Get Totally Eclipsed
By MG Calla Victoria
With all of the excitement about the August 2017 Solar Eclipse, everyone will be looking to the heavens. But don’t forget to look down at your plant material that too will be putting on a show. Many plants will assume their night positions during the eclipse. For those of you with night blooming plants, they just might open during the eclipse because they will be confused due to the lack of sunlight. Other plants that droop, close their leaves and/or blooms in the evenings may assume those positions during the eclipse. Plants like Angel’s Trumpets (Brugmansia suaveolens) that are only fragrant in the evenings may give out a sweet aroma. Also nightingales that sing only after dark may just bless us with song. The Solar Eclipse will affect many things around us, and no just is the sky, therefore immerse yourself in totality totally!
LUNAR AND ZODIAC PLANTING
The concept of planting by the phases of the moon is a very old one that is resurging with vigor. When my father first introduced me to gardening back in 2007 he always made me wait for the full moon before planting. He was an old Mississippi farmer, 95 years old to be exact. He never told me why so I just did as I was told and everything flourished.
The moon has four phases with each phase lasting seven days. The first two quarters are during the WAXING or increasing light cycles between the new and full moon. The third and fourth quarters are after the full moon when the light is WANING, or decreasing. The earth is in a gravitational field which is influenced by both the sun and the moon. During the full moon the gravitational pull is strongest therefore the moon causes high tides, and in the same way it pulls up moisture in the earth. Once while visiting my son in Miami, Ocean Drive and downtown Miami was all flooded and I could not understand why as it had not rained at all. Then while watching the News that evening the reporter said the flooding was due to high tides because of the full moon. It has been scientifically proven that there is more moisture in the soil during the full moon than any other time of the month. The gravitational pull of the moon causes moisture to rise and fall within Earth encouraging more growth and easier sprouting, consequently this is the time that seeds will absorb the most water and the roots of newly planted seedlings will thrive.
The first quarter of the moon is the New Moon, it is when lunar gravity pulls up water to the seeds, and also because of the increased moonlight it creates balanced roots and leaf growth. The second phase of the moon is the Second Quarter, the gravitational pull is less but the moonlight is still strong thus promoting leaf growth.
After the Full Moon, as the moon wanes in the Third Quarter, the energy draws down. The gravitational pull is high thus creating more moisture in the soil, but the moonlight is decreasing putting energy into the roots of plants. Now I know why my dad always told me to wait for the full moon before planting! It is because the soil is then very moist and seeds can absorb the most moisture and it is the perfect time to promote root growth in new seedlings. During the Fourth Quarter (or resting phase) both the moonlight and gravitational pull are at their lowest. This the time for garden maintenance and harvesting, but not planting.
Now that we are clear on the four phases of the moon and how they affect our plantings, let's go deeper and throw the zodiac into the mix. We all know the signs of the zodiac are divided into the four elements-earth, wind, fire, and water; with the moon moving through the zodiac constellations in the heavens every couple of days. As plants require light, water, and good soil to thrive; which of the four elements would you consider the best for planting? If you chose water signs and earth signs you are on point. The water signs Cancer, Pisces, and Scorpio are excellent for planting because when the moon crosses these constellations the land is very moist. The Earth signs Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn are also very fertile and good for planting as the root is the part of plants associated with earth signs and encouraging root development. And all plants, with the exception of epiphytes, are nourished through the root systems.
With what you already know about gardening along with this additional knowledge concerning lunar and zodiac planting your garden should be at maximum performance.
Check out my "Gardening Tip of the Week."