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Planting by the Moon

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
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by jeafl on February 16, 2005 01:09 AM
I have always been fascinated by gardening almanacs and I would like to someday try to design an almanac of my own, but I have been unable to determine how a year's schedule of planting days is determined.

The Old Farmer's Almanac has a chart every year showing where the moon is each day in relation to the zodiac.

I have had a garden almost every year since 1981 so I know about planting above ground crops in a waxing moon and below ground crops in a waning moon and then picking days when the moon is in a fruitful sign of the zodiac. But how do existing almanac publishers know what to print a year in advance?

The main thing I do not like about existing almanacs is that their astronomical data is not very location specific. I would like to design an almanac that can give information regarding sun rise and sun set and eclipses for a location specified by the reader. Customers would specify their latitude and longitude when they order the next year's almanac. This means I have to determine how to calculate the various astronomical data for inclusion in the next year's edition.
Other than the website for the Old Farmer's Almanac and Rodale I have not been able to find anyone to ask about this issue other than astrologers. But even if I believed in astrology, the information I have received has left me more confused than before. Some astrologers claim that the moon moves through the zodiac in a cyclical pattern. But, then the same astrologers tell me that the time the moon spends in each sign is not constant because the moon's speed is not constant. I have also seen it claimed that there are times when the moon is between signs- although no gardening almanac I have ever seen gives this impression. The almanacs I have give a position for the moon in the zodiac for every day of the calendar year. Each day is either good for planting or not good for planting.

So if the times in each sign are not constant and the moon's speed varies from time to time, how can there be any kind of cyclical pattern? And if there are times when the moon is not ruled by any sign, how can planting by the moon mean anything?
by mike57 on February 16, 2005 12:48 PM
almanacs are a good thing to use.but there only good in certian areas of the country.planting your gardens depends on the zone that you live in all almanacs do not give times to plant in all zones.although they are usefull.i live in zone 7 and the old folks here say you can plant after good friday at the end of march or early to some of the older folks in your area to find out when the best time to plant in your zone.they have been there and done that.the older the better there full of knowledge.there your best resource abought when to plant.i guess you could contact a agriculture department in your area to help you determen how you would go abought starting your own almanac.good luck with it.your friend in gardeing.mike57 [wayey]

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