2011 Gardening With The Moon

‘Gardening by the Moon’ calendar features advice as old as mankind

May 12, 2011 // 0 Comments

by BETH ALTENA Gardeners looking for ways to grow better vegetables and flowers with less work can turn to the night skies for help—or a locally produced publication. On the Internet, there are 11 million, 800 thousand references to gardening with the moon, and local landscape expert John Venman of Venman’s Landscape and Soil Alive, 510 Wolverine (in Rockford’s industrial area) has produced a calendar to guide the common gardener through the process. Venman said he has long been a believer in natural gardening and landscaping solutions rather than chemical ones and gradually became more interested in references to gardening by the moon. He had a customer who was puzzled by a phenomenon he noted. He had rototilled his garden and gone on vacation for 10 days. Upon return, the weeds were everywhere. When he rototilled again and left for a similar amount of time, he noted the weeds were significantly less. Venman said he asked the guy about when the two occasions had happened and looked up the phases of the moon for those times. Sure enough, in the first case the man had done the work in a phase of the moon unfavorable to killing weeds and the second time he’d done it in a favorable phase. Venman began paying attention and found more examples of moon phases affecting growth cycles. Venman has a traditional background in landscape education with a bachelor’s degree in landscape design from Michigan State University. He said he developed an interest in non-chemical alternatives to landscaping when he began to suspect that chemicals are in some ways having an adverse affect on the planet and the people and animals living here. He enjoys the part of his business that helps people improve their own gardening skills, and believes the current trend toward home or locally grown food—notice the popularity of farm markets—may prove his green practices are part of a philosophy which is again waxing. Venman said a moon growing more full (waxing) is a time when energy is getting stronger. It is a time of growth, a time to plant, fertilize and cultivate soil. You can see a moon is waxing by remembering it will be “black on left and light on right.” A waning moon is […]