Check out the Moon tonight! It is not your ordinary Blue Moon.
A blue moon is commonly the second full moon in a month, but one can occur based on the seasons as well. There are usually three full moons in between an equinox and a solstice, or vice versa. Seven times in 19 years, four full moons fall in a single season. In that case, the third of a season’s four full moons is also called a Blue Moon. Tonight’s moon has it all! Bonus moon fact – about every 19 years, February has no Full Moon at all. This was not one of those years.
Lunar Gardening Tips
What’s the moon got to do with gardening, you ask? Quite a bit according to folk lore. Here are some planting tips of yore.
“Sow peas and beans in the wane of the Moone.
Who soweth them sooner, he soweth too soone,
That they with the planet may rest and arise,
And flurish with bearing most plentiful wize.”
~ East Anglian farmer, 1562
“Picking medicinal herbs must be done when the Moon is in the sign of the Virgin, and not when Jupiter is in the ascendant, for then the herb looses its virtue.”
~ Paracelsus, 16th century
“Don’t plant seed too soon,
Consult the Moon.”
~ Nicholas Culpepper, Complete Herbal (1653)
If you want single flowers like Tulips to double, transplant them 3 days after the full moon according to “The Garden of Eden”, 1600.
To get trees to develop strong roots plant them during the waning Moon, ideally after the last quarter but before a New Moon. Got that?
And whatever you do, don’t cut timber by the light of the Moon.
What’s in a Name?
There are 13 full moons every year and they all have names which date back to Native Americans. These names were commonly used by the Algonquin tribes from New England to Lake Superior. The dates are those for 2012.
Check out the Farmer’s Almanac if you are interested in the back story of the names.
The Harvest Moon is the Full Moon that occurs closest to the autumnal equinox. It can occur in either September or October. At this time, crops such as corn, pumpkins, squash and wild rice are ready for gathering. This year the equinox is September 22.