Planting and Astrology

I spent the weekend helping finish up the cultivating, weeding, and planting of the field beds in the community garden. One sunburn and 66 tomato plants later, I’m really proud of everything we managed to accomplish. Even though I didn’t plant much more than a handful of cucumbers and melons myself, I did much of the prep work—raking, grading, and picking out stones (and boulders!) from the soil so the seedlings would have a chance to develop nice healthy root systems. As one friend put it, “This was the fun part. Now the real work starts.”

Coincidentally, while unpacking yet another box yesterday evening, I ran across this year’s copy of the Witches’ Almanac. I love this little publication for all of its quirkiness. Thumbing though the table of contents, I saw a section on planting by the moon, so I decided to see if we were “doing it right” according to the movements of heavenly bodies (here my helpful husband would point out that my body is indeed heavenly so we must be doing it right!).

Soil mixing & tilling (May 18th-ish?) Waning, day after full. Moon in Sagittarius (barren sign): plow & cultivate. This one happened to line up nicely.

Path Trampling (May 30th). Moon in Taurus (fruitful sign), waning: Plant root crops. Ummm, yeah, this didn’t happen.

Initial Planting (May 31st). Moon in Taurus, waning, with partial solar eclipse. Ok. so we got the planting thing down, but there weren’t any root crops going in at this time. I’m guessing eclipses aren’t great for above ground crops either. Oh, well.

More tilling (June 3rd & 4th). Moon in Cancer, waxing: Most favorable time for planting above ground leafy and fruiting crops. So, kinda missed out on this one, too.

Secondary Planting and Weeding (June 5th). Moon in Leo, waxing. Most barren time, best for destroying weeds and pests. Well, we got this one half-right at least.

Now, clearly I’m not chewing my nails that we didn’t perfectly align our garden work with the stars. In fact, I think things probably would have been fine even if we had done the reverse. In fact, the most important thing is that such a schedule gives you a framework to follow for all the various tasks that need to be done. It’s sort of like a huge cosmic planner for your crops.  It’s really cool if your activities happen to coincide, but it’s not the end of the world if you have to put things off for a few days due to rain or lack of manpower.

In any case, may the long summer of watering may begin!

—A.V.

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