August Eco Garden

August Eco Garden
July 31, 2019 Christina Mullin

Gardening by the Phases of the Moon

This gardening calendar is based on the phase and position of the Moon, and is consistent across all growing zones. Recommended dates are “weather permitting.”

 Just as the Moon’s gravitational pull affects the tides, it also has a more subtle but still relevant effect on soil moisture, pulling it toward the surface. More moisture towards the surface improves germination. Also, some seeds, such as lettuce- germinate better when they’re exposed to light, so planting during a Full Moon enhances germination. Sow seeds for crops that yield an aboveground harvest when the Moon is increasing (going from New Moon to Full Moon). Root crops, on the other hand, are best planted during the waning moon (going from Full Moon to New Moon).


August MOONPhase Schedule:

August 1: New Moon

August 2-14: Waxing Moon

August 15: Full Moon

August 16-29: Waning Moon

August 30: New Moon

Garden Chores to be done in August:

The month of August is a great time to plant bearded Irises; they are very tough and drought resistant. Bearded irises provide several bloom cycles a year; chose from ‘Feedback’, ‘Frequent Flyer’, or ‘Summer Olympics’ and plant the rhizomes in late august.

Keep harvesting the basil, and pinching any flowers

Start germinating broccoli, sweet peas, onions, leeks, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard, kale and mustard greens. Transplant seedlings into the garden when they’re about 4″ tall.

Save seeds from your flowers and herbs.

I love collecting seeds from my flowers and vegetables:

If you live in a fire-prone area, remove all dead limbs, cut tall grasses, cut weeds down to a stubble, clean leaves from gutters, clean leaves from trees and shrubs, especially near your home.

According to the Moon calendar, August is the best month to cut trees down.

Feed your cymbidiums with a low nitrogen fertilizer from now until January.

Check plants for chlorosis and treat with iron chelate.

Pick herbs and lavender mid-morning for drying, cut off spent blossoms to encourage more blooming.

Mulch to suppress weeds and conserve water.

Prepare beds for fall crops by adding organic matter.

Continue to pinch side shoots of tomatoes and give them support.

Prune hydrangeas flowers that have faded to brown or green, cutting back each stalk that has bloomed, leaving only 2 buds for flowers next year.

In your flower garden: Plant bee balm, calendula, carnation, coreopsis, cornflower, candytuft, clarkia, columbine, chrysanthemum, delphinium, dianthus, dusty miller, foxglove, hollyhock, larkspur, lobelia, lupine, lavender, nigella, nicotiana, petunia, penstemon, poppy, rudbeckia, salvia, scabiosa, statice, stock, snapdragon, sweet pea, sweet alyssum, verbena, and yarrow.

In your vegetable garden: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collards, kale, lettuce, spinach, leeks, mustard greens, bunching onions, peas, chard, celery, turnips, carrots, beets, parsnip, radish, bush beans, chives, parsley, cilantro, dill, and cauliflower.

Garden Chores for the Northeast

Seed a fall crop of peas and spinach and keep harvesting. Many flowers and vegetables will revive and continue producing if you regularly harvest the vegetables while they are young and tender and deadhead spent flowers.

Plant trees, shrubs, and perennials now, so they can take root. Keep them well watered, until the ground freezes, since they have a limited root system.

Prune summer flowering shrubs as the flowers fade. This will help put the energy back into the leaves and roots of the plant, rather than into setting seed.

Spread a mid-season layer of compost or manure. Your plants will appreciate the extra boost to get them through the final growing months and your soil will need some amendments, too

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

August 2-14, 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.

August 2-3:  Best days for getting rid of weeds, briars, and poison ivy.

August 4 – 5: Plant flowers. Good days for planting aboveground crops.

August 6 – 7: Plant peas, beans, tomatoes, peppers, and other aboveground crops in southern Florida, California, and Texas.

August 11 – 12: A good time to plant aboveground crops.

August 15: 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.


Recommended days for these garden chores:

August 16-29, 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 WaningMoon phase helps aid in the decomposition of plant matter.

Recommended days for these garden chores:

August 15 – 17: Good days to plant any vine crops such as beans, peas, and cucumbers, and for transplanting.

August 21 – 22:Good days for transplanting. Root crops that can be planted now will yield well.

August 25 – 26:Good days for transplanting, and for planting beets, onions, turnips, and other root crops.

August 27 – 30: Good time to get rid of weeds, briars, and poison ivy.

Produce in season at your local Farmer’s Markets: Corn, Potatoes, Shishito Peppers and Eggplant. Buying produce in season is best as they are at their highest nutrient content.

See you in September!