I started onion seed the 15th of this month, which according to the Farmer’s Almanac was one of the two best days to plant root crops.
All 10 jugs are on my washing machine on the porch. Day time temperatures there are about 55 degrees and sometimes when it’s sunny — 60º F. That’s about perfect for quick germination.
Starting Friday the 10 day forecast is for temperatures close to 50 in the day and at nights from 29 to 44. That’ll be perfect for those then germinated onion seedlings to go outside under the protection of my little cold frame. I may even add an extra layer of protection over the seedlings until they get stronger.
(To learn how to start seed without buying indoor lighting or a lot of other stuff preview my Secrets to Seed Starting Success here.)
The Southeast is suppose to have more bad weather the first of February and March. I won’t like the job of bringing the seedlings back inside, but I may not have much choice if temperatures get severe and stay there for a while.
That’s where I stand with onions at the moment.
Have you planted your onions yet (assuming you’re starting from seed)?
Do you take advantage of planting on days that will give you the best results?
How to Tell Which Days Are Best for Planting
Years ago, I remember talking about this with a good friend (and reader). She asked me about it and I said it’s called gardening by the moon.
Instantly she exclaimed, “I’m not into dancing around naked in the garden by the light of the moon!”
I was surprised, but I couldn’t help but laugh.
Fortunately, for us all (and maybe our neighbors), moon gardening has nothing to do with gardening by the moon at night — either with or without clothes.
It’s about doing various gardening duties to correspond with the phases of the moon that give the best results. It’s a practice that’s been around ever since people have been growing food.
It’s a very easy way to increase your success in the garden.
Especially easy since you need do nothing, but look at the Farmer’s Almanac to know when the best times are. It shows two months for free online. And it applies to anywhere in the world. Just copy and paste this url into your browser. https://www.farmersalmanac.com/calendar/gardening/
Another Way to Get the Information:
You can buy a moon calendar.
Most of them are for specific years, so you’ll have to buy again for future years.
There’s one that’s perpetual and with a little care you’ll have it forever. It’s a few dollars more than some others, but you save a bundle in the long run.
Using it’s easy. “Align the new moon symbol on the rotating wheel with the date of the new moon each month & follow the recommended activities each day—“.
You can find the date for the new moon each month by copying and pasting this url into your browser:
A Little About the Science-based Principles of Gardening by the Moon
Any of us who have lived or spent time on or near rivers or the ocean know that the moon affects the tides. The closer to the earth the moon is, the more pull it has on the tides.
This pull also has an effect on moisture in the soil and in plants.
When the moon is in position to pull the water in the soil higher, it helps seeds to absorb water and germinate more quickly. It also encourages growth of roots and leaves.
You’ll find that your seedlings and plants in the garden grow more vigorously from a new moon to the full moon.
While the moon is “increasing” plant things that provide fruits that are above ground. (peas, greens, tomatoes, berries, flowers, etc.)
As the moon decreases (from full moon to the next new moon) plant juices and other moisture goes to the roots. This waning (decreasing) moon is better for planting things that have their edible parts below the soil surface. (beets, onions, potatoes, carrots, radishes, etc.)
Those who are well versed in moon gardening, recommend that no planting work be done on the days of the new moon or the full moon.
Suppose Nature’s Best Time is Not Your Best Time
It can happen that the weather might not be suitable for planting. Obviously you can’t plant during a hurricane, blizzard, or other severe weather.
And what if your schedule won’t allow you to plant on the best days?
Then plant when you can. Better to plant than not plant.
It just gives you that extra edge if you’re able to plant at the “best” times.
If you’re into working with nature, planting by the moon is an excellent strategy to have.
The closer you get to following her lead, the more successful you’ll be.