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biodynamic Planting by moon signs

 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
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I have now gone back to planting my the moonsigns.

When I originally shifted from ornamentals to edibles I planted by moonsigns on the advice of my aunt. She did not garden, she raised pigs. I don't know anything about raising pigs but, according to her there were lots of things that she only did by the moon signs - and that also extended to her own life, such as when to schedule surgeries, etc.

My aunt was influenced by her parents and her grandparents who always planted by the signs.

I abandoned the moon signs planting over the last year.

I did harvest food - but it was not impressive. Whereas the previous year I was over run with food.

So this fall planting I am back to the moon signs. I am also dry planting. No watering - all hoses are rolled up and put away. I also intend to severly limit the number of seedlings started in containers. I want to start all (except peppers) plants in the ground out doors. Since we are so temperate here this should work for most plants.

The first planting was NOT according to the moon sign. Some stuff came up.

The next plantings HAVE been planted according to the signs. Lots of seedlings have come up - some seem to just jump up in a couple of days.

Garlic is my main squeeze around here - love my garlic. I probably did plant it according to the signs last year since I am so particular about it. This year I will narrow the planting dates down even further to find the best possible moon to plant it in. It too will recieve no supplemental watering until harvest in May/June.

I have never made compost tea using biodynamic methods but I am going to try to find a 'recipe' and try it.
 
Rion Mather
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My friend gardens by the moon. He has a very successful garden and sells his leftovers at the local market. I now follow the cycles. There is something to it.
 
Jordan Lowery
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I either plant or toss seed according to the Stella natura. I've experimented many times and when sown on the right day it makes an amazing difference.

That said this is a step behind letting plants self seed, they know which days even better than you and a calendar.

I sell seedlings every year in spring and people get mad if i don't, they say my plants beat all others even home started seeds. I believe it's to do with proper planting dates.
 
Andrea Gorham
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I have been reading up on moon sign planting and reading Agricultural Course The Birth of the Biodynamic Method. It's really changed my perspective and made me aware of the creative influences the cosmos has on life, as reflecting energies of the cosmos express themselves in living things.

Since the sign today was cancer (water) and we are in the waning period (good for root crops) I planted rutabaga and radishes. The rutabaga is an experiment, as they are recommended to be planted in spring, since I am in zone 8 they wouldn't make it through brutal summer.

I have also been collecting cucumber beetles and putting them in alcohol over the past week and tomorrow is Leo (fire, heart) a very destructive time, being in the waning phase, I will burn insects and dust their ashes over my veggies. I would very much like to see if this works to keep them away.
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
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Andrea, thanks for the tip on the book - sounds interesting. I too was out planting my root crops today: carrots, turnips and beets. I love the southern garden and being able to grow year round!
 
Mark Moodie
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There's a place to record all this and try to develop the science of planting by the stars. It's called Considera which means 'with the stars'.
 
Leila Rich
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Jeanine, by "dry planting", do you mean you don't 'water seedlings in'?
I'm really curious, because if I forget and there isn't a good rain in 12 hours or so, mine are toast.
I don't plant by the moon; I'm waaay too disorganised! I've seen some impressive results from planting 'control' seed. though
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
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Leila, Right - no water - but I'm not using seedlings. According to Azeez Mustafa when we water them we are training them to look for water near the surface and not have to go find it. So the seedlings are already trained to do this.

I am putting seeds straight in the ground. I'm told that the first year of doing this is damn near a disaster but when you save your seeds from the first years crop you then have plants that are acclimated to your specific area, moisture level, soil, etc.

It is really difficult to keep the hands off! One day it was particularly hot, sunny and dry. The little kale leaves were not much bigger than a pencil eraser. They were all laying on the ground and looked like they were done for.

The next day they were up and perky! This morning I just picked my first small tender kale leaf and ate it raw. I have never had so much flavor from kale - no need for any other seasonings or cooking!! I could just stand out there and eat them all right in the garden.

I'm going to stick with this because Azeez has been doing it for 30 years and his co-op has to agree to dry farm in order to be members -- so it can be done -- I just have to learn how.

Also Note: I did bury lots of small logs, twigs, kitchen trash, green grass clippings etc. in all of my garden beds this year. It was a massive undertaking but the 'hugel style' worked amazingly well in my first area - no watering even during 113 days.
 
John Polk
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I certainly agree with the point of 'training them to look for water at the surface'. That is why I wait until my pepper leaves begin to curl, and then give them a good deep watering, rather than frequent shallow waterings.

For potted plants, I once did a test:
Some got regular top watering, while the others merely had their (bottom) saucers filled with water.
The water in the saucers wicks up into the soil...the deepest soil is the wettest.
In hot, dry weather, the top watered plants dried out very quickly (and most died once the Santana winds began).
The bottom watered plants survived everything (including forgetting to refill the saucers) and put out a bumper crop of (much hotter) peppers.

This is kind of like feeding chickens. If you dump a bucket of feed in front of their house several times per day, you are training them. Don't expect them to be great foragers.

 
Marianne Cicala
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at this point, I do almost everything by the moon signs, planting (yup, I just came in from putting in onions, garlic & beets) prunning etc. I'm also going to find the easiest way to do about anything and the Farmers' Almanac has a calendar with the appropriate signs & tasks per day. Super simple and we keep is posted so I see it everyday. Also has become a great journal for what we did when etc.
 
Sheena James
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Jeanine Gurley wrote:I have now gone back to planting my the moonsigns.

When I originally shifted from ornamentals to edibles I planted by moonsigns on the advice of my aunt. She did not garden, she raised pigs. I don't know anything about raising pigs but, according to her there were lots of things that she only did by the moon signs - and that also extended to her own life, such as when to schedule surgeries, etc.

My aunt was influenced by her parents and her grandparents who always planted by the signs.

I abandoned the moon signs planting over the last year.

I did harvest food - but it was not impressive. Whereas the previous year I was over run with food.

So this fall planting I am back to the moon signs. I am also dry planting. No watering - all hoses are rolled up and put away. I also intend to severly limit the number of seedlings started in containers. I want to start all (except peppers) plants in the ground out doors. Since we are so temperate here this should work for most plants.

The first planting was NOT according to the moon sign. Some stuff came up.

The next plantings HAVE been planted according to the signs. Lots of seedlings have come up - some seem to just jump up in a couple of days.

Garlic is my main squeeze around here - love my garlic. I probably did plant it according to the signs last year since I am so particular about it. This year I will narrow the planting dates down even further to find the best possible moon to plant it in. It too will recieve no supplemental watering until harvest in May/June.

I have never made compost tea using biodynamic methods but I am going to try to find a 'recipe' and try it.


Wow, really? So there's some "technique" or "belief" about planting by moon signs? Anyway, there's no harm in trying. I'll probably try this one too and if I can successfully harvest good ones, then I will also suggest it to my relatives and friends. Thanks for sharing, by the way.
 
LaLena MaeRee
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Anyone know of a good book I can learn about the moon with? I want to learn more than just the planting stuff, and when I tried to google books on the topic I only found new ones from this year or 2013. A lot of these new books include typical mainstream american life, and I want the traditional moon knowledge, not new made up bullshit that applies to people addicted to consumerism. Also, this last week we planted according to the moon and pretty much all of it is coming up, most of it started to come up within 24 hours. And a fun fact, even the video game World of Warcraft has character races who do everything according to the moon, and even worship the moon goddess which in the game they call Elune. I have found moon worship in other video games too, which usually tend to be based on real life with a mythical spin. Fascinating stuff!
 
Jordan Lowery
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You want one for this year if you plan on doing any planting before 2012 finishes up, or get one for 2013 so next season you can plant by the moon.

The reason is each year the calendars are based on not only the moon but many other planets and the sun. What your looking for is a biodynamic certified Stella natura. This will have all the info to get you going good as far as planting by planetary signs.

So just that you know an old Stella natura will do you no good for planting now or in the near future.

If you want the detailed juicy info look for rudolf Steiner lectures.
 
Brenda Groth
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also check to see if it fits your area..a lot of the calendars are for south of the equator..I just ordered one for North America for 2013..there are also some you can find online by the month, day, year..but also a lot of them are for Austrailia and New Zealand..(kinda like permaculture books too)
 
Rick Larson
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Interesting. Never heard of this method. However, my Grandmother, who died at 102, always planted during the full moon in May.

Then, as per following comments, I bury the pot I bought/grew the pepper plants in next to the plant. Or just mound them up high. When I water, it either gets into the pot, or the lower ground. This way the water goes deeper encouraging deeper roots. If you use the pot, cover, or fill it with grass clippings so the toads that jump in can get out.
 
Mary James
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Grew up growing with the moon not just the gardens but many other aspects of life..LOL that is what happens with grand parents and parents who practice the old ways
a basic book called Raising with the moon is a good starter for those just wanting some basic knowledge.
http://www.amazon.com/Raising-Complete-Guide-Gardening-Living/dp/1887905367
I do my own calculations to the moon cycles but also astrology and such in the garden intermixed with muscle testing .I have found that this book is also helpful for those who want a reference book in hand http://www.amazon.com/Llewellyns-2013-Moon-Sign-Book/dp/0738715131/ref=pd_sim_b_1
They put these out each year...

(Edited by moderator to fix link...wasn't working before. JP)


 
Greta Fields
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Jeanine, I want to go back to planting by the moon and stares too.
I just bought a used Foxfire book at the library which explains the system. Ehrenfried Pfeiffer's farm also sells calendars and books. Indians talk about it.
People all over the world have re-invented this system over and over, and that explains why it is a confusing topic: Different cultures apply it.
It seems like hocus pocus but is anything but. Pfeiffer did scientific measurements all his life showing that it works scientifically.
You can look at a seed and tell if it wants dark or light, you know? A seed with a point wants to dig into the earth. A seed that is light and flat wants to lay on top of the ground, to be germinated by more light than, say, a round seed.
Indians noticed that buffalo followed the star patterns to reach old grazing grounds, and those constellations are related to plant growth. If a buffalo looking up sees the seven Pleiades over and over where he grazes, he will go back to the Pleiades when he is hungry.
Stars form a natural GPS system too, as well as planting guide.

 
Adam Klaus
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Greta-
which foxfire book had good info on moon planting? I remember seeing stuff about planting when I used to read a bunch of the Foxfire series, but dont remember which number book the best info was in. Your comment has refreshed my interest in the wisdom of the Foxfire series. thanks!
 
Greta Fields
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Adam, hi:
I Just found my copy of The Foxfire Book, but it is not one of those numbered copies. [I wonder if it is the FIRST one?] It is the book that includes Hog dressing, Log Cabin Building, mountain crafts and foods, planting by the signs, snake lore, faith healing and moonshining, etc. It was published by Anchor Books in 1972.
Yes, I want to learn this system, and other knowledge held by Rudolf Steiner. Steiner apparently got his knowledge from actual practice. I have been listening to his talks on YouTube, but there is not as much about his gardening as his philosophy.
 
Adam Klaus
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Hi Greta,
Yes that book is Foxfire 1. I just ordered most of the 12 book series after years of meaning to but not getting around to it.

On a Steiner/BD note, I would really reccomend checking out E. Pfeifer for a good Biodynamic education. Steiner, for me, was a philosopher not a farmer. And he was very much a product of his time and place. Similarly, Pfeifer came to America just as industrial farming was taking off, and had the great benefit of seeing the rich tradition of American farming before it was destroyed by modernity. Pfeifer's teachings were aimed at American farmers and were much more practical rather than philiosphical. 'Soil Fertility' is one book by Pfeifer that I highly reccomend. For me, Steiner turns off a lot of people from Biodynamics, and confuses most of the rest. Unfortunately, he is the name people know, but not necessarily the teacher they seek. Good luck in your studies, I am always delighted to discuss!
 
Greta Fields
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Adam, I discovered Pfeiffer first, then Steiner!
I have a book of Pfeiffer's soil essays, which are very practical to apply. [He got me collecting logs to make humus.]
I have looked at Pfeiffer's farm on line. It is still in operation, you know? I take what I learn from the biodynamic people and mix it up with what I learn from other people, Indians, and hillbilly gardeners, and the Nearings, and the organic people and the permaculture people etc. etc. I learn from anybody I can!
If you can't find Foxfire 1.1, let me know. I could photocopy parts of it for you.
Greta
 
wendy james
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This is the first time I heard about planting by moon signs. I was just wondering - is Feng Shui also applicable for planting?
 
Greta Fields
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Wendy, I have books about feng shui which recommend planting certain colors or shapes of plants in certain places according to a system. However, I do not know if feng shui has anything to say about vegetable gardening.
One book about feng shui said that it is a way of bringing the outside and the gardens into the house and living spaces, so that people benefit from the good energy of the outdoors in their dwellings. I am not very good at feng shui. People study it all their life. It apparently is a very old system.
I can't think what the terms feng shui mean right now.
Greta
 
Lisa Paulson
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Fascinating, I hope you all continue to share your experiences with this. I would like to learn more too.
 
wendy james
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Greta Fields wrote:Wendy, I have books about feng shui which recommend planting certain colors or shapes of plants in certain places according to a system. However, I do not know if feng shui has anything to say about vegetable gardening.
One book about feng shui said that it is a way of bringing the outside and the gardens into the house and living spaces, so that people benefit from the good energy of the outdoors in their dwellings. I am not very good at feng shui. People study it all their life. It apparently is a very old system.
I can't think what the terms feng shui mean right now.
Greta


Interesting. I will try to get more on this and see what applies to me. Thanks Greta.
 
Su Ba
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I personally see no harm in planting by the moon, but I haven't seen it make any difference on my farm. I grow year around and have found the weather patterns to be far more influential in my successes and failures. I opt to watch the wind, temperature, sunlight, length of day, rain, and dew. I also tried two years planting according to local Hawaiian lore, but again, it was the weather the had far more bearing on the plants. By keeping a daily journal on the weather, I have been able to better predict how my crops will be responding. Some people think the I have some sort of mystical connection with my garden, but it's truly just my close observation of the weather and day length patterns. Plus of course the homemade compost, manures, mulches, soil amendments, deep watering, diligent pest control, and disease prevention. Feed the soil microbes, and the soil will feed your plants!

...Su Ba
www.kaufarmer.blogspot.com
 
Greta Fields
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Hi, I never planted by the signs either.
However, I found out it does make sense, not just spiritually and intuitively, but scientifically. The pH of soil changes by the signs, and even changes hour by hour in soil. Clay hgas crystals in it with electrical charges, and the charges change according to the signs. A plus or a minus on an electrical charge in soil could make all the difference .
A soil scientist, Pfeiffer, is the one who seems to know the most about the electrical effects of heavenly sins. I put a post about this above, so I won't repeat all this. Greta
 
Jim Dickie
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I've tried planting by the signs, but the weather in my area over the past two years has been so unpredictable and unseasonal that its practically impossible. Its pretty hard to plant anything when it rains for two weeks straight, so usually I plant when the weather allows. The crazy weather is really starting to freak me out.
 
John Polk
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True enough. Planting by the moon makes sense in areas of moderate & predictable weather.
When I grew in So.Cal, or the Med, waiting a few weeks wouldn't matter.
For many growers in northern locations, planting by the moon could be disastrous.

Planting at the "perfect" time for lunar & zodiacal purposes may not coincide with short-season frost cycles, or other localized weather cycles. If I had to wait another 2 weeks for the moon to be 'right', my tomatoes/peppers, etc. would be too late to expect a crop harvest.

In my opinion, weather patterns must be given a higher priority than moon cycles.
If the two happen to coincide, that is great. If they don't coincide, weather trumps moon/stars.
 
Adam Klaus
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John Polk wrote:
In my opinion, weather patterns must be given a higher priority than moon cycles.
If the two happen to coincide, that is great. If they don't coincide, weather trumps moon/stars.


I agree, and tell people that moon is queen, but sun is the king. Gotta be mindful of number one. However, a lot of times there is that little bit of opportunity, and even if things with the weather arent perfect, the extra boost from working with the moon cycles is worth alligning with.

I live in a short season, volatile weather region. The thing I notice more and more, is that when you sow seeds in accordance with the lunar rhythms, that your seeds then somehow wake up at the right time. Transplanting is a different story, there is no chance for the natural intelligence of the seed to determine its own destiny when setting out plants. It seems like there is a definite boost that plants get from lunar timing, such that I am now willing to plant a little bit late, in order to work with the lunar cycles, because I find that the plants make up the difference and then some. So sometimes a week late sowing, in harmony with the moon, ends up harvesting a week early.
 
Su Ba
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John, what you say is quite sensible to me. Planting by the moon just isn't a wise choice in some areas or time of year. But if the timing works out, there's no harm in trying planting by the moon signs. Personally, I no longer bother with it. I run a one person homestead farm and time is in short supply, so if I have the time to plant the potatoes on this Monday (for example), then they go in. I can't afford to wait, hoping that I'll find the time 2-3 weeks later. I don't play at gardening and permaculture. I actually live by it. My homestead must support the two of us. Therefore I can't abide with delayed or failed crops. I didn't find planting by moon signs to increase my food production, so I don't do it.

...Su Ba
www.kaufarmer.blogspot.com
 
Greta Fields
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That's interesting Adam I wish I knew how to plant by the signs. I think I will learn. I don't know what to do about the weather. It's crazy this year, rain rain rain. Not enough sun.
 
Lisa Paulson
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For what it is worth ( I just found it and would have no idea how accurate it is ) this UK site has daily moon based information on gardening .

http://www.the-gardeners-calendar.co.uk/moonplanting.asp
 
Adam Klaus
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Lisa Paulson wrote:For what it is worth ( I just found it and would have no idea how accurate it is ) this UK site has daily moon based information on gardening .

http://www.the-gardeners-calendar.co.uk/moonplanting.asp


It's a legit site, one I use often. The other one that I use, that has a bit more info is-

http://www.astrologie-info.com/mocal.cgi?language=eng&sidtrop=sid

For me, and this is just what I have found works for me, planting planning goes a bit like this-
1) Make sure the weather is favorable or at least neutral. A nice soft rain, in my environment, is more auspicious than any moon sign, IME. No way I am transplanting in a hot wind or frost.
2) Look for the no-no situations that I always avoid, such as any eclipses, moon apigee, and moon node passage. Just dont plant at these times.
3) Look at the moon phase. Great to sow seeds when the moon is waxing. Leafy or root crops are best closer to the new moon, fruiting crops closer to the full moon, in an ideal world. For either, we want the seeds to germinate as the moon is growing in the sky. If transplanting, I think this is still a good time, or also just after the full moon is good, as the moon is waning in the sky and the moon energy is decending.
4) Look at the zodiac sign. For plants that I want to encourage vegetative growth, I want a leaf sign, or a root sign. This would include all leafy greens, heading brassicas, root crops, grains, perennials. Basically everything, except plants that are prone to too much vegetative growth when we want them to be producing fruit. These fruiting crops would get planted under a fruit or flower sign. These crops are far fewer, mainly tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, melons.

This is just what I do, no gospel here. I have kept records for years, and almost all my crop failures either are from bad weather or poor moon timing. As I get better at farming, I dont plant in poor weather ever anymore, particularly thanks to the quality of weather forecasting (insert joke here). But the frustrating crop failures, they have been regularly explained by inadvertantly planting in the no-no times. ymmv. Nobody serious is going to tell you to plant your peppers in a hailstorm because the moon says so, thats not the point here.

Moon planting is a small and subtle advantage you can give your plants. It wont overcome more fundamental problems of weather, soil fertility, or seed quality. But it does give that little boost by working in harmony with the moon's energy. I am a surfer, and like any fisherman, you cant tell me that the moon doesnt exert a profound influence on the water of this Earth. If you grow great crops all the time without caring about the moon, good for you, need not apply. But if you are looking to further your farming, working with forces both small and large, then moon planting is another useful tool for a more refined relationship with the Earth. enjoy the ride...
 
Greta Fields
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Adam and Lisa, thank you for taking the time to post this information. I think I will try this next year..
Adams, it makes sense that a waxing moon would provide a little more light for seeds that like a lot of light when germinating.
However, I recall reading somewhere that some people plant certain plants in the dark of the moon too. It may be that the situation is ore complex than just light It may have to do with changes in electrical charges in the soil, pH changes, and not just more or less light.
\ Winter is when I do my planning and reading mostly, so I think I will study up on this topic. I am about to order one of Steiner's books. I have an idea that Pfeiffer takes Steiner's ideas further.
It may be just a good balance in light and water.
You know, I was shocked to read, however, that the Hopis grow corn in the desert, and what is even more shocking....they plant the seeds WAY down, almost a foot, I think, to be close to moisture. But then, seeds germinate inside mines too.
I Just accidentally germinated a bunch of cantelope seeds, here in August. I hung a plastic bag on the clothes line, to keep out mice. The seeds were in paper napkins. It rained, and they all germinated instead of drying out for storage!!! I threw them away. I should have tried them.
I cut open a pepper from the store with no seeds in it. Surely they have not sterilized the pappers??
Greta
 
Su Ba
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Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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Greta, some seeds require light to germinate while others do not. For example, lettuce seed requires light, so if one sowed them deeply there would be poor or zero germination. Therefore sowing them on a waxing moon near to a full moon might indeed cause faster germination due to the increased length of light. I'm not sure, but it seems feasible. Corn, obviously, does not require light for germination.

...Su Ba
www.kaufarmer.blogspot.com
 
Greta Fields
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Right there are many tiny seeds that do not like being buried. Also, thin, wafer-like seeds like hollyhock do not like being covered at all.
well, I just ordered books by Steiner and Pfeiffer to learn all about their system of biodynamic gardening.
I also ordered toby hemenway's book on permaculture called Gaia's Gaarden.
I read by the wood fire in winter. I ordered a lot of books for only $1 on the used book sites. Steiner's books weren't bad at all.
 
Elena Ross
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Bless your heart Jeanie, I have 7 acres in Costa Rica and we do all the gardening by the moon signs. Allison, one of my recent volunteers also added "personalities" to our moon calendar and it even helps with relationships. Leo = Ego, Cap = Duty, Libra- home, etc. If you'd like I can copy and paste our "short list". paz y amor. Elena
 
Erich Sysak
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Jeanine Gurley wrote:I have now gone back to planting my the moonsigns.

When I originally shifted from ornamentals to edibles I planted by moonsigns on the advice of my aunt. She did not garden, she raised pigs. I don't know anything about raising pigs but, according to her there were lots of things that she only did by the moon signs - and that also extended to her own life, such as when to schedule surgeries, etc.

My aunt was influenced by her parents and her grandparents who always planted by the signs.

I abandoned the moon signs planting over the last year.

I did harvest food - but it was not impressive. Whereas the previous year I was over run with food.

So this fall planting I am back to the moon signs. I am also dry planting. No watering - all hoses are rolled up and put away. I also intend to severly limit the number of seedlings started in containers. I want to start all (except peppers) plants in the ground out doors. Since we are so temperate here this should work for most plants.

The first planting was NOT according to the moon sign. Some stuff came up.

The next plantings HAVE been planted according to the signs. Lots of seedlings have come up - some seem to just jump up in a couple of days.

Garlic is my main squeeze around here - love my garlic. I probably did plant it according to the signs last year since I am so particular about it. This year I will narrow the planting dates down even further to find the best possible moon to plant it in. It too will recieve no supplemental watering until harvest in May/June.

I have never made compost tea using biodynamic methods but I am going to try to find a 'recipe' and try it.


Hi Jeanine,

I'm in a tropical wet/dry area. I'm also interested in planting by the moon phases. Thank you for starting the topic.

Do you know of any free resources that are a bit more detailed than the general planting calendars one finds on the net? Biodynamic farming is relatively popular in India, but I've never found a calendar created by an experienced BD farmer for my region.

E
 
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