Phenology watch

Monday, January 17, 2011

Phenology vs. Lunar Gardening.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Phenology is the study of periodic plant and animal life cycle events and how these are influenced by seasonal and interannual variations in climate.

Astrological Gardening (also referred to as lunar gardening, lunar planting, moon planting, planting by the signs, planetary planting) is a term given to the belief that gardening or farming practices that rely on the timing of different phases of the moon, stars, planets and various astrological signs of the Zodiac can result in the growth of crops of superior quality and quantity. Astrological gardening is thought to have been practiced for centuries, and is still used today by some gardeners and farmers.

I am determined to have a great GREAT garden this year.  I always have high hopes and big dreams, but reality never comes close.  It probably has something to do with that watering thing.  Or, the fact that I don't keep up on weeds and succession planting.  You know - those annoying little things you're supposed to do to keep your garden growing.

Well, this year I'm determined not to fail.  And, I'm blogging about it.  I have to do well.  

I don't remember where I first heard about Lunar Gardening, but I have been reading anything I can get my hands (eyes?) on to learn everything I can about it.  Opinions range from "hokey mumbo-jumbo" all the way to "it's-an-exact-science-down-to-what-time-of-day-during-the-phase-to-plant".  Whew!  I guess I'm somewhere in between.    I'm going to plant by the basic idea that you plant root crops (radishes, potatoes, etc) as the moon wanes from full to new, and above-ground crops (lettuces, beans, etc) as the moon waxes from new to full.  I took out my calendar, recorded the moon phases, then planned each sowing (along with all succession crops) through to the fall.
Then I started reading more about phenology.  Dang!  Now I might have to re-do my whole planting schedule.  Phenology uses signs from nature to determine when to plant.  (Plant tomatoes when the Lily of the Valley is in full bloom...)  Here is a list of some ideas I have gathered:

Peas when the Crocuses, Forsythia, and/or Daffodil bloom.

Swiss chard, spinach, beets and onions when Daffodils are in bloom.

Potatoes when the first Dandelion blooms.

Beets, carrots, cole crops, lettuce, and spinach when the Lilac is in first leaf.

Beans, cucmbers, and squash when the Lilac is in full bloom.

Tomatoes when Lily of the Valley is in full bloom.

Melon and pepper transplants when Irises bloom.

Corn, beans, and cucumbers when apples blossoms start to fall.

Tomatoes, melons, peppers, corn, and beans when Flowering Dogwood is in full bloom.

Tomatoes, melons, and eggplant when Peonies flower.

Fall crop cabbage and broccoli seeds when Mock Orange flowers or after Dogwoods have dropped their flowers.

I suppose at this point I will use my lunar calendar as a guide, but I will definitely be keeping an eye on the other plants at the same time.  It will be interesting to see how it all turns out.

Here are a few of the best links I found:
  (This book will also tell you when to get your hair cut, when to make an investment, or when to go fishing!)

I'd like to know if anyone else uses phenology or lunar planting, and what kind of success you've had.  Please leave a comment!


Close to home said...

Thanks for finding me and following. Following you back, great info. I will definitely be looking for you for some spring planting tips, maybe a guest blogger....

jen said...

Thanks! sounds great...