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A Moon Gardening calendar for T&T
We are already in June—the half-year point—and some may think that’s too late for buying a new calendar. But if you are a keen gardener and home-maker, not to mention a full or part-time farmer who believes in the lunar cycle’s magnetic influence in your plant life, the T&T Moon Gardening Calendar 2017 may be a worthy addition to your planning arsenal.
The moon has four phases or “quarters”—each last about seven days. In the first two quarters, the “new” dark moon you see gets bigger and more visible. This is known as the “waxing” phase. You see an increase in light until the full moon is visible. The third and fourth quarters are after the full moon. This is when the light begins to “wane” or decrease. Then the cycle starts again.
The moon’s cycles certainly have effects on our ocean tides, seas and the water table. Some people firmly believe that the phases of the moon also affect seed germination, plant growth and flowering. They note that the moon affects the flow of water through plants: sap moves more vigorously during the waxing phase as the moon grows to full, and slows down as the moon wanes to a thin morning crescent.
Gardening blogger Guido Mase, writing in a January 8, 2015 post on the blog Urban Moonshine (www.urbanmoonshine.com), reported that the scientist Isabella Guerrini, at the University of Perugia in Italy, had done studies on the moon’s impact on plants. Apparently, Guerrini worked in the department of agriculture studying plant and animal consciousness and its integration into ecological pattern and rhythm. Her observations of sap flow in plants confirmed for her that fluid flows more as the moon becomes full, slowing down as the moon wanes.
Guerrini’s work has consequences for plant growth and pruning: vigorous, sappy plants may suffer if cut, harvested, or pruned close to the full moon. She believes that leaking sap can expose the plant to disease and pest incursion. Also, sap from a cut plant, now deprived of its primary outlet, will engorge smaller channels, where new buds are developing on side branches, and potentially rupture those channels leading to the death of the buds (a phenomenon known as “lunar burn”, because it was so often noted around the full moon).
Guerrini advises that less vigorous, less juicy plants, like ground-covers or vines, may conversely benefit from being cut when sap flow is strong: it will stimulate the development of side shoots and encourage fuller, branching growth.
The TT Moon Gardening calendar reflects some of these beliefs, advertising itself as “Gardening by Nature’s clock—Ancient wisdom made simple.” It is an easy to use gardening almanac overlaid on a monthly calendar. Fairly compact in size (page sizes are exactly half of an 8.5 x 11-inch glossy page), the calendar has a colour-coded key to successful planting on its first page: green for plants above ground, ochre/brown for root crops, herbs and vegetables, pink/red for best times for harvesting, and purple for sowing vines or flowering plants, or preparing soil.
The calendar was initially developed for personal use by T&T home gardener Dale Dalip from Freeport, based on his own research on the influence of the moon on plant life. It was designed by his wife, Nehrisa Ramdass-Dalip and is currently distributed by MoonCalTT.
Dalip believes moon gardening can help organic planting, since plants germinated by this method are more resistant to pest & diseases. He notes that in T&T, planting using the moon phases is not uncommon, especially among the older generation. And he points out that his version of the moon calendar contains accurate timings for the gardening cycle specific for the T&T region and not North America.
Each month in his calendar highlights a local produce alongside a recipe using that ingredient. Below the image page is the calendar page, all blocked off in different squares of colours to let you know exactly which are the best times for doing what, according to moon logic.
This month, for instance, the Moon Calendar says Monday, June 19 is a good day for sowing plants whose produce is grown above the ground; Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 are recommended for harvesting, and destroying weeds; June 22-23 are good days for planting root crops and leafy vegetables; while June 30 is a good day to sow or transplant vining and flowering plants. Advice at the calendar’s opening page suggests what kinds of plants are best suited to be planted in the different moon phases.
Gardeners can look forward to additional planting tips, suggestions for companion planting, and exciting new recipes in the 2018 version of the TT Moon Calendar, says Dalip.
Tel: +868 777 8104
Available at: A Cup of Garden, St Lucien Road, Diego Martin; A&R Agro Supplies, Barrackpore; Agritec Agricultural Supplies, Siparia; Agritrac, Tacarigua; Asasco, Aranguez; Felicity Home & Garden, Chaguanas; Freeport Agro centre, Freeport; GPM Agri & Gift Shop, El Dorado; Gowra’s Variety Store, Couva; Jyoti Puja Store, Chase Village; New Bloom Nurseries, Tunapuna; Praimsingh’s Pooja Bhavan, Curepe; Perfect Start Agro-Enterprise, Plymouth, Tobago; and other outlets.
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