May 2017 Eco Gardening

May 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:

May MOON Phase Schedule:

May 1-9: Waxing Moon

May10: Full Moon

May 11-24: Waning Moon

May 25: New Moon

May 26-June 8: Waxing Moon

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

PLANT PLANT PLANT all your vegetables by the end of May so the plants can establish deep roots before the heat of the summer.

Plant many bee-loving flowers! 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-your-seedlings.htm

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

May 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:

May 1: Plant y above ground annuals

May 4-6: Plant flowering vines and medicinal plants

May 7-8: Plant above ground annuals, especially flowers and herbs

May 9: Plant above ground annuals, especially tomatoes; prune and pinch growth

May 10: Full Moon

May 11-24, 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 19-20: Prune, water, compost and fertilize

May 21-22: Harvest and cultivate; weed and control pests

May 23-24: Fertilize

May 25: New Moon

May 27: Plant above ground annuals

May 26-June 8: Waxing phase

Happy Gardening!

Priscilla