Using permaculture ethics & design principles to transform an old energy guzzling bungalow into a showcase of sustainable design. It's about energy cycling, building community, self-reliance,creatively using & reusing materials... all without spending heaps of money.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

2014 Permaculture Calendar with moon planting guide

Principle 3: Obtain a Yield

UPDATE: The 2014 Permaculture Calendar has sold out, but the 2015 Calendar is now available

Practical, educational and beautiful. Photo: Michael Conlin

It's been a very busy time over the last few months. I've been collecting images and stories from around the world to illustrate the 12 Principles of Permaculture for the 2014 Permaculture Calendar. It's now available and the busy time continues as I spread the word.

The cover image, which is very cute, is of young Verti from Whanganui in New Zealand. Her father, Nelson, writes a great blog called Eco Thrifty Renovation about living more simply - highly recommended. I see similarities between our blogging efforts, though he post more frequently than I. I'd also like to point you towards another blog about a simple life in the suburbs by Michael Conlin called Suburban Digs, he's based in Canberra. Michael has allowed me to use some of his amazing photos, which I've used in this post. I love his work.

A Moon Planting Guide

I've been interested in moon planting for a long time, but have found the process quite confusing. From the literature that I'd seen I got the impression that there was very short windows for doing certain tasks. I gave up on the whole idea before even starting it - I just wanted to get plants in the ground. There are varying levels of complexity to moon planting - depending on what you read.

I had been asked a number of times about including a moon planting guide in the permaculture calendar, so I decided to revisit moon planting. The basics of moon planting are very simple, the four phases of the moon are most suited to certain activities. During the Waxing moon (new moon to full moon), moisture is drawn up and planting is most suited to leafy annuals during the first quarter and fruiting annuals during the next quarter. During Waning moon (full moon to new moon) moisture is drawn down and planting is most suited to root crops and fruiting perennials during the 3rd quarter and building soil in the last quarter (no planting). The only added point that needs to be made is that it's best not to undertake planting 12 hours before or after the phase change, but there's plenty of other things in the garded to do.

While this process is quite straight forward (once you get your head around it), how can it be made easy to remember when is the right time to do what?

 

Making Moon Planting simple

 

Tune your fork - to the rhythms of nature. Photo: Michael Conlin

I've designed some symbols to illustrate garden activities for moon plantings, one for each of the four moon phases. These symbols are used on each day of the calendar to guide readers as to when is the most suitable time to undertake certain activities. A short explanation for each is list below:

New Moon Phase - Leafy Annuals

New Moon phase

Sow or transplant leafy annuals – where we value or eat the leaves or stem. Eg: lettuce, spinach, cabbage and celery.

First Quarter phase - Fruiting Annuals

First Quarter phase

Sow or transplant fruiting annuals – where we value or eat the fruit or seed bearing part of the plant. Eg: tomato, pumpkins, broccoli and beans.

Full Moon phase - Root Crops

Full Moon phase

Sow or plant out root crops, decorative and fruiting perennials – take cuttings and divide plants. Eg: apple, potatoes, asparagus and rhubarb.

Last Quarter phase - Improve the Soil

Last Quarter phase

Time to improve your soil – weeding, mulching, making compost and manure teas, digging or ploughing.

I've written a post about about moon planting and how it works for the entitled 'Tune your fork' which expands on this. Check it out if you want to find out more.

There's also a competition on the Permaculture Principles website to win one of 5 calendars. Just comment on the post, in 25 words or less, why you'd like one. Entries close September 30th 2013

Of course, if you want to be sure that your going to get one you can always buy a calendar.

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