“And now let us believe in a long year that has given to us, new,
untouched full of things that have never been”.
– Rainer Maria Rilke
Looks like our spring has fallen upon us in much the same fashion as it did last year, early. Frankly, I am ok with Spring landing in the middle of February of 2016. Through out the winter we sat around and planned what will be going into the garden and had several heart felt conversations about the tomato idea. Boyfriend has decided that filling the boxes with tomatoes is really not his first choice when we can get so many other plants in the boxes and get a bigger bang for our seed buck. So, on that note the boxes were tilled up, the compost was layered in and we laid out a plan for the rotation of the crops. Ya’ll know that we can’t plan the same thing in the same spot. Since we were heavy in the squash world last year it really kinda makes it easy to plan out the rotation.
Our early spring/late winter crops are in. February 6th was the perfect day in the universe to plant the peas. It was also the last day of my patience level. I could not stand waiting another cotton picking day to get something in the ground. When I say it was the perfect day for the universe this is really what I mean. We have always planted according to the phases of the moon. This year we are taking on the challenge of taking that idea one step further by not only planting by the moon phases but we are planting, harvesting, storing and living according to the moon phases and the signs. Yes, the signs. I know this may sound a little unorthodox but if the yields are better and the plants are stronger then what the heck. I have gardened all my life and this is just the challenge I am looking forward to. The boyfriend rolled his eyes at me when we put in the garden and I was planting according the moon but when he started to see the results in all the experiments that I laid out in front of him he was blown away. He was a believer. Well I did get that same eye roll but this time it wasn’t so dramatic. He just simply stated we will wait and see. Yes we will.
Back to February 6th …
The Farmers Almanac online under the gardening by the moon tab listed that for our area it was the perfect day to plant vines. Also sometime this winter I ran across a new-to-me book with the title “Rising With The Moon” (RWTM), When I looked outside the current moon phase at the waning crescent so I jumped on line looking for another website that could help me start with where the moon was according to the signs. As a college student I studied astronomy for a brief period but lost all interest when my horoscopes never came true. Whoa! That’s a whole other topic to write about. I know in my knower that there were pictures that made up constellations and that as we rotate around through them the moon and visually to us travels through them also but you know, that is all I really cared about. Until now. I did find a really good website that tells me everyday the percentage of the moons visibility the phase or the quarter that it is in and what sign and the time that the moon heads into that sign. Quickly I realized that time also made a difference but considering what I was about to embark on I figured I better do one step at a time and get the second step mastered before moving on. Here we are Feb. 6th with a waning crescent moon sitting at the tale end of Capricorn. Ok, I say, out I go with my seed envelops. Happy as can be because this really meant that the winter was coming to an end! Horray!
As of Feb. 18th, we still had not seen any sign of sprouts. Boyfriend was all to kind to remind me of the days for germination for three days in a row. My patience was wearing thin and I wanted to see results quicker.
February 13th the above ground crops of broccoli, cauliflower, butter lettuce, Swiss chard, and a new crop of cabbage hit the soil. These seeds went in during the waxing crescent moon phase or the first quarter, and in the sign of Taurus. With the new above ground crops planted in Taurus we could expect quick growth and a hardy harvest. ( Here’s to hoping ) We are towards the end of the first quarter really pushing open the door to the second quarter. The only thing stopping this crop later in March from seeing a healthy harvest are those pesky mice and rats. Hopefully our two weeks of solid ice put those rodents in a new balanced spot in the world. Leveled.
Thursday, February 18th brought a sunny morning where I could safely venture into the garden with out getting drenched. We are in the 2nd quarter still but moving into the sign of Cancer. Today I planted all the companion plants that have wintered over in their gallon sized pots, or the seeds that I could find in the seed box. A side note here: since planting these seeds I have learned that Cancer is a very fruitful sign for veggies but if you want full blooming flowers then you must plant during Libra. What actually made it into the soil was the seeds from last years packets that were left over. Zinnia, nasturtium, and sapiglossis have been strategically placed in the beds and probably a bit early. Gardening is always experiments after experiments. Since they hit the soil months late last year we really didn’t get to enjoy them long enough and when we needed the bee population, they didn’t show up, which in turn meant, we didn’t see the results we needed. Now that we have put them in early it could be just a bit too early.
Thank goodness we have passed through the full moon, that marks that last of the cold moons. Not only are the days getting longer but they are getting warmer. The snow moon of February is the moon I look forward to every year, this brings on the winter party that beckons the return of the sun. You can read about that party at: Vino Tippin’ Vinalia. Mid-Winter Garden Party. and the first campfire grill of the season! I love this time of year when we can get back to cookin’ like cavemen over the open fire!
Today is also the day that is good for annuals that produce seed inside the fruit to be planted. Cancer is also a good sign for volume and abundance. Took me a minute to realize what this was and a few seconds to run through the list of seed packets that I had and categorize everything that I could start in the dining room window! Another exciting day!! So with new tilled soil from the titty pink boxes inside a few Vitamin Water bottles we got the patty pan squash, pumpkins, zucchini, yellow summer squash, melons and a few different varieties of beans started. We cut the top of the bottles off, filled with dirt and planted 6 seeds, we then placed the tops back on the bottles and placed them in the window. Putting the tops back on acted like a little mini green house, for a few days afterwards we could see the condensation building on the lids. Happy dance!
Monday, Feb. 29th
Happy Leap Year and happy to report that when we did a walk through of the garden today we saw that the peas are happily growing out of the soil and that we could clearly spot the Collard greens. A few random cauliflower and poked through and there are a few cabbages making their appearance with their first set of leaves. Now if the sun would just hurry up and move higher in the sky so it will clear the neighbors roof we could get a little more sun to the boxes with broccoli and cauliflower!
When the boyfriend and I sit back and look at the bigger picture of this planting by the moon and signs we could actually start to lay out every activity on the calendar including the times of harvesting and for storing the fruits of the soil. Personally, I will not take it that far ( yet ) simply because the elements all have their own way of doing things but I do have a nice little guideline waiting for me! 😉
If you like what you read then check out our other blog posts. We always have something brewin’ in the garden or in our minds.
Thank you for reading and please feel free to follow us on all forms of social media and of course we encourage comments!