To plant by the moon does not mean to go outside and plant vegetables by flashlight, but to plant according the moon’s phase. Plant flowers, vegetables or herbs while the moon is new until it is a full moon. This is the waxing moon. Weed after the moon is full as it gets smaller, until it is the new moon. This is the waning moon.
It may sound like an old wives’ tale, but plants do react to the gravitational pull of the moon, which also affects ocean tides. During the waxing moon, plants grow larger at a faster rate than during the waning moon. There is also more moisture in soil from the time the moon is new to the full moon (waxing). This helps seeds sprout and plants grow.
When to plant according to where you live
If you click on this link at the Old Farmer’s Almanac website, you will see they divide the U.S. into 4 regions, north to south. Click on “Best planting dates calendar here.” If you insert your zip code, a handy little chart comes up that shows when to plant your vegetables according to your location. For instance, where I live on Long Island, I should plant cucumbers from the beginning of May to the end of June. The chart includes times around the country for beans, beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, kale, leeks, lettuce, melons, okra, onions, parsnips, peas, peppers, potatoes, pumpkins, radishes, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, swiss chard, tomatoes, turnips and watermelon. You can even print the planting calendar to save it in your garden book. (Yeah, I know…)
For the past few years I have not had much luck with my vegetables, so this year I have planted them in pots. I only bought 1 plant each of zucchini (which I put into the garden and not in a pot because of the size – hopefully), tomato, cucumber, pepper and eggplant. I also bought some herbs: pineapple sage (really smells like pineapple), basil, rosemary, lemon verbena and oregano. I already have lots of mint all over.
Don’t plant this near that
Here we go again with the Old Farmer’s Almanac. They have a chart – Click Here – that shows what to plant near what and what not to plant close to each other. For instance, do plant peppers with basil, coriander, onions, spinach and tomatoes, but not near beans or kohlrabi. Consult this chart before you plant to take advantage of the natural pest and disease repellants that are created when you place certain plants next to each other.
Hope your garden is a success this summer. Don’t forget – You can always find the moon phase on the right side of my website!