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Moon gazing: Claire’s Gardening with the Moon in May and the Full Flower Moon

Gardening with the Moon in May 2024

The soil and air temperatures have usually warmed up by the middle of the month and all the tender plants can safely go outside so May is often the busiest month for UK gardeners. It’s always worth planning, and keeping an eye out, for any late frosts.

The May Full Moon is known as the Full Flower Moon.

The Moon Phases for Wirksworth, England, United Kingdom in May 2024 are below:

Full Moon Third Quarter New Moon First Quarter Full Moon Third Quarter
24 Apr at 00:48 1 May at 12:27 8 May at 04:21 15 May at 12:48 23 May at 14:53 30 May at 18:12

Return of the May Queen by Rebecca Bush

Your garden’s wild edges

May is the last month to sow annual flowers like calendula, zinnias or larkspur for a guaranteed summer display. If you sow now, then you should have some welcome colour in your garden in August.

At the same time I personally think it’s important to welcome some native wildflowers (weeds!) into our gardens as they’re often very useful plants for pollinators and an important food source for butterfly and moth caterpillars. To weed or not to weed… this is often the question. The answer is creating balance in our gardens.

Why not cultivate a clump of stinging nettles somewhere in your garden and see what wildlife is drawn to them. You may be lucky enough to see the furry black caterpillars of the Small Tortoiseshell butterfly munching away. Up to 40 different species of insects are dependent on stinging nettles to some degree, so do try to make room for them in your garden’s wild edges.

Return to the Garden by Faith Nolton

Annual vegetables

May is the perfect month for outdoor sowing for all the tender vegetables that need warmer temperatures to germinate. If you sow your seeds during the week before the full Moon you should get a quicker, stronger germination. You will also be transplanting seedlings that were germinated indoors.

Perigee is when the Moon is closest to the Earth in her monthly orbit and too close to convey any helpful influences to your garden. It's best to avoid any sensitive work with seeds or plants during Perigee. Perigee this month straddles the 5th and 6th.

The descending Moon this month is from the 11th until the 25th. This is the best time to do any work that involves the soil. Try to do any planting or transplanting in the afternoon (during descending Moon) as your plants will settle into the soil that much quicker, causing less stress all round.

For planting/transplanting ‘flowers’ choose the 11th and 12th

The best dates this month for planting/transplanting your ‘leaf’ crops are the 13th, 14th, 23rd, and 24th.

Plant/transplant ‘fruits’ like tomatoes, beans, or peppers into bigger pots or plant outside on the 15th, 16th, and 17th but have some pieces of horticultural fleece ready to cover them just in case there’s a late frost.

Sow fruit crops like courgettes, marrows, runner beans, french beans, and sweetcorn on the 15th, 16th, and 17th.

You should also sow flowering crops like purple sprouting broccoli and cauliflower on these ‘fruit’ days as there are no full ‘flower’ days this week (i.e. before the full Moon) and fruit days are the next best thing.

The optimum days this month for sowing root crops like beetroot, radish, carrots, and parsnips on 18th, 20th, and 21st. This is also when you should plant ‘root’ crops like potatoes. If you’ve already planted your potatoes these ‘root’ days are also ideal to Earth up around the plants when the foliage is about 20 cm high. This protects the tender stems from late frosts and ensures you don’t grow green potatoes.

Sow leaf crops like rocket, lettuce, basil, cabbage, spinach, and kale on the 23rd.

Thank you for joining me on this growing journey.

If you have questions for me that relate to my blog - Moon and growing related - please send them to me using the Earth Pathways contact page. I would also like to direct curious readers to the UK Biodynamic Association website.

Claire Hattersley

Bee for Life by Wayne A. Pilling

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