It is the beginning of the new year that starts the gardening season for me. It is time to start with the new growth, time to put the knowledge gathered during the previous seasons in action! My gardening philosophy is simple: anything grows. The challenge begins, especially in vegetable gardening, in gaining crops worth while.

As a novice gardener, I am not growing vegetables on a large scale, but my dream is to reach the level of self-sustainability for my family during the coming years. Once you taste the freshness of seasonal products like salad, cucumber or tomatoes from your own garden, you will never go back to buy them grown out of the season, in the middle of the winter. You also already have your own stock of tomato sauce as well as preserved cucumbers spiced with homegrown herbs in your larder.

But back to growing your own ..

being a technology geek as well as an avid gardener, I installed a little helper, a Moon Phase calendar on my iCal yesterday. A few years ago, when I first learned about growing vegetables in synchrony with the phases of the moon, I was quite critical about the concept. But as with many things in life, I decided to give it a try after some consideration, with a pinch of salt. After all, we know that the moon does take part in various phenomena, the tides for instance.

According to this method, the guideline for healthier plants as well as better crops is to start as well as collect anything growing above the ground when the moon is waxing and, logically, anything growing under the ground when the moon is waning. I have tried this method through heuristic evaluation, trial and error and have convinced myself not to seed beetroots when the moon is growing, or to start cabbages or peppers when the moon is waning anymore, as they grow so much better when started just a couple of weeks later or earlier, in accordance with the correct moon phase.

This method also helps you with the better planning of your gardening calendar, in order to avoid some unnecessary panic in the Spring or during the harvesting and preserving season. After all, I do not garden on a commercial scale or employ staff to tend to my crops. I garden for pleasure and health. From the beginning I have also opted out from using any chemicals in plant protection as I have learned that if you start with healthy plants and give them correct care during the growing season you do not need anything artificial and opting out the chemicals also brings you yet another step closer of becoming greener in your lifestyle. Also, as the moon phase calendar can lend me a helping hand with self-sustainability I accept it gladly. Give it a try yourself!

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