Farmers Almanac

token28001(zone7b NC)December 11, 2009

Planting by the moon. Gramma used to tell my dad when it was time to plant his garden by looking at the phases of the moon. I just pull up this self-refreshing link from Farmers Almanac. Whether you agree or not, it's something that's been done for ages. Bad news: Dec 21 is a poor planting day. So I'll be sowing my first flowers tomorrow morning as I await the possible snow/sleet/rain mix we're forecast to get Saturday night.

December 2009

11th-13th. Good Days For Planting Root Crops, Fine For Sowing Grains, Hay, And Forage Crops. Plant Flowers.

14th-15th. Plant Carrots, Beets, Onions, Turnips, Irish Potatoes, And Other Root Crops In The South. Lettuce, Cabbage, Collards, And Other Leafy Vegetables Will Do Well. Start Seedbeds.

16th-18th. Do No Planting. 19th-20th. Plant Sweet Corn, Beans, Peppers, And Other Aboveground Crops, Where Climate Is Suitable.

21st-22nd. Good Days For Killing Weeds, Briars, And Other Plant Pests, Poor For Planting.

I used this advice last year to sow seeds all through the winter. It worked out pretty well, I think. Of course, it could just be wintersowing that works well, and it may not apply to us. Thoughts?

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pippi21(Z7 Silver Spring, Md.)

I can remember having the Old Farmer's Almanac in our home when I was a kid but I didn't understand what it was for. Mama and Daddy only had a garden a few years that I recall, and that was after I moved away. Since I was the last of 6, maybe they had a garden when the other kids were little. Will have to ask my two sisters today, just for curiosity's sake. Will have to look for one in the book stores or magazine section of stores and buy it.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 9:30AM
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gardenweed_z6a

Years and years ago my FIL swore by planting by the moon altho' there was never a copy of the Farmer's Almanac anywhere in sight. He had all these old folk superstitions he'd recite when the discussion was around planting the vegetable garden or field crops on the farm in Texas. My father had a vegetable garden here in CT every year and my brothers and I helped pull weeds but there was never any discussion around planting dates. Dad just planted and taught us how to tend the plants as they grew. I'm with Token however and will avoid planting on the 21st this year. The Farmer's Almanac has been around for donkey's years--who am I to question what it says?

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 11:01AM
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token28001(zone7b NC)

January 1st and 2nd are great days to plant. :)

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 12:03PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

I have a friend who always plants by the phases of the moon. She has a calendar that marks which days are good for planting root crops, leaf crops, fruit crops, etc. I haven't decided how much stock I myself put into this yet - although she always has a productive garden!

:)
Dee

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 1:01PM
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dirtysc8

I'm interpreting "planting" as different from winter sowing. After all, I'll plant the winter sown seedlings when they're ready -- and maybe when the Almanac suggests, but in a month or so (for the hardy annuals).

I took advantage of Brent & Becky's half-price sale, so I'll be planting bulbs as soon as they arrive. Guess I'll have to take my chances...

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 2:02PM
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token28001(zone7b NC)

I just got back from a google search. From what I can tell, the seeds sown in the 2 days before a full moon germinate faster than those sown 2 days before a new moon. The study was conducted in a tropical region, so the climate was mostly consistent aside from wet/dry seasons. So what I'm wondering, will we find more sprouts just after a full moon than at any other time? Some flowers tend to bloom with the phases of the moon. Brugmansia is one that comes to mind since I grow it. Full flushes almost always happened around the full moon. Others have claimed the same experience.

So perhaps when you sow doesn't matter if the climate for germination isn't right. But the moon could affect the germination rates when the time is right. I shoulda been a botanist.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 3:05PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

FWIW, I should have mentioned that my friend both sows and transplants seedlings by this moon calendar of hers, again according to a root crop, leaf crop, etc.

:)
Dee

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 5:03PM
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luke_oh(zone 5 NE Ohio)

Ok, So I'll expose my ignorance, happens all the time. I realize that the moon effects the tides, berthin' babies, increase in police and emergency room activity, etc. But, the moon is always there....just has a shadow on it. Anybody have an answer?

Luke

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 5:27PM
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token28001(zone7b NC)

The human body is made of 60-70% water. If it affects the tides, it can affect us too.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 6:06PM
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luke_oh(zone 5 NE Ohio)

Yes, that I know. What I'm saying is that the moon does not change. It is always present in its original form. The only difference between a full moon and any of its phases is the shadow of the Earth.(as far as I know). What is it that actually changes the gravitational pull of the moon that causes these effects on Earth?

Almost wishing I was incognito,
Luke

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 7:38PM
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token28001(zone7b NC)

Oh...the rotation. The moon's rotation is synchronous, meaning that it always presents the same side to us. The gravitational pull of the moon doesn't change. Sometimes it's increased due to the pull of the sun. But the moon always pulls a great bulge of water around the Earth. It's slightly behind the moon as it goes. That's what causes the tides and such. The water is easier to pull than land. Combined with the tilting axis of the earth, tides can increase or decrease depending on the season.

Here's a short video that explains it with pictures.

Sometimes, the sun and moon pull together creating an event called a tidal bore.

The Black Dragon

Tidal Bore, Nova Scotia

I was looking for one on the Amazon River, but can't find a video.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 9:06PM
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luke_oh(zone 5 NE Ohio)

Ok, that's my point. The gravitational pull of the moon is constant. The phases of the moon, full, waxing , waning, cresent or whatever, is just the Earth's shadow...doesn't have any effect on anything, except the appearance of the moon. The sun and the seasonal rotation of the Earth on it's axis are the only forces that effects change in the gravitational pull. So, how can the phases of the moon effect planting?...or anything else? I think that it's just more mystical, planting by "the signs". It's a good thing.
Sorry for getting way of track.
Luke

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 10:12PM
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token28001(zone7b NC)

The way I understand it, since the moon pulls on water, it affects the germination by making it easier for the seed to break the shell. Or something like that.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 10:21PM
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luke_oh(zone 5 NE Ohio)

I got it. The phases of the moon is just an indicator of the forces of the sun on the Earth. So, planting by the moon phases could effect something.....I guess.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2009 at 6:49AM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Luke, I understand what you are saying... or what you are trying to say.... or at least what you said in your original question...not sure what you just said in your last post...okay, now I'm not sure what *I'm* saying...

No, but seriously, you are saying that the moon doesn't change; what changes is the way we see it (full, half, etc.) so how could it make a difference or affect us?

And then, Token says that since the moon affects the pull of water, it makes it easier for the shell of a seed to break and therefore germinate.

But what about transplanting?

And does it really make a difference in a *plant* - a full-grown (or growing) plant - whether the seed germinated a day or two different because of the effect of the moon? Because supposedly, according to those who swear by this, the whole life cycle and health of a plant are affected by whether you plant at the right time (the right time of the moon phase).

Sorry, I guess I'm just wondering out loud here....

Interesting discussion!
:)
Dee

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 12:15AM
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token28001(zone7b NC)

Dee, the Almanac suggests all sorts of things based on the phase of the moon, like when to cut your hair, when to clip your nails, when to clean hardwood floors, when to saw lumber and felling trees. It's not just germination that can be affected. If you want to kill brush and weeds, there's a day for that too. All due to gravity.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 8:12AM
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luke_oh(zone 5 NE Ohio)

Dee, Yep that's what I'm saying I just had an even more confusing post ready to go and my computer lost it. I guess I'm saying that the gravitational effects actually originate from the sun, and the moon phases are simply visual signs of the suns position that does effect the gravitational pull on the earth. So, if the gravitational pull on seeds or plants does effect them to any degree then we can use the moon to tell us what to expect from the sun.
I'm no scientist, in case you couldn't tell, but I do wonder about these types of things.
Token, I need a haircut and wondering when would be a good time? My barber is only open on Tues, Wed., and Thurs. 1/2 day on Sat. Will I be able to schedule one before Christmas?
I'd like to talk to you about your propagation chamber that I saw on another forum. Thanks,

Luke

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 9:26AM
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token28001(zone7b NC)

Well Luke, the best day for getting your hair cut to retard growth is today. It seems the rest of the month is good for increasing growth. If you're like me, that's a good thing.

Best days

What do you want to know about the chamber? Are we talking about the cloner that uses air/water or Janie's propagation box using soil?

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 10:12AM
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luke_oh(zone 5 NE Ohio)

I just tried to find the post on the air/water cloner and couldn't find it. I read thru it the other day and I had some questions and I need to re-read. I'm interested in propagation of blueberry plants. I think that I could get into plant propagation and need a mentor. I probably have questions that no one else would be interested. The haircut?
Does it say anything about the best time to get rid of the grey?
Luke

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 10:58AM
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token28001(zone7b NC)

Getting rid of the gray includes a bottle of something. Sorry. I've got that problem too. It's creeping up from the sides.

This was a recent post I made to my blog. It was in response to a few new followers asking me to explain what it was and how I built it. The Cloner.

As for blueberries, the easiest method I know of for propagating is to use hardwood cuttings just as the plant is coming out of dormancy in the late winter/early spring. This is wood from last season's growth. You take cuttings 6-8" long, scratch the bottom end of the cutting to reveal the whitish-green under the skin of the branch, and dust with rooting hormone. I use a powder. Some don't scratch the cuttings, others do. I've found using my fingernail to remove the bud at a node is the best way to do this. Then, stick the cutting in a 50/50 mix of sand and peat. Water it well, making sure the mixture drains. Put it outside in the shade. In my zone, I have to cover it with plastic to hold in moisture. Two liter containers work great. I usually have a few empty ones by this time in the year. Then just leave it alone. There should be enough moisture, but you'll want to check once a week or so. When new growth on the top begins, chances are it's rooted. With a clear container, you can see the roots. Plant out in the early fall.

You can use this method for almost any deciduous woody plant.

Let me know if you have any other questions. Here's a link to basic propagation methods.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 11:27AM
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ga_karen

I'm retired so we know I'm no youngster...my Gma always planted by the sign of the moon. But she passed when I was 7 so long before I learned her reasons. She also had some tips passed to her by the Indians that she used. Being so young, I don't remember much about why but I do remember that we ALWAYS had the farmer's almanac in the house. We used it nearly every day...and a lot of that was for predicting the weather or checking to see how close the almanac had come to being right.

token...thanks for the link to propagation...I can certainly use that. I've got lots of wild blueberries in our woods & want to get some in a tamer area so I can protect them from the mocking birds...they stripped them last year & I didn't get any!!!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 2:08PM
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