Sunday, January 31, 2010

Edible Balcony - Moon Plantings

Thai Silk chillies planted on Friday night - the night before the full moon. Considered a very fertile period in the lunar calendar for planting.

I've popped the chillies between the red peppers and the mixed basil.

Now before you think I've gone completely looney(get it?) hear me out. Generations of farmers and gardeners have been planting crops according to moon cycles. Why? They believe lunar planting helps seeds to germinate earlier, plants to grow stronger and the fruit they bear to be larger and tastier. How does the moon do all that?Well as you know the moon is the closest celestial body to the Earth. It is already known to affect water on the Earth through moving the tides but less is known about its effects on sap levels in plants.

This variety of chilli has a blow-your-head-off rating of 7/10. The chillies change colour from cream, to yellow, to purple, until they are red and fully ripe.

You probably know there are four major moon phases - they are new, first quarter, full and third quarter. When the moon is growing in light from the new to the full moon it's referred to as waxing. The waxing phase is a time of growth and expansion. Waning is when the moon moves from full back to new and is losing light or shrinking. This waning phase is a time of contraction. Generally the waxing period is considered a better time for planting, repotting and pruning to encourage growth, the full moon is the best time to harvest and the waning phase is the best time to weed and for general garden maintenance. Read more here.

This form of biodynamic gardening was pioneered by Rudolf Steiner, the Austrian philosopher and social thinker. He was very concerned about our over-reliance on commercial fertilisers and chemicals to boost crops sizes and predicted (correctly) that these practices would actually degrade soil fertility in the long-term.

After some cursory reading on this subject I'm not sure I'm a believer in Moon plantings but I'm going to give it a go. I need all the extra help I can muster!

Last night's full moon over Sydney Harbour... ow...woooooooooooo.....

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful photo of the moon! Interesting post...have a great week!