Planting Potatoes By The Moon

Question:

 As a kid, my grandmother planted potatoes by the moon. Is that still done today; and if so, when is the right time to do it?

Answer:

  • Gardening by the Moon’ is kept alive today by a small group of rural gardeners. It’s being rediscovered by a new generation of urban gardeners who are using an old school approach to gardening. They’re into organic cultural practices; such as composting, compost teas, cultivating for weed control, organic disease, and pest controls, etc.
  • The moon dictates what and when to do almost all fundamental gardening activities.
  • The influence of the moon and its different phases is twofold. One, the pull of the lunar gravity along with the increasing and decreasing light of the moon affects plant roots and leaves. Second, gardening activities, when to weed, what to plant, etc., is determined by which of the Zodiac signs the moon is traveling through. From a scientific standpoint, the ‘Gardening by the Moon’ methodology has never been proven or disapproved, so you’ll find supporters and those that think otherwise. That being said click on the To Do Tab and see a weekly list of gardening tasks based on the moon.
  • This is not the weekend to plant potatoes by the moon, Your best opportunity is next week, February 21 through the 24,  There is a full moon starting on February 19, and Zodiac signs are Libra and Scorpio. This is an excellent time to plant for root growth. Your next opportunity would be March 25 and 26 under the sign of Sagittarius. You could also be looking to plant radishes, turnips, beets, and carrots.  
  • Potatoes are one of the easiest short-term crop for a home vegetable garden.  It’s also a great activity to involve kids and grandkids.
  • They can be planted in traditional raised beds and containers. Some of the more unorthodox planters include spare tires, a bed of straw or a bag of commercial potting soil or planting mix.
  • Besides the usual amendments and fertilizer, it's recommended to add Sulfate of Potash for the extra Potassium.
  • Seed potatoes are recommended to plant over those found at the supermarket. The yield from the supermarket purchased potatoes is unpredictable, as they have been treated with a growth inhibitor to limit the new shoots. That is not the case with seed potatoes, so you get a guaranteed yield.
  • You should cut the potatoes in half or quarters depending on the size. The freshly cut ends should be dipped into Soil Sulfur to prevent rotting and let to air dry for twenty-four hours.
  • Your favorite garden center now has red, white and the large russet seed potatoes available for planting. In the past, I’ve used the Gardman Potato Tubs grew them on my deck all summer long. I planted them in February and harvested fifteen pounds of potatoes in August.  My granddaughter was wowed with the results.                                       

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