Sunday, October 14, 2012

Moon Dance for Sprouting Carrots

Fava beans and snow peas doing well.

One of the many reasons I garden is for stress relief.  When I’m playing in the yard I can let my mind wander as I complete the chores and watch the antics of the inhabitants.  Today a mockingbird landed on a metal sunflower and scraped her beak repeatedly on the petals.  What a racket!

My decision to garden according to the Farmer’s Almanac schedule has changed all of that.  Now I have a schedule to keep!  With the same precision I must employ to navigate my work life, I now have to check in with the almanac to see what days I can plant seeds and transplants.  Often I have just a few days to get the work done unless I am willing to wait another week or so.  My first frost date is looming; if I don’t get everything in the ground and growing, I won’t have a fall harvest.

So is this extra pressure worth it?

Yes, so far.  You see - my carrots have sprouted.

I have always had a hard time with carrots.  I often have to plant multiple times and over-seed to get any to grow.  Carrot seeds like a lot of light in order to germinate.  I always fussed that I planted them too deep, or didn’t keep the seed bed damp enough, or just had a dud bunch of seed.

However this year, it was different.  I had some really old seed that I picked up at a master gardener meeting plus one packet that I purchased earlier in the year.  I held the “good” seed back, figuring it would be needed for the inevitable second planting.  I planted the carrots as directed – during the full moon, noting that the next window to plant wouldn’t occur for two weeks.

Imagine my delight to discover that the seeds sprouted in a little less than a week.

So was it the full moon?  Why not?  If carrots need light to germinate they certainly got a big dose of it during the day and night with that big orb in the sky.  And yes, it didn’t hurt that we got a bit of rain also, keeping the temperatures down and the bed moist.

I’m going to say this was a win for the Farmer’s Almanac.  My other crops of beans, peas and greens are also growing nicely.  The pole beans should start blooming later this week and I anticipate a first greens harvest in two weeks.  I also planted kohlrabi and some creeping thyme last weekend during the aboveground crops days as directed, although Cole crops or herbs were not mentioned.   A few of the kohlrabi have just begun to sprout.

I’m pretty much done with the vegetable planting.  Now all I have are some shrubs and perennials to get in.  Next day for planting is Sunday, October 21.  This is fine by me.  I am volunteering at our master garden tour on Saturday and hope to pick up a few items at the plant sale.  Won’t be able to plant them until Sunday anyway.  However I’ll need to make sure they all go in the ground because the next window isn’t until the 26th.

The pressure!


  1. I love your story telling style and the exchange of gardening information doesn't hurt. I think the message you get from anybody who achieved anything is stick with it. Thank you.