Thursday, 10 January 2008

It's a small thing, but it pleases me.

This year's Sowing and Planting Calendar has arrived, filling me with thoughts of seeds and plants and long days full of pot filling and seed sowing.
It's a small book, but full of hopes and ideas for the season ahead. I don't grow biodynamically, just organically, but I do plant everything according to the cycle of the moon. I've done this for quite a few years now. Apart from the plants just seeming to be happier, it also makes me much more organised in the garden and reminds me to plant in succession.
The calendar, which is available from Floris Books, shows the optimum days for sowing, pruning and harvesting (and beekeeping).
Planting with the moon (and the constellations) is all about using the power of the cosmic forces in gardening. If all of that sounds a bit hocus-pocus, think for a second of the power of the moon over the tides.
Plants are grouped for sowing and harvesting into Root, Leaf, Flower and Fruit. The planting times are worked out according to which parts of the plant are enhanced by the moon, planets and weather on that particular date.
Maria Thun explains: "During the ascending moon period plant sap rises more strongly. The upper part of the plant of the plant fills with sap and vitality. During the descending Moon period plants take root readily and connect well with their new location."
Sowing can be done in either the ascending or descending moon, but transplanting is best during the descending moon. Each constellation has its particular element, weather and plant group. Virgo, for example, is Earth, of course, with cold/cool weather and the Root plants. During Virgo bees make honey, it has been observed.
I find it simplest just to look it all up in the calendar. It's a fascinating little book, full of lots of interesting facts and figures about gardening by the moon and stars, along with results and observations from plant trials.
Today, Thursday, January 10th, has the moon element Earth and the parts of the plant enhanced by the Moon or planets is the Root - but only in the southern hemisphere. For me, sitting in the northern hemisphere, I have instead to wait until January 21st, when northern planting time begins. In the meantime I can look at the big parcel of seeds which arrived yesterday from Tamar Organics and plan which ones to plant first.


  1. Oooh, fascinating stuff, PreseliMags - I'm very tempted by that calendar. There's a long tradition of gardening by the waxing and waning of the moon. I've also heard that it's better to cut your hair (or presumably wax your legs) on a waning moon, as it will regrow more slowly. Thanks for the link.

  2. very interesting. I have heard that it can be very successful if you follow the plan exactly.

  3. How interesting. I love seed catalogues anyway so might well have a look.

  4. Thanks for this info, I might send for that calendar.


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