) The moon’s orbit affects the tides, air currents on the earth’s surface, thunderstorms, and rainfall (The moon has the greatest effect on earth’s rainfall when it’s close to a node. Once every 27 days the moon is at the farthest point from the earth that its orbit reaches. The moon’s orbit around earth is tilted-so twice each month the moon sinks five degrees above or below the angle at which the earth’s orbiting the sun. These bimonthly points are called nodes. Did you know that eclipses occur when a new or full moon passes through one of the nodes? Node position can affect drought and atomspheric tide patterns; planting at the lunar nodes can have a negative affect on plant growth.)

Growth and liquid absorption peaks at the full moon. During the astrological cycle of Leo (from July 23rd-Aug. 22nd) seed, crops, such as apples, grapes, and pears. Nuts can also be planted. Leo’s a fire sign (element), which means a barren and dry period. It’s best to cultivate, harvest roots and fruit for storage. It’s also an excellent time to destroy weeds and pests in the fourth quarter.

July’s full moon is called Thunder Moon or Hay Moon, August’s is Grain Moon or Green Corn Moon, and September’s known as Fruit Moon or Harvest Moon. Occuring within this month, the moon rises on 6 or 7 successive nights at about the same time. It shines with such brightness until late at night, which enabled ancient civilizations to today’s farmers and gardeners to take in the fall harvest, hence…

The astrological cycle of Virgo (from Aug. 23rd-Sept. 22nd) is an earth sign (element), which is a barren and moist period. Some flowers, roots, and vines are favored here, such as potatoes, radishes, turnips, parsnips, and onions. This cycle is also effective for working the soil, cultivating, and destroying weeds and pests.

More To Do During A Waxing Moon: You can sow lawns, put down sod, and plant wheat and grains, sow crops like leafy vegetables and flowers (produces yield above ground, doesn’t rely on extensive root development), and sow seeds during a drought period.

Salads are best when made with ingredients picked during a waxing moon (their water content’s higher). You can also water your compost heap.

More To Do During A Waning Moon: You can sow crops that produce their yield below ground, such as beets, carrots, turnips, onions, parsnips, and potatoes, plant successful fruit trees (this moon position encourages development of root and tree bark.) Potassium absorption is at its peak at the new moon. This phase aids in decomposition of plant matter for a compost heap. Harvest flowers and seeds that will be stored until next year. Herbs will retain maximum potency at this time and dry more easily. All cutting, gathering, and trimming are done with less injury to the trees and plants during this phase.

For pesky insect problems, here’s a bug spray recipe that’s easy to make and use; it’ll improve with age because it gets more potent the longer it stands: you’ll need 1 pint spring water, 1 teaspoon Tabasco (or 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper for a stronger brew), and 2 large crushed garlic gloves. Combine the ingredients in a spray container. Spray the plants with this during the waning moon in Gemini, Leo, or Virgo.

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