On Spring work and planting by the Moon.

In Garden, sustainable living on March 5, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Everything is greening up again, the dull tones of Winter are slowly being replaced by fresh greenery. Trees are about to burst forth and change the tone of the landscape from Winter hibernation to Spring exuberance. We are 600 ft above sea level here in the valley so it will come a little later here. Anticipation!

As evening falls after a lovely sunny day it is cold. The Met Office say it will be frosty tonight.

Working outdoors is such a joy on days like today. I spent the afternoon bringing farmyard manure from the pile which has been rotting down nicely for over a year, into the polytunnel and digging it into the beds. We don’t dig very deeply here, the daub can be as much as only 6 inches below the topsoil. Deep digging would just be bringing up daub which just dries into really hard lumps, like stone. After being brought up on good Tipperary land I got a bit of a shock the first day I stuck a spade into heavy, wet Roscommon soil! Outdoors we have a large mulched area which is never dug, just mulched each year when the soil warms up. There are also raised beds which are topped up with garden compost or manure every year.

Through the Birch trees, though darkness has not yet fallen the waxing Moon is visible. Full Moon is on Wednesday so the coming days are busy with planting. Sowing and planting by the Moon is an old tradition from when people had more of an awareness of the planets and their affect on humans, animal and plant  life. It is adhered to by people who practise Bio Dynamic gardening. We do not use BD systems here as they are not compatible with a vegetarian lifestyle but we do use Moon planting. The days leading up to full Moon are when leaf crops are planted. Tomorrow I shall plant Spinach, Rocket and Lettuce. Wednesday is a fruit day. This is when plants that bear their seeds within the fruits. Tomatoes, Peas, Beans, Cucumber and Squashes come within this realm. After full Moon is the time to plant root crops, Carrots, Parsnips, Beetroot and Potatoes belong to those days. I have noticed on previous years that seeds sown according to this system do seem to germinate quicker. It is also said that they are less susceptible to disease. For us it is a good way to break up the work at this time. With so much to be planted it gives a bit of direction on what to plant on given days. So for the next few days its busy, busy, busy!

  1. I’ve heard of moon planting but didn’t know anything about it thanks for the intro Bridget, I too was going to ask if this is poly tunnel planting and see from your reply to another commenter it is, really think I should perhaps save for a poly tunnel, my problem with a not dig is that my soil when I finally get through the tough grass is sooo compacted also there don’t seem to be many worms on the outer Hebrides, been meaning to write a post about this, Frances

  2. I’ve always found fascinating all this bio dynamics stuff and planting according to the moon, it makes us feel more bounded to the earth and the planet where we live. I’m fascinated but eventually I never follow anything of what they say… well anything until last night: I’ve potted my hostas last night, which are like a kind of lettuce, according to the slugs, aren’t they? Let’s wait and see what happen with full moon then, I wish my hostas are going to be huge! 😉

  3. Are you planting all these under some kind of cover? Else, they will be killed by the frosty temperature, right? I am also busy planting and the next two days will be wonderful – tomorrow it will be 54 degree F and Thursday, it will be 67 F 😀

  4. We would love to share your story and feature your farm on our weekly “Tell Us Your Story” If you are interested, please email me at and I will get you the details. Thanks! Mary and Jim

  5. I convinced about moon planting up to a point. Interesting that you’ve noticed the difference – I believe in it a bit more now.

  6. I think more and more gardners have found the benefits of mulching and no digging, it just makes so much sense to me. I’ve read about Moon planting before, but had kind of dismissed it, but your summary and the way you do it make it sound feasible, like the organisation and planning of sowing and planting. Great photos too !

  7. As you know from regularly reading my blogs, I am fond of the odd experiment or two – so mayben moon planting will be next on the list – if I remember, that is.

  8. Nice moon shot!


  9. Your photos are beautiful! I am going to try planting my vegetable garden this year without tilling, just adding a layer of good compost. Less work, and I hope good results! Planting under the moon sounds very romantic to me!

  10. I’ve always wanted to try planting by the moon but I’m just not that organized I’m afraid. Lovely photos!

  11. This year I have been using a moon calendar and have been impressed with the germination rates. I’m also hoping that my plants will be stronger and have more resistance to disease… I wonder if slugs respond to the moon 😉
    I thought it would be a serious amount of work but I actually find that I’m more organised and less likely to plant too much at once.

    • I agree, it breaks up the work and germination is so much quicker. Don’t know about the slug response. I’m sure they feel the Moon effects as they, like us, would be made up largely of water.

  12. Interesting! I would try this,except that I have already sown seeds!

  13. I’ve never heard of planting according to the moon before. That’s a new one for me! P.S. Thanks for the comments on my blog. So sweet!

  14. I’ve always been interested in Moon phase planting…but don’t know anyone who does it. I’m concerned that it would be very restrictive given our very short growing season here.
    Jane x

    • Don’t see why it would be restrictive. Seeds still have to be planted, so they could be planted on the relevant days. It’s an interesting experiment anyway.

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