Dark Days for Avid Gardeners

Did you know that today is Tom Bergeron’s birthday? Yep! Born in 1955. It’s also George Clooney’s birthday, starting in 1961. And

Everything in its time

Orson Welles was born today in 1915, and Rudolph Valentino in 1895. I could keep going, of course, but that wouldn’t get us closer to gardening.

I happened to stumble upon a nice planting calendar at Farmers’ Almanac that says today and tomorrow are good days for planting carrots, beans, onions, turnips and other root crops. Cabbage, lettuce and other leafy vegetables will do well. Planting seedbeds. Good for transplanting.

Then – DOOM. 8th – 9th “Do No Planting”

Why? My beginning gardener heart thumps in panic. What’s so wrong with planting on those two days?

Then on the 10th through the 12th, I can plant again. Late beets, potatoes, onions, carrots, root crops.

Then AGAIN on the 13th through the 14th, there’s an ominous “Kill plant pest on these barren days.” What the heck?

Further down, the 17th – 18th: “Poor planting. Fine for cultivating or spraying.”

I can plant again on the 19th and 20th, but for the 21st and 22nd, “Any Seed Planted Now Will Tend to Rot.” What on earth is going on with this? What weird system is in charge now of my planting success?

Well, the answer is that it’s the “Gardening by the Moon Calendar” – not just any “nice planting calendar” as I first thought. It relies on an “age old formula and applies generally to regions where the climate is favorable.

I’m not ever one to disparage folklore, the old ways, old wives’ tales or any system that works for anyone else. And if that system includes reasons to let both land and gardener take a breath now and then, I can definitely see the logic.