April 2017 Eco Gardening

April 2017 Eco Gardening
February 28, 2017 Christina Mullin

What to Buy at the local Farmer’s Market:

What to Plant in the Garden:

Moon Gardening by Priscilla Woolworth

Check out my blog: Gardening according to the phases of the Moon, and learn why and how the Moon’s position affects your garden:

April MOON Phase Schedule:

April 1-9: Waxing Moon

April 10: Full Moon

April 11-25: Waning Moon

April 26: New Moon

April 27-May 9: Waxing Moon

Garden Chores to be done during the month of April are:

The month of April is a great time to plant flowers and vegetables!

Dig organic matter into beds and mulch as well, to suppress weeds and conserve water.

Start cosmos, sunflowers, and zinnias from seed. They are super-easy to grow, make nice cut flowers, and attract beneficial insects to your garden.

Be careful not to cover your plants or freshly sown seeds with too much mulch; best to mulch around them.

Thin seedlings: carrots, beets, green onions and lettuce.

Plant bare root roses, cane berries, grapes, artichoke, asparagus, rhubarb and strawberry.

If your tender perennials have frost damage, wait until all risk of frost has passed, because deadwood insulates healthy plant parts against late freezes. When it’s safe, prune damaged parts down to new growth buds.

Feed citrus trees with an organic fertilizer specified for citrus

Feed actively growing plants with fish emulsion or compost.

Wash aphids off tender new growth by filling a spray bottle with water and add 1 tsp. environmentally safe dish-wash soap and spray the aphids right off the plant. Works every time!

To get rid of sow-bugs/pill bugs from your seedlings, set traps made with rolled-up newspaper taped at one end.

Treat plants with chlorosis, a sign of iron deficiency (yellowing leaves) with organic chelated iron.

 Plant calendula, carnation, chrysanthemum, columbine, coneflower, cosmos, cockscomb, cornflower, delphinium, dianthus, foxglove, fuschias, geranium, heliopsis, hollyhock, impatiens, larkspur, lavender, lupine, morning glory, marigold, nasturtium, nigella, penstemon, poppy, rudbeckia, salvia, statice, yarrow, zinnia.

For the bees especially plant lavender, rosemary, sage, angelica, yarrow, dill, fennel, sweet alyssum, Shasta daisies, sunflowers, coreopsis, black-eyed Susan, Goldenrod, lupine, and wallflower

 Plant roses, cane berries, grapes, artichoke, asparagus, rhubarb and strawberry.

Good drought tolerant choices are sundrops, damianita,yarrow, California fuschia, lavender, penstemon and salvias.

Add to your herb garden: basil, chives, parsley, lemongrass, lemon verbena, mint and tarragon.

*Genovese basil is the best

In your vegetable garden, plant lettuce, tomato, pepper, eggplant, squash, cucumber, corn, okra, pumpkin, melon, onions, peas, lettuce, spinach, chard, celery, turnips, carrots, beets, parsnip, potatoes, radish, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, luffa and lettuce.

If you started your carrots, beets, green onions and lettuces last month, thin the seedlings now.

Following is a Moon Gardening calendar for April and which days are best for specific chores:

April 1-9: the Moon is in the Waxing phase, when the lunar gravitational pull brings the water up, which makes it a good time of the month to encourage plant growth and proliferation. Plant seeds, transplant, re-pot, trim and prune for growth. Also, fruits and vegetables that are tender and should be eaten immediately are at their best when gathered at the Waxing Moon, because the water content is higher, salads are crunchier, and juicier.

The 4 days before and also 4 days after the Full Moon is the best time to prune, plant seeds (they germinate faster when planted at the full moon because they absorb more water) and fertilize plants as close to the Full Moon as possible. Cut bamboo and sow a lawn or put down sod.

The Full Moon is when water is at the highest level in the month. Best time to pick tomatoes. Harvest grapes to be used in winemaking as close to the full moon as possible because the grapes will retain more juice and bouquet. Gather any herbs to be used for their essential oils at the Full Moon because oil content is more concentrated at this time.

Recommended days for these garden chores:

April 2-4: Plant hardy above ground annuals

April 6-8:  Plant flowering vines and medicinal plants

Aril 9: Plant above ground annuals, flowers and herbs

April 10: Full Moon

April 11-25, the Moon is Waning, and the energy of the earth is drawn down but the gravitational pull is high, creating more moisture in the soil and this energy goes into the roots making it a good time of the month to sow crops that produce their yield below ground and control plant growth by pruning, weeding, and controlling garden pests, as well as dividing perennials. This is the best time for garden maintenance because the growth cycle of plants decreases.  Fruit trees do best planted at this time of the month because the position of the moon encourages development of root growth and tree bark, essential to their success. This is also the best time to cut wood, because it resists parasites and cures better. Farmers pick their apples, cabbages, potatoes and onions at the Waning Moon, when water content is lowest and so the harvest stores better and keeps longer. Best time to dry herbs, flowers and fruit and the herbs are at their most potent. Also, add potassium fertilizer to plants that need it because it will be better absorbed at this time. Mow your lawn to slow growth.  First time composting, start your composting during this period because the Waning Moon phase helps aid in the decomposition of plant matter.

Recommended days for these garden chores:

April 11: Plant for root growth

April 12-13: Plant for root growth, transplant perennials and tomatoes; prune

April 14-16: Harvest and cultivate; plant tubers and fruit trees

April 17-18: Plant for root growth

April 19-21: Harvest, cultivate, weed, and control pests

April 21-23: Prune, water, compost and fertilize

April 24-25: Harvest, cultivate, weed and control pests

April 26: New Moon

April 27: Plant above ground annuals, especially cabbages

April 27-May 9: Waxing phase

Happy Gardening!