Never sow seeds when the moon is waning.
Waning moon is the time after a full moon to the new moon.
There's an old wives tale if ever I heard on. Or is it? Apparently not. Scientific research has come up with corroboration of old folk wisdom. Lunar fluctuations affect Earth's magnetic field, and its atmosphere, causing all water, including that in even the smallest living organism, to move in almost tidal fashion. This makes significant rainfall statistically more likely after a new moon. So if you sow your seeds ( once the earth has benefited from spring warming, of course) after the full moon, they should get a good shower or two to help their germination. This is a piece of observation that goes all the way back to the ancient Egyptians. If science can prove the wisdom of that old wives tale, perhaps it could next examine this one. Radishes pulled up as the moon wanes will cure corns and warts. There's a fortune waiting to be made!
So what is a waning moon?
The moon revolves around the Earth, and as it does, we see different angles of the moon’s illuminated surface. The moon doesn’t create its own light, but rather shines when it reflects the sun’s light. As the moon transitions from new to full and back to new again, it goes through several phases, marked by its recognizable crescent and gibbous ("bulging") shapes, which are created by the moon’s own shadow. The moon phases are: •New moon
Recognize that the moon waxes and wanes from right to left. Different parts of the moon are illuminated during waxing and waning. In the Northern Hemisphere, the part of the moon that is illuminated will appear to grow from right to left until it’s full, and it will then diminish from right to left •A waxing moon will be illuminated on the right side, and a waning moon will be illuminated on the left side.
•Hold out your right hand with your thumb out, palm facing the sky. The thumb and forefingers make a curve like a backward C. If the moon fits in this curve, it's a waxing moon (increasing). If you do the same with your left hand and the moon fits in the "C" curve then it is waning (decreasing).
When this author was a youngster, he was taught to pour hot water into the empty seed drill immediately before putting the seeds in. Others will say cover the seeds first, then put hot water in a can with a fine rose and sprinkle it along the drill. A refinement is to follow this up an hour later with a sprinkling of lukewarm water. The point of all this tender loving care is of curse to give the seeds a good start in life by encouraging early germination. And it works -usually.
Beans love plenty of good, cool moisture at their roots. This doesn't mean sowing them in mud, as we've already seen, but as the weather gets warmer and drier they'll repay you for ensuring that they're in moisture retentive soil. One way to help them achieve this is to put a layer or two on newspaper under them in the bottom of the trench along with some manure or compost. If you want to hear you beans purring, then see if you can find some hair to add. Human or horse hair, it doesn't matter. Beans want a rich soil and hair contains valuable minerals. More food for thought. Till next time, this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty, Iowa