February Eco Garden

February Eco Garden
February 1, 2019 Christina Mullin

February 2019 Eco Garden

Moon Gardening by Priscilla Woolworth

The 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 above ground 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).

February MOON Phase Schedule:

February 1-3: Waning Moon

February 4: New Moon

February 5-18: Waxing Moon

February 19: Full Moon

February 20-28: Waning

Garden Chores to be done weather permitting during the month of February are:

Plant camellias, flowering bulbs, bare root fruit trees, roses, cane berries, grapes, artichoke, asparagus, rhubarb, strawberries and perennial flowers

Finish pruning deciduous fruit trees and fertilize them before the buds swell

Dig and divide perennials

Prune berries, grapes, roses, shrubs and vines

Prune citrus and fertilize at the end of the month

Fertilize perennials, bulbs and fig trees

Dig organic matter into beds

Start a compost pile with all the leaves and cuttings from the garden!

Plant in your flower garden: candytuft, columbine, coreopsis, delphinium, foxglove, hollyhock, lobelia, lupine, lavender, nicotiana, penstemon, poppy, salvia, stock, sweet peas, and yarrow

Plant in your vegetable garden: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, leeks, mustard, chard, peas, lettuce, spinach, celery, carrots, beets, parsnip, radish, potatoes, pepper, and eggplant

*Colder Regions-Northeast-Zones below 7

Check outside plants and trees for animal damage

Indoors: Start seeds of cool vegetables and flowers

Place orders with seed catalogs

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

February 1-3, 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:

Feb 1-2: Any root crops that can be planted now will do well.

Feb 3: Fertilize the garden and get rid of plant pests.

Feb 4: New Moon

February 5-18, 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.

Recommended days for these garden chores:

Feb 5-7:Extra good time to plant cucumbers, peas, cantaloupes, and other vine crops. Set strawberry plants. Plant peppers, sweet corn, tomatoes, and other aboveground crops in southern Florida, California, and Texas.

Feb 8-9: Not a good time to plant seeds.

Feb 10-12: Fine for planting beans, peppers, cucumbers, melons, and other aboveground crops where climate is suitable.

Feb 13-14: Not a good time to plant seeds.

Feb 15-16: Plant seedbeds and flower gardens. Fine for planting beans, tomatoes, corn, cotton, cucumbers, peppers, melons, and other aboveground crops where climate allows.

Feb 17-19: Clear ground, turn sod, and get rid of plant pests.

Full Moon on February 19th. 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.

The moon is waning again from February 20-28.

Feb 21-22: Fine for sowing grains, hay, and forage crops. Plant flowers. Good time for planting root crops.

Feb 23-24: Start seedbeds. Good days for transplanting and for planting carrots, turnips, onions, beets, Irish potatoes, and other root crops in the South. Lettuce and other leafy vegetables will do well.

Feb 25-27: Poor planting days.

Feb 28: Any root crops that can be planted now will do well.

Produce in season and available at your local Farmer’s Markets are carrots, cauliflower, cabbage and kale. Eating produce in season has added health benefits as the vegetables and fruit have their highest nutrient content.

See you in March 2019!