Tonight we will have a new moon, which makes me remember my grandmother’s garden. It towered over me as a child—huge plump grapes enveloping the arbor; poles buried in thick beans, dinner plate-sized dahlias & sunflowers; melons too heavy to lift. She was from Lithuania, and she always planted by the moon. She said that the darkness of a new moon promoted good development of the roots. Was this the reason everything she grew seemed over-sized and exceptionally lush? I wish I’d had the chance to ask her about her gardening methods.
According to the Farmer’s Almanac (farmersalmanac.com), the period of the new moon today (9/27) through 9/30 is ideal for planting above-ground crops such as leafy greens, flowers and grains. That sounds perfect for cool weather crops, perennials and reseeding the lawn. October 13th to 15th, on the other hand, favors transplanting.
Did your relatives follow any gardening traditions inherited from their national or ethnic backgrounds? Did you learn any old-fashioned techniques or lore? Do you apply them? Do they work?
I would love to hear from you and to gather whatever gardening customs may have been handed down in all our families. In a time when it is critical that we protect the planet by avoiding toxic chemicals, what wisdom can we collect from those who knew only time-tested organic methods?