Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Planting Moon

Hopefully this day finds you in your gardens enjoying the sun and  planting seeds. Today is the "Planting Moon" and those following lunar cycles to plant, find this an auspicious day full of fecundity and vitality for the newly planted seed. 

Perhaps you know it already, but each full moon goes by many different names around the world. Many of these names indicate seasonal activities or traits of the season, such as the "Planting Moon" or the "Harvest Moon." Check out this link for a list of some the full moon names.

And if you haven't yet planted your seeds, this long holiday weekend is a perfect time. Rather than going to the beach or picnics at a park, this is exactly how I usually spend my holiday weekend - in the sun and dirt with seeds in my hands.

And if you are looking to add the littlest of the Three Sisters (beans) to your garden this year, here's a suggestion from my vegetable garden. My vegetable seeds (last year's leftovers and new seeds for the year) used to be kept in a shoebox. Well, I went past them fitting in a large moving box long ago. One of my problems is that I end up with 6 seeds of this or 12 of that leftover - not enough for a row of any thing but I save them anyways. I think there is something criminal about throwing out seeds so I never do it. But seeds don't last forever. Although outside some notable exceptions, most seeds retain decent viability for 2-3 years.

So unless you get exactly the same varieties of a vegetable each year, you'll have leftovers like me. Take those tiny handfuls of seeds from previous seasons mix them and plant a row. The most enjoyable rows of beans I ever grew were the rows of pole beans I grew the last two years where I did just this. The rows were highly productive over a long period since all the varieties mature at slightly different rates. And the mixed bean harvest had a variety of color and taste on the dinner plate.

And on that subject....if you are not already a fan of pole beans, I urge you to try some this year. Most gardeners have more desire for plants than garden space. Pole beans are an excellent producer for the small footprint they take up in the garden. They grow up, not out. You sow them rather thickly and let them climb. You don't need anything fancy or complicated for them to climb on. Long sticks and poles work just fine and hey, those do grow on trees!

Have a wonderful holiday weekend and join me (at least in spirit) in the sun and rich earth of the garden!


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