Your spring garden
Here’s what can be planted – or re-planted - now and moving into early April as found in Home Vegetable Gardening in Kentucky, published by the University of Kentucky Extension Service and the UK College of Agriculture.
Now: spinach, radishes, peas, snow peas, onion sets, collards, radishes, rhubarb crowns, rutabaga, turnips, asparagus, beets, Irish potatoes, carrots, chard, kale, kohlrabi, onion seeds, parsley, parsnips, cabbage, leaf lettuce, lettuce head plants, Bibb lettuce plants, onion plants.
After April 5: broccoli plants, Brussels sprouts plants, cauliflower plants, celery
Everything listed, and there’s a lot listed, loves it when it’s cool - both soil and air – and tends to get a little surly when hot weather arrives. Note the operative word is “cool,” not freezing cold like we’ve just endured.
Caution: Don’t plant if the ground is wet, no matter the phase or sign.
Moon moves to light phase; three aspects of planting
Greetings, fellow gardeners! Spring has been here for officially almost a week and hopefully the weather will stabilize and we can get some planting done in those early gardens – or after the disastrous cold snap perhaps even some replanting!
Before we begin, let me remind you that the size of your garden makes no difference. It can be a commercial garden or a few tomato plants or herbs in barrels. Everything can benefit from utilizing good gardening methods and simply enhancing those by planting in the proper phase of the moon and sign of the zodiac.
A friend told me recently she is glad I’m back in the paper. “I don’t read your column and I don’t garden but I’m glad you’re back,” she said. She then admitted to putting out some tomato plants.
I told her she could plant them according the phases and signs and expect a better yield. And that’s what I’m here to tell you – along with some other information from time to time.
Today I will first give you this week’s information followed by a discussion about the three phases of planting: seeding in flats or peat pots, moving seedlings to peat pots if seeded in flats, and finally planting the seedlings in the garden.
Phases and signs
The moon is in the dark phase until 10:57 p.m. today when the new, or light moon, comes into force. Today is a “don’t-plant-a-thing-anywhere day” since the killing sign Aries (head) is in force, even though the moon is in the dark phase.
Beginning Tuesday, it’s above-ground producers until the full moon at 2:08 a.m. on April 11.
And, of course, anything you plant outside in the unprotected garden needs to be from the list above.
A look at the signs reveals that the killing sign Aries continues in force on Tuesday but then it’s back to great planting for above-ground producers for Wednesday and Thursday with the sign in Taurus (the neck), one of the most fertile signs.
March ends and April begins with Gemini (the arms) in force on March 31 and April 1 and the moon, of course, in the light phase. It’s too early for bush or pole green beans but these would be great days for peas, either a first planting or to replace any lost in the freezes.
Looking ahead, the very fertile sign Cancer (the breast) rules next Sunday and Monday, April 2-3. These are perfect days for any of the above-ground producers off the list in the outdoor garden.
Then it’s back to no planting anywhere with Leo (the heart) ruling April 4-6. Leo and Aries are the killing signs.
Elements of planting
I wrote about this a few weeks back, but a reader’s question caused me to think maybe I didn’t make myself perfectly clear – if that is ever possible in print!
Her question was, and I paraphrase: “Is it okay to plant seeds in flats on Ember Days?”
First, it’s not okay to plant anything anywhere on Ember Days!
I assumed from the question she had done some seeding on the Ember Days in March and was looking for absolution, which I could not give. I told her the seeds would germinate and grow, they just won’t be nearly as productive having been planted on an Ember Day.
And that leads me to review: Assuming you aren’t saving your own seed from year to year, there are three elements to growing transplants for your garden.
They are: 1) seeding in flats or peat pots; 2) transplanting to peat pots – you eliminate the first step here by just planting in peat pots in the first place; 3) and transplanting to the garden.
As simply as I can say it, the best scenario is to complete each step based on: 1) where what you eat grows; 2) in the right phase of the moon and 3) in a fertile sign of the zodiac preferably (I tell you that every week), but definitely not a killing sign, Aires or Leo, or on an Ember Day.
Here’s an example: If what you are going to eat develops above the ground – like broccoli – then from seed flat to garden, all the steps, are ideally accomplished with the light moon is in force (new moon to full moon) during a fertile sign.
Some veggies are just best seeded directly into the garden, like beans. That’s accomplished during the light phase of the moon because beans produce above ground and when the sign is in Gemini (the arms), the bean sign, after all danger of frost has passed.
Most root crops – potatoes, radishes, onions, etc. – are planted directly into the garden. If, however, you are raising transplants then: dark moon/fertile sign.
Another example: If you are growing your own tomato plants from seeds: light phase of the moon/fertile sign – seeding, peat pot and transplant after all danger of frost has passed.
Plug into that formula whatever your chosen veggie and you will know when to do what. It all begins with the simple question: Where does what I’m going to eat grow?
If you have questions or need more clarification, here’s how to reach me.