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Thursday, May 8, 2014

GARDENING BY THE MOON - 6 tips and specific dates to get the most from your garden

GARDENING BY THE MOON (6 tips and specific dates to get the most from your growing season) by astrologer, Zoe Moon

The memory of snow is melting away, the Sun is coming out and here in the midlands of America the people are perking up and eagerly awaiting their gardens. It's actually a phenomenon world-wide: that pull of spring fever, the urge to plant, grow and commence anew. It begins with the Sun's entry into the active first sign of the zodiac, Aries, and the build-up of his impending move into earthy Taurus.

So, how to begin? You can purchase a Farmer's Almanac, a book first published in 1792 in Boston and the country's "oldest continuously published periodical" according to the almanac, or you can consult your local wiccan, read your bible, or trace the tradition of aligning gardening choices with the Moon's progressions to hundreds of old references. These literally go back into time immemorial and work... very well... still.  It is within this age-old understanding of the Moon and her cycles that all of these sources draw from and it is here that you too can claim your keys to growing the most luscious and fruitful garden. So, why aren't you using this to get your best planting experience?

Well, it's hard to believe but many people just aren't aware of these little tricks of nature and the cosmos, and for some it's the thought that it might be too complicated. So I decided to outline a few easy steps you can take to really get it right this year. From an astrologers view of things, there are some very basic rules to follow and to that end I have outlined how this works and included a list of the exact dates and times for you through the summer to plant for best flow.

Every month the Moon will move through all 12 energy fields/signs of the zodiac, spending approximately 2 and a half days in each and then starting over again after this 29.53 day cycle. This begins every month on the New Moon in Aries. Each sign the Moon lands in and every quarter period of that 29.53 day cycle affect your crops potential in specific ways.

First, planting when the Moon is in a water sign is the most advantageous. The water signs are Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. Planting when the Moon is illuminating this energy will give larger produce, more blooms and deeper roots. These are fertile signs with the dewy base you need to make things grow. Cancer ranks first of all signs for planting anything as long as it is not in the week before the New Moon, (more on that in a bit). Pisces is next in line for perfect timing on your planting cycle and may produce rambling vines or plants that spread without boundaries, keep that in mind to work best with it. Scorpio will send down the deepest roots and crave more compost than the other water signs but in third place will still bring you grand results.

Second, if what you are planting is a root plant, like potatoes, beets, sassafras, or carrots, planting when the Moon is in an earth sign can make for better produce. The earth signs are Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn. Out of these earth signs, your best period is when the Moon is in Taurus. Virgo may produce good vegetables but they will likely be smaller or fewer and you do run the risk of a barren crop if certain plants you put in are male or otherwise opposed to Virgo's needs so I personally just rule out this sign since it's fussy and finicky-I include it here in case you just have to plant during this particular Moon. Capricorn will take longer to grow, it will be strong with a lot of endurance but will not be as robust as Taurus. It will make for long lasting plants that come back each year if what you are planting is about renewed growth and can bring trees and such that you want to last many years to fruition, but can also yield less than Taurus if your goal is a bumper crop so you may just want to make it simple and go with Taurus Moon. Capricorn Moon is very good for pruning with good long-term results (as is Scorpio). Besides the root plants, Taurus Moon is also good for leafy greens like lettuce, kale, spinach, and the like.

Third, when planting flowers or herbs, you will do fine if you choose Cancer, Scorpio or Pisces Moon, even Taurus, but there is also a lot of evidence that Libra brings the most favored flowers. This year I am doing a little experiment with my roses. I purchased 6 identical white rose plants and I am going to plant 3 during the Cancer Moon and 3 during the Libra Moon. I will intersperse them with each other in case there is a huge difference they will still look consistent out there along the fence and I will keep you posted as to my results. But here is the thinking on this one: the water signs are going to give you nurtured roots, multiple flowers and larger growth, again, especially in Cancer. The earth sign Taurus, will give you sturdy blooms, but it is the air sign, Libra, associated with the higher esthetic of Venus and beauty, that will give you the most gorgeous blooms. (Note if you need strength Libra is not the best.) So, if you are trying to cover a fence with lots of growth perhaps a water sign is best, if they need to stand up to the wind or the animals, the strength of an earth sign, but if you are entering your roses in a competition or want perfect blooms to cut for the house, Libra rules.

Fourth, do not plant during any other air sign or the fire signs, period. I know that some exceptions to the rule apply but why complicate it? Use the fire sign Moons, (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius), and the other air sign Moons, (Gemini, Aquarius), to weed, harvest, cut back, etc. Fire sign periods are good for hauling in supplies, sharpening tools or dragging the plants out of the car and onto the land, doing the physical energy around the place, while the mental Air signs are good for plotting and planning out the layout or cycles you will use, reading up on tips or asking friends for input.

Fifth, occasionally the Moon will slip in and out of a VOID. This is an astrological term relating to a Moon phase once it's made its last aspect from one sign and before it has entered the next sign and can last a day or a few minutes. I will note these periods so you can avoid planting within them. It is believed there are no results from actions taken during a VOID since the Moon has nothing to receive, or that expectations are not met. However, if you are trying to do something you don't want a specific result from, then the VOID is your friend. An example would be if you needed to cut off a branch but didn't want it to kill the plant, doing it during the VOID would mean there should be no consequences from the action you take and in this case would be a good thing. I will make notes below in the outline for your best days to plant, letting you know when the VOID begins and ends in any good planting period so you can avoid planting then but rather take advantage of the 'no consequences' period.

Sixth, the phase of the Moon is very important. The 29.53 day Moon month is divided into 4 quarters and you must pick a proper Moon sign (as listed above) in the right quarter of the overall monthly Moon phase or it is not going to benefit you the same way. Avoid the final/fourth quarter of the Moon, to plant. The fourth quarter Moon is the week leading up to the New Moon each month, one week after the Full Moon. Cross it off of your list, this is important! As far as the other 3 quarters: 21-plus days, they are all good but you can break them down into strengths: 
A) The first quarter Moon begins on the New Moon and lasts 7.13 days. It is best for plants that don't hold their seeds inside, and for above ground, leafy, and quick bloomers. 
B) The second quarter Moon which is the 7.13-14th.26 day after the New Moon is best for choices having seeds within the plant like tomatoes, watermelon, etc, and it is still good for leafy, greens above ground. 
C) The third quarter Moon is from the day of the Full Moon and seven days after (the 14.26-21.39st days after the New Moon). This is best for those root plants like potatoes, carrots, etc. 

If this is too much headache for you just keep it simple by eliminating the fourth quarter Moon and choosing one of the periods when the Moon is in the sign that bears good results in the first 3 quarters. I have made an easy access list for you covering a few Moon months ahead:

Zoe Moon's best planting periods for the Spring/Summer of 2014 (each period starting with the New Moon/all times given are Eastern Standard Time-U.S. so add or subtract according to your time zone):

IF PLANTING between APRIL 29- MAY 27:
The NEW MOON is on APRIL 29th. Do not plant in the 7 days leading up to this date or the last 7 days of the month period: between May 21-27th. Use either of these 7 days periods to clear off ground cover, prune back, etc. During the 3 week/3 quarter period from April 29th - May 20th these are your best planting days:

May 3-4th and the early morning of the 5th. This is the Cancer Moon and hands down your very best moment this spring to plant your garden for more blooms, larger plants and happy outcomes all things considered.

May 10th after 1:30pm EST, May 11th anytime, and May 12 up until 8pm EST is good but only for flowers or herbs since this is the Libra Moon. You may plant those flowers at other periods but this is the time when you are supposed to get the most lovely blooms. Note that the day of the 12th is in a Moon VOID so do not plant but rather use it for its positive effects as listed up above under 'the fifth topic'.

May 13-14 is the Scorpio Moon and great in this quarter for leafy or root plants as well as any you want to go deep and remain, or branch off and create more growth. Also focuses on planting plants that have seeds inside. Note that a VOID Moon begins on the 14th at 3:16pm EST and do not plant after this time but rather use it to its best potential.

May 17-18 is Capricorn Moon and best for root plants or plants you want to last a long life or take longer to grow to fruition like strong trees.

IF PLANTING between MAY 28 - JUNE 26:
The NEW MOON is on MAY 28th. Do not plant in the 7 days leading up to this date or the last 7 days of the month period: between June 19-26th. Use either of these 7 days periods to clear off ground cover, prune back, harvest, etc. During the 3 week/3 quarter period from May 28th - June 18th these are your best planting days:

On the Cancer Moon May 30th after 10:30am EST, May 31st all day or June 1st until 9pm EST (Note that the Moon is Void all day on the 1st so you may not get results expected on this day, if you try it let us know how it goes, you are better to plant the other 2 days). Plant anything you want to grow large, spread out, bear big fruit, and for seeds outside the plant. Note that on June 1st at 2:32am EST the Moon goes VOID and remains so through the 9pm EST cut-off period so do not plant on this day but rather use the VOID for its benefits.

June 7-8th the Libra Moon for planting flowers and herbs but nothing else. Note the Moon is VOID at 3:47pm EST on the 8th so the rest of that day is not good for planting but rather for using the VOID for its benefits.

June 9th after 7am EST and June 10th anytime for plants with seeds inside and plants with a deep root system, as well as leafy plants under the Scorpio Moon. Note the Moon goes VOID late at 10:21pm EST on the 10th so don't plant after this time.

June 13th after 2pm EST, all day the 14th and the 15th until noon EST. The Capricorn Moon, in this quarter, good for root plants, those that you want to last a long time or take longer to grow. Note that the Moon goes VOID in the early part of the 15th so you should not plant between 2:35am EST and the cut-off time of noon but use this time for the VOIDs benefits.

June 17th after 3pm EST and all day June 18th. This is the Pisces Moon which is again good for root vegetables and plants that rely on deep root systems. It is also good for plants that you would like to see spread out over time.

IF PLANTING between JUNE 27 - JULY 25:
The NEW MOON is on JUNE 27th. Do not plant in the 7 days leading up to this date or the last 7 days of the month period: between July 18-25th. Use either of these 7 days periods to clear off ground cover, prune back, harvest, etc. During the 3 week/3 quarter period from June 27th - July 17th these are your best planting days:

June 27-28th is the Cancer Moon, great for planting plants with seeds outside of the plant or plants you want lots of growth, big fruit or blooms, and strong plants. Note that the Moon goes VOID after 9pm EST on the 28th so do not plant after this time.

July 4-5th or the morning of the 6th before 11am EST are good for planting flowers or herbs under the Libra Moon but not much else.

After 4pm EST on the 6th, all day on the 7th and up until 6pm EST on the 8th, the Scorpio Moon makes it good for deeper rooted, leafy plants and plants with seeds within the plant.

All day the 11th and up until 11pm EST on the 12th the Capricorn Moon is good for root plants, leafy plants, plants without internal seeds, sturdy types with endurance, the ones that live a long time. Note that the Moon is VOID from 9:56pm EST until the cut-off time at 11pm EST on the 12th so you won't want to plant during this hour.

After 11pm EST on the 14th and all day the 15th and 16th the Pisces Moon is great for root plants and plants that you want to see spread out. Note that the Moon goes VOID at 8:57pm EST on the 16th so you won't want to plant after this time.

IF PLANTING between JULY 26 - AUG 24:
The NEW MOON is on JULY 26th. Do not plant in the 7 days leading up to this date or the last 7 days of the month period: between Aug 17-24th. Use either of these 7 days periods to clear off ground cover, prune back, harvest, etc. During the 3 week/3 quarter period from July 26th - Aug 16th these are your best planting days:

July 31st after 1pm EST, all day Aug 1 and up until 10pm EST on Aug 2nd the Libra Moon is good for planting flowers or herbs, avoid the rest. Note that the Moon is VOID at 10:58pm EST on Aug 1st and stays VOID until the 10pm EST cut-off period on Aug 2nd so you won't want to plant during this time but can use it for the positive benefits of the VOID.

Aug 3-4th is Scorpio Moon and good for plants with seeds inside the body, leafy and deeply rooted plants. Note that on the 4th at 1:43pm EST the Moon goes VOID so you won't want to plant after this but can use the benefits of the VOID during that time.

The 7th after 10am EST, all day the 8th and up until 9am EST on the 9th, the Capricorn Moon is good for plants with longevity, sturdy plants and root plants. Note that on the 9th during the time you have the Moon is VOID so you won't want to plant this day but can use it for the VOID's beneficial properties.

The 11th after 9am EST, all day the 12th and up until 8am EST on the 13th, the Pisces Moon is good for root vegetables and plants, plants that you want to spread out or crawl, and delicate blooms. Note that the Moon is VOID at 12:01pm EST on the 12th and remains in this VOID until the cut-off period on the 13th so you won't want to plant during this time but rather use the VOID for its benefits.

The 15th after noon EST and all day on the 16th the Taurus Moon is good for root vegetables, hearty, leafy plants and sturdy growth.

This takes us up until the Fall at which point I may run another list of dates for you. You should see how easy this is to do, just look for the days that the Moon is in Taurus, Cancer, (Libra only for flowers), Scorpio, Capricorn, or Pisces each month, don't plant in the last 7 days leading up to the next New Moon and do your best to time things according to their strengths in the 3 active quarters of each month's New and Full Moon phases. Most calendars will list the New and Full Moons for you, each 7 day period starting with the New Moon is a quarter Moon phase. Combine this timing with your gardening books and their best tips for the plants themselves and you should be a green goddess/he-god of your neighborhood. I hope you find this helpful. Let me know how it works for you!

Disclaimer: this gardening advice is based on age-old practices that have shown specific results over time but they do not save you from issues that may arise from bad weather, insects, drought, damaged plants, over/under watering, wrong placement -shade/direct sun, your own missteps, or other natural events that could unravel all the best intentions. Though these guidelines have proven useful and beneficial to great gardens and happy gardeners, Zoe is not a farmer or horticulturist and you are advised to discuss Zoe's suggestions with the proper specialists before acting.

Zoe Moon can be followed and then contacted on Facebook here for more. You can keep up with her weekly and monthly horoscopes here or you can catch her each Thursday night at 8pm EST/5pm PST on the Zoe Moon Astrology Radio Show to keep up with your upcoming horoscopes and news of the day.

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