As warmer weather creeps in, many people find themselves spending more time outdoors and working in their yards. If you’re like me, you’ve probably made a trip or two to your local garden center looking for plants and other garden necessities. After reading over May’s garden checklist, it looks like you may need to make a few more trips. Here are some tasks to check off this month.
Did you know that cutting flowers for bouquets regularly will keep your plants pruned and prolong the blooming season? Be sure to cut your flowers, ideally in the morning, and immediately put them in water. Who doesn’t love a fresh bouquet in their home or office?!
Source: MS State Extension
Plants and other forms of nature all get energy from the sun everyday, so you might be surprised when you learn that the Moon is very beneficial also. Moon Gardening has become increasingly popular but the method isn’t anything new. The Moon Phases are quite common for some gardeners and farmers and the technique has been around for many moons.
So how does the moon affect gardening? The basic idea is that the cycles of the Moon affect plant growth. Because the Moon is closer to the Earth, it’s strength is greater than the Sun’s. We all know that ocean tides are affected by the gravitational pull from the Moon, it also affects moisture in the soil. The thought is that because the Moon is closer to the Earth the water is drawn to the surface. Different amounts of moonlight influence the growth of plants. As the moonlight increases (new moon and second quarter), leaf growth is stimulated. After the full moon the moonlight decreases, giving energy to the plant roots. The Leaf growth slows down above ground at this point. This is a wonderful time to plant your bulbs and root crops because the roots will actively grow.
Planting by the Moon has been done for centuries and people will continue to do this because it produces outstanding results.
Written by Aemon Ratliffe
This calendar, developed by Ray and Jean Scott in Australia, works on the gravitational pull of the Moon. To order your own moon calendar gardening guide, please visit their website here.
How can you have fresh and delicious produce by putting forth minimal effort? Is it possible to grow your own food without back breaking labor and sweating in the hot sun? Not only is it possible but there are more and more people who are moving towards disturbing the earth less and
using a more natural and time saving approach.
“And now let's get down to business. The labor-saving heart of my system is that I never plow, spade, sow a cover crop, harrow, hoe,
cultivate, weed, water or irrigate, or spray.”
(Gardening Without Work by Ruth Stout, Page 6)
You can use mulch to limit the amount of work required in gardening. By using enough hay, or whatever vegetable material of choice,
you can have a garden that is weed free and nutrient rich.
Digging disrupts natural processes in the ground.
Soil pests and predators have a relationship that is best left undisturbed and can potentially have great benefits for your garden.
Starting a no till garden is a fairly straightforward process.
Clear the area of anything like rocks and debris, this will help create
a flat surface. Some gardeners lay down a thick layer of mulch,
others start with a cardboard base. Both ways suppress the growth of weeds. Planting involves moving the mulch and placing the seeds in.
After creating a base layer, add hay and other materials on top of it.
This will eventually decompose, when it does, place more hay on top. Repeat this process, and you will have an established
no till, deep mulch garden.
No till, deep mulch gardening has several perks.
The layers of mulch retain moisture reducing the need for watering.
Less physical labor is involved, there is less need for weeding,
and plants can be left to die resulting in natural fertilizer.
Because the ground is disturbed less creatures that are beneficial to growing are allowed to stay in their natural state. No till, deep mulch gardening is great for the aging population, people who don’t have
much time to garden, people who don’t have the money for
equipment, and people who just want something easier.
Written by Aubrey Ratliffe