Today and tomorrow are the first leafy green planting days of the year. Witches are not superstitious, so I’m a bit skeptical about the lunar planting calendar. But I still get one every year! It seems to have a subtle effect on the vigour of plants, but that could well be a placebo effect. More importantly for me, it helps me create a rhythm and pattern to gardening, turning a huge and edge-less project into a series of manageable tasks. More about lunatic planting on the Gardening page.
Today is not a perfect planting day – though the moon is waxing, the season is a hard one for planting leafy greens at the best of times, and the weather forecast is for a hot dry week. We can still expect a few of those frizzle days, when only plants with a huge deep root system will manage to drink enough to survive. It’s past the summer solstice, so even though it still feels like midsummer, many things planted now will notice that the days are getting shorter, and will be prone to bolt to seed if stressed, hoping to get their seeds mature before winter.
But, on the bright side, it is coming into what is traditionally our wet season, so with luck there will be more rain to follow, and cooler days.
I’m planting in the shadehouse seeds of lettuce (green cos and brown romaine), Welsh Red bunching onions, leeks, flat leaf parsley, radicchio, dill, basil and lemon basil, wild rocket, sorrel, and endive. I also have all of these in pots as well advanced seedlings, planted just before Christmas and kept in the shadehouse. I put them out a couple of days ago to harden up in the sun. In just a fortnight, at Lammas, we will pass the peak of the bell curve, and the days will begin to get shorter at an exponentially faster rate. So with luck they’ll be hardy enough to hang in there. Salad days are coming!