Moon Gardening by Priscilla Woolworth
Did you know that there is a connection between the Moon and the tides, and planting and gardening? Planting according to the phases of the Moon is the oldest form of gardening known to man. When planting your garden, the Moon’s position has an impact on how well your seeds will germinate, grow and develop based on how much moisture is in the soil.
Understanding this and timing your gardening chores according to the phases of the Moon is the basis of Moon gardening. Calendars are available here for March, April and May, including what to buy in season at your local farmer’s market and suggested vegetables to plant.
Please check out my blog about Gardening According to the Phases of the Moon, where I explain it in more detail.
MAY MOON PHASE SCHEDULE:
May 1st-May 5th: Waning Phase
May 6th: New Moon
May 7th-20th: Waxing Moon
May 21st: Full Moon
May 22nd-June 3rd: Waning Phase
Garden Chores for May
You can still buy Tomato seedlings- Go tohttp://www.tomatomania.com and find out where you can buy seedlings in your area up till the end of May. A favorite tomato is the ‘Better Bush,’ if you want to plant just one variety.
PLANT PLANT PLANT all your vegetables by the end of May so the plants can establish deep roots before the heat of the summer.
Let’s all plant as many bee-loving flowers as we can! To find out which ones are their favorites:http://nature.berkeley.edu/urbanbeegardens/list.html
The month of May is a great time to feed actively growing plants with fish emulsion, and especially the ones that are container grown will appreciate this. Dilute it in your watering can even more than the bottle says to.
Deadhead, pinch and prune for bushier growth, especially hibiscus, which can get too leggy.
Feed apricots, peaches and plums with an organic low-nitrogen fertilizer: 3-12-12 with trace elements.
Thin out the peaches and nectarines and allow 4 to 6 inches between each fruit.
This is the best time to plant bananas, cherimoyas and other subtropical fruit like avocados, and citrus, such as the gorgeous and delicious Meyer Lemon.
Thin out your carrots, beets, green onions (scallions) and lettuce seedlings now.
Make sure tomatoes and peas have tall support.
One way to wash aphids off tender new growth is by filling a spray bottle with water and a teaspoon of non-toxic dishwashing liquid soap. Spray the aphids right off the plant! Or, buy aphid-loving Ladybugs and don’t forget to release them at dusk, so they don’t all fly away.
Plant alyssum, calendula, carnation, chrysanthemum, columbine, coneflower, cosmos, cockscomb, cornflower, delphinium, foxglove, geranium, globe amaranth, hollyhock, impatiens, larkspur, lavender, morning glory, marigold, nasturtium, nigella, penstemon, poppy, rudbeckia, salvia, statice, sticky monkey flower, sunflower, yarrow, zinnia.
In your vegetable garden, plant tomato, beans, pepper, eggplant, squash, cucumber, lettuce, leeks, corn, okra, pumpkin, spinach, basil, melon, chard, celery, turnips, carrots, beets, parsnip, radish, and cilantro.
When starting your seedlings indoors, learn how to harden them off before planting them in the garden:http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/info/how-to-harden-off-you…
Following is a Moon Gardening calendar for May and which days are best for specific chores:
May 1st-5th, 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:
May 1st and 2nd: Prune, water, compost and fertilize
May 3rd and 4th: Harvest, cultivate, weed and control pests
May 5th: Water, compost, fertilize
May 6th: New Moon
May 7th till the 20th, 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.
May 9th and 10th: Plant above ground annuals
May 14th and 15th: Plant flowering vines
May 16th-18th: Plant above ground annuals, especially flowers and herbs
May 19th and 20th: Plant above ground annuals, especially tomatoes; pinch and prune for growth
May 21st: Full Moon
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.
May 22nd and 23rd: Harvest and cultivate; plant tubers and fruit trees
May 24th and 25th: Plant for root growth
May 26th-28th: Harvest, cultivate, weed, and control pests
May 29th and 30th: Prune, water, compost and fertilize
May 31st: Harvest, cultivate, weed, and control pests
See you in June!