Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Moon and Gardening

January Waning Moon Rising

I love my Canon camera! Most people try to take photos of the Moon at night, but if you're lucky enough, you can also see the Moon rising. Do you follow the Moon cycles? I'd love to read what they mean to you, and how you honour and celebrate them!

We are currently in the waning stage of the Moon (it's decreasing towards a New Moon on the 17th). If you want to do some self-improvement, it's a good time to think of ways to remove negative energy from your life. I personally try extra hard to be positive during a waning Moon; I do little rituals like burning sage to remove any lingering negativity that might be trapped in my home. If I feel a stronger negative energy somewhere specific, I'll fill a jar with water and vinegar and just leave it overnight to absorb any funny feeling I have in that area of my home. We live in a cottage that has been a rental since the early 1980's so many a soul has been through these walls. You just never know what is lingering, best to rid it when you feel it!

Here are some fun superstitions for the waning stage of the Moon:

- Eat some potatoes during this cycle, it will bring you protection! (we're having mashed taters with dinner tonight!)

- If you accidentally look over your left shoulder and see the waning moon, you'll have a prosperous month. If you cheat and look on purpose, it doesn't count! :)

- Don't ever point at a waning Moon, it brings bad luck.

Being self-sufficient, well, as much as possible, is a dream for me. I'm well on my way though. I started my first garden last summer and plan to continue to grow my food as much as I can. There is something so gratifying when you eat the food you've grown isn't there? :)

January 2015 Waning Moon

After two days of rain pouring down and 10C (50F) was a sloppy mess outside. Overnight the temperature dipped to -24C (-11F) and turned into a skating rink.'s a little milder but snowing. All I could think of (besides the impending shoveling) was spring, the garden and what I'll be planting soon in my window!

The benefits of gardening are beyond what I can list here. As many of you know, I live with depression and anxiety and I can attest that gardening brings a peace of mind to my life like no pharmaceutical ever did lol! I find it a deeply spiritual and rewarding hobby. I've learned a lot about Mother Earth in the last year, more than I knew! I've proven to myself that homegrown produce is pretty much all I can eat as well. After a summer of enjoying my own lettuce, I bought some Romaine in town and was sick all night. It's the same with most of the produce I buy at the store. If I don't peel it and cook it, I can't eat it.

I've really been interested in gardening by the Moon cycles lately. Have you ever done that? 

I've done some reading on this subject and it really interests me. The Moon influences the rise and fall of the tides, I don't think that can be debated. But the Moon's gravitational effect also affects the moisture in the soil. And this all depends on the cycle of the Moon. 

We naturally think that the Sun has the biggest effect on growth of our plants, but moonlight also affects leaf growth and sap flow inside the plants. 

The practice of gardening by the Moon is ancient and everywhere I read that gardeners have great success with this method.

2009 Harvest Waning Moon 

Last year I started my seedlings indoors in April. I think I'm going to follow the Moon cycles this year when I start the seedlings...and also when I'm ready for the outdoor planting. Why not give it a try? It just takes some planning! Here are the rules:

1. Crops that yield ABOVE ground should be planted during the Waxing Moon (New Moon To Full Moon) within these two categories:

a) The FIRST week of the Waxing Moon is especially good for crops that don't have seeds on the inside, like cabbage, spinach, celery and broccoli.

b) The SECOND week of the Waxing Moon is especially good for those crops that have seeds on the inside, like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers. Also for pitted fruits.

2. Crops that grow underground, the root veggies, like carrots, onions and potatoes should be planted during the Waning Moon (Full to New Moon).

3. Never plant anything on the day of the New Moon or the Full Moon.

What are your gardening plans this year? First time? Seasoned gardener? My friend Dianna and I are determined to grow some lettuces, tomatoes and herbs during our insane winters here in northern Canada...we figure the only way to do it is with a "grow light" set up, which is pricey. Are you lucky enough to have a year-round garden? Are you influenced by the Moon cycles? Do you do any cottage witchery or garden witchery to help your plants along? I'd love to read about it!! :)


Toni said...

We must be soul sisters!

My gardens have always been planted according to the cycles of the moon, as you listed. The cycle of the moon is a vital part of my life. Waning, and dark moon are times for inner reflection, meditating. I tend not to be too social as it's typically a time for withdrawal and grounding. Waxing moon is time to for action, beginning new projects, socializing.

I don't even think about it anymore, it just happens. Waning moon, my dreams are super lucid. I burn sage or essential oils. Waxing moon, windows open.

Don't even get me started about sex and the full moon! Oh Momma!

Toni said...

Just found this interview with Daniel Pink who wrote a book about how important 'When' is for everything in life. He even suggests that the cycle of a single day has an impact on decision making, starting new projects, etc. Cycles everywhere!

Anonymous said...

you have accomplished so much Rain,, quite an inspiration, my family and my husbands family have been fortunate to have always grown our own vegetables and fruits and took it for granted I think at full moon I paint because now we live in town most of the year we dreadfully miss our gardens, I do container gardening and it is very satisfying,
such beautiful moon photos! I have always felt the pull of the moon, its a fact that at a full moon I am much more productive and inspired with my art, I feel a very close association with moon, I love the moon and the moon loves me is what I have always said since childhood and that has not changed!! We need to respect the moon,, its a powerful force, have a great weekend Rain,, in these deep freeze temps!!

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

These posts always inspire me. There are so many things that you write about that are important to me, so many things we have in common. It's actually refreshing to run across another soul that you can relate to. I was just telling my husband the other day that it's wonderful to meet people who you can discuss spiritual things with and they don't look at you like you're weird. LOL That's always been a problem with me. I'm really looking forward to gardening this spring. We have a blank slate and there is a lot of work to do, so we won't get everything done. But we will make quite a bit of progress. Our first priority is to add hedges around the property. We're a corner lot with a chain link fence and there is zero privacy right now! We need to fix that because I'm an introvert and my garden is my sanctuary (I like to hide...haha). We will also add a couple of trees and prepare some flower beds. I'm not sure how much planting I'll get to do but I'll try to squeeze in a few perennials, at the very least, and maybe grow some container veggies. We'll see how it goes!

Fundy Blue said...

I really enjoyed this post, Rain, especially learning about gardening by the moon cycles. I've always been drawn to the moon, but more as a scientist than spiritually. I've looked at the Christian concept of heaven with a lot of dismay, because I love the night and its beauty and can't imagine being eternally in night. I shall enjoying hearing about your gardening pursuits in the coming year!

wisps of words said...

Gorgeous moon shots!!!!

And thank you for more Moon Lore!

Did you ever hear...? "Salute the New Moon, or have bad luck." It was in a Lucia book. 'Georgie' said that 'Lucia' had not done that, and that was why, she was having all sorts of problems, with her grand plans. :-0 I used to tell my little grand daughter, for whom I did 'free Nana day care," to be sure to salute the New Moon. :-)))))

I have heard of gardening by the moon, but never "why". Thank you. Of course, the moon has water gravitational pull. Look at the tides. So, why not earth water too? (And why not human saline solution, too? But that's for another day.)

We don't garden any more, but try to purchase only organic food. And don't try for tomatoes/lettuce/etc., in mid winter. You can buy them, but........ Good grief, how long have they been in transit????

Oh if only I knew cottage witchery! Guess if I was a witch, I'd be a Hearth Witch. Since I am really content at home. :-))))

Again, thank you for the info on the Moon. I note the Dark of the Moon, but don't always know, any more than that.

wisps of words said...

The "Lucia" books are a delight, if one likes that sort of old, gentle read. So I will give a link to Good Reads, for them.... :-)

"Queen Lucia" is the first in the series. A delightful spoof of that time... From a review: "It's just the most precious 1920s English village that you ever could see. Delightful! Decadent! Devious!" Demented! Delicious! :-)))))))

MrsDuncanMahogany said...

Love the Moon pictures! :)

I follow the Moon more than any other celestial being out there. After all, I WAS named after Her wasn't I? ;)

The calendar I have at home that I get every year tells me when its a good time to plant or a good time to harvest. That calendar combined with what I know helps my in my gardening. The ones who have gone before us planted this way. They knew their stuff.

Pam Jackson said...

Gardening plans....haha...that says work to me! HAHA...I have had a garden before. When I was younger I had a small one but I only remember having cucumber but I know there was other stuff I remember then cause I made pickles. From there the most I have had would be some pepper plants, tomatoes and herbs. I used to do my herbs on the deck where I could walk out and run my hands through them to make the smell float up. I never really used them for cooking! I have really just started back to cooking more. I hope to make an herb garden this yr. One that will come back each yr. I just have to be careful about planting stuff since my brother keeps my yard cut I don't want to put anything in his way. I would like to keep him as my yard guy! But I will say, that years ago when I was younger I loved working in the flower beds and I had them everywhere. I loved the feel of the dirt in my hands, I did not wear gloves. When I was stressed all I had to do was go weed a bed. Now, my fibro prevents me from doing so much like that in the heat. I almost melt away. I wished I could get back to that. As for doing anything by the moon. I never have but would love to look into that stuff. I have just started getting into oils and healing stones the last few why not think about the moon.....thanks Rain. Have a great day.

Rain said...

Hi Toni :) I've found so many soul sisters and brothers on this blog, it's so much fun! :) Ha! I love your sex comment! :) Oh Momma is right lol! :) That interview is interesting. I read something similar about doctors being less focused in afternoons and that the best day to see a doctor is Tuesday or Wednesday, because Mondays are hectic...Thursdays are either pay days or people are focused that the next day is Friday...and Friday, well, Friday is Friday lol...since I read that I've always made any appointments on Tuesday or Wednesday mornings...everything from the vet, doctor even mechanics!

I have all of my energy in the mornings, I do my exercise and chores then...and anything that needs my noggin like budgeting. Afternoons are my creative time and evenings are when I'm just a lump lol...It is interesting.

I love your Waning and Waxing rituals! I'm very much looking forward to gardening. I'm going to plant some flowers in pots in the house on Imbolc! :)

Rain said...

Hi Laurie :)) I'm really looking forward to having a huge garden. But for now it's all containers...well, mostly, I had a pumpkin patch last summer that provided 3 nice pumpkins for Halloween! We're renting so I can't really dig up too much of the land here. But the containers are great, virtually weed-free :)

Alex feels like you when there is a full moon, he gets super creative. He writes music so that's usually when he gets his creative boosts and motivation. I feel a pull to the Moon as well...especially when it's full. I just want to be outside under the Moon on nights like that. I almost feel safe and secure. The deep freeze continues, stay warm yourself!!

Rain said...

Hi Martha :)) LOL...I know how you feel about that...being able to just talk about your own spiritual beliefs without that double take. Or worse, I've had people actually make fun of me. I was pretty closed for a long time, but my new attitude is "this is me, take me or leave me" lol...I just love being myself and I'm so happy to have met all of these like-minded spiritual people!! :)

I think it was Leigh from 5 Acres and a Dream blog who gave me the advice last year about the garden, to start slow, because I was just starting my container garden. I didn't listen lol...but I did too much last year. But it was a good experiment because I know pretty much what will work and what won't in this climate, and in containers. You have a wonderful blank's going to be fun building everything up! Hedges are wonderful for privacy! We're lucky that this property has all those trees around it. We do have a little spot that's too open for our liking, but since we're renting, we're coping. Every year we put our Christmas tree in that area and it actually stays up and also gives a wee bit more privacy! So far we have three there.

Oh I LOVE to hide lol...the whole back yard and porch combined is my sanctuary. I had high hopes to plant a little Fairy Garden last year but ran out of time. I may try that this year. I would still love to have my Moon Garden, that completely failed last summer due to the weather though. I need more sunny windows to start seeds!!! I can't wait to see your progress!

Rain said...

Hi Louise :)) I also hold dismay for the Christian concept of heaven/hell...I can't relate to it. I was brought up with that, but it never had much meaning for me. We all have our own beliefs and I'm fine with that. I'm TOO excited to start the gardening lol...I want to spend my entire spring summer and fall outside this year, I do hope the weather is better than last year though!

Rain said...

Hi Wisps of Words :)) Oh poor Queen Lucia! (and thanks for the link!) :) I never heard of that saying, but it makes so much sense to me! I think that's what I do, I salute the Moon, I say hello, I feel her energy...I am very much aware that she is a huge part of my life! I think it's good that you told your granddaughter to salute her! :)

One of the reasons I really can't stand produce at the stores, especially in winter, is like you said, knowing that they've been in transit already for weeks. Do you notice that fruit basically has no taste unless it's local? They pick it when it's not quite ripe and it never really has a chance to ripen and sweeten by the time it reaches us. We've given up. I try to stock up in August, freeze and can what I'm able to so that we have relatively fresh fruits and veggies all winter.

I read up a lot on Cottage and Kitchen and Garden witchery. I have a few good books by Ellen Dugan if you can find them!

Rain said...

Hi Dianna, Moon Goddess!! :) How did I not notice you were named after the Moon?? :) I love it! :) I think that our ancestors really knew their stuff. They had it all figured out...then we had to go and screw it all up lol...I love finding people like us who want to go back to the old ways of doing things. Though, grow lights probably don't fall under that category lol! :) I am going to follow the Moon gardening "rules" but also I love reading the Almanacs for the best days too.

Rain said...

Hi Pam :)) I like that you are into oils and healing stones. I have a few stones that I hold on to at times, I found them by the ocean when I lived on Prince Edward Island and I can always feel a positive energy from them. It's pretty cool!

I hope you can get your herb garden going and yes, definitely keep your bro as your lawn mower lol! I do a lot of herbs all summer, but I don't always use them, but I love the smell of them. So far I haven't been able to keep too many herbs all winter though, the window is sunny but it's not very well insulated and it's cold. The only herb that is lasting now is the parsley. I'll be staying in Canada so I have to deal with the winters day I'd love to have a big walk-in greenhouse.

baili said...

i am not superstitious dear Rain!

thank you for sharing lots of knowledge about gardening according to moon .
i have read little about moon's influence upon earth ,plants and oceans though.

i doubt i can survive in minus 24 oh my my bones are cracking with fear lol

i totally completely agree about the gardening 's healthy effects on one's attitude and moods ,feelings and perspectives .

biggest reason by this we get close to nature and nature is second best healerr first is time i know but effect of nature is instant and magical

Toni said...

Also look up French Intensive and Companion Planting. In the early '70's I took some gardening classes at UC Santa Cruz on planting things that taste good together close to each other, how to use some plants (such as tomatoes or bell peppers to shade lettuce from heat of day, using some plants to protect others or boost others. Planting in beds rather than in a straight line helps the plants self mulch, saving water and discouraging weeds. Alan Chadwick taught the classes.

People always told me that lettuce would not grow in Palo Cedro because the heat is so intense in summer. I grew lots of lettuce in my tomatoes, bell peppers and chili and it thrived! Picked a little every day for fresh salads!

Rain said...

Thanks Toni :) I have read about the Companion Planting. Everything I plant is in containers (renting), so that would be quite easy to do. The landlord allowed me to dig up one area for my pumpkin patch so that was lucky, otherwise, I don't have much room besides the containers. I found in the really hot August we had last summer, my lettuce was very poor. I have some wonderful planning to do. I'm saving all my extra money to buy a grow light so we can have lettuce next winter too. Fingers crossed on that one!

I just looked up the French Intensive Planting. Now that's something I'd love to do! Alex and I will be buying a property somewhere from 2019 to 2020 and one thing he's going to set up for me are lots of raised beds. I have a year or two to learn all the theory I can about planting and methods, but I can't wait to try it all out!

Rain said...

Hi Baili :) Your bones aren't the only ones cracking lol! :) My poor body cannot handle the cold much anymore. We got a little break today at -14. For me that is tolerable for winter, but yes, those -20's and -30's are horrible. When Alex and I buy our place, it'll be more East in Canada, the Maritimes, which isn't tropical by any means, but the winters are a little milder in some areas closer to the ocean. You are so right about Nature being a healer. I feel so much better when I'm in the woods or in the garden. Now I'm going to take the Moon into consideration for all of that too! :)

wisps of words said...

Dear Rain, yes this is my personal choice. :-) I know I am bucking the present trend, but I never learned to like it. The "Ol' Gal" can learn some new tricks, but not all new tricks. LOLLLL

thank you for the reading suggestions!

Rain said...

Ha ha ha Wisps of Words...just remember to come back here to read my replies!! You're so funny. I can't learn all new tricks either! :)

Nicolas Hall said...

Rain this is all very thought provoking! Let me start with our plan for the year. We live in a small town but just off the main road and have no yard to speak of. So we turned our back parking area into a container garden a few years ago and last year tried just building up the soil around the edges and planting there as well. All of which worked wonderfully well! Last year we grew: Strawberries, green onions, radishes, carrots, kale, baby greens, leaf and romaine lettuces, peas, shiso, a half dozen pots of fresh herbs and lots of flowers too. Only zucchini failed for us so that was pretty successful all around. We believe the asphalt out back had a lot to do with it. It never gets very warm here in the summer maybe 7-10 days total above 80F all year!) but the heat that radiates off of, and is stored in, the parking area surface really seems to help things grow! We're expanding the garden this year again and going to try some new things.

Just having a garden, of any size or sort, is healing and so grounding. Working soil and watching things grow over the season, harvesting them and cooking them. Every part of it brings so much to our life here. :)

I love the waning moon lore you shared and have read a lot lately about moon gardening for reference for a fantasy story I'm writing as the seasons and "months" as well as harvests and festivals are all kept by the observations of the changes in a Labyrinth Garden.

I look forward to hearing how your planting goes by the moon cycles too! A lovely post and thank you for sharing so much!

Tammie Lee said...

lovely moon thoughts.
i have also heard that if you want your hair to grow that you cut it after the new moon, as the pull of the waxing moon encourages hair growth.

Danielle L Zecher said...

I've dabbled a tiny bit in candle magic, and pay attention to where the moon is at in its cycle then, but not usually. My husband used to work in a 911 center and always said they were MUCH busier during a full moon, so I always knew when that was. Less so now that he's in a different job.

I can't wait to be able to plant the garden, probably in mid to late April. It definitely seems to help with anxiety and depression, like you say.

I've never heard of the vinegar for absorbing negativity before, but I may have to give it a try. And I didn't know that about potatoes. We happen to be having mashed potatoes tonight. :-)

Rain said...

Thanks Nicolas :) Isn't that interesting about the asphalt! It makes sense, it acts like a sun reflector...too bad you can harness up that heat for solar power! :) I think it's great that you were able to grow so much! I tried strawberries from seed last year and nothing grew. We had a lousy summer, too much rain, very cloudy and cool so my first container garden was just a so so success. I'm going to grow more seedlings indoors starting in April this year and hope for the best. It's just that I only have one sunny window and it gets pretty packed with little pots! :) Great that you're expanding your garden. I have a blogger friend who gave me good advice. When you plan your homestead, plan "food first". I'm definitely working towards learning as much as I can about gardening before we buy our property!

I really do find planting and gardening to be so healing for me. And it's such a great thing to eat the food you've grown!

The Moon lore is just fun for me! :) I'm a big folklore buff!

Rain said...

Thanks Tammie Lee :) I've read about cutting your hair after the new moon too! I used to buy those farmer's almanacs every year and they had all sorts of great lore in them too.

Rain said...

Hi Danielle :) Thanks for visiting!! :) I've also read about the full moon and people showing their "lunacy". I may be wrong, but I do believe that is why the word lunacy and lunatic was created, during full moon's where people showed their not-so-sane sides!

I hope the potatoes brought both of us some luck lol! :) Oh me too, I'm SO looking forward to the garden! We get snow here sometimes until mid-May so I have to be careful not to be too eager. I can only really bring the plants out end of May and it's probably a good idea to start them all indoors this year.