January is one of your most productive months. Gearing up for the spring as it quickly approaches there is a lot to be done.
In the beginning of January the moon will be in Capricorn. From January 5th to January 9th the Earth will have the advantages of the strong gravitational pull of the moon as it moves into a full moon on the 7th. Use this time to plant onion sets, garlic sets, and any root type plant such as potatoes, and carrots. Also apply all organic fertilizers to plants. The pull of the moon will bring moisture to the top soil and allow for root growth.
A lot of farmers or organic gardeners will be waiting until April to do this planting. This is a mistake as there are many more things that should be done in April. Onions and garlic will thrive in the cold. I have checked on our garlic in March when there was 7 inches of snow on the ground and they were just as content as could be. One year we planted onions in April when most everyone else was placing them in the ground. There was barely any growth to them at all. I left several of them in the ground through the winter and by next year they had superseded any growth from the previous year.
Now I know what your thinking that they had the growth of the two years. This was not so however, every year now we put onions in the ground in January and the growth is the same as the two year combined by August when everything you need for the best salsa is in harvest.
No you can not put onions, garlic or other root plants in the ground if the ground is frozen. Here we are in Minnesota and South Dakota . We have about a foot of snow on the ground now and most likely will accumulate snow and ice by January and therefore impossible to plant. So what do we do?
While the moon is in Capricorn from January 1st to the 19th we will be placing our cold frames outside and fill them with soil for planting our garlic, onions, potatoes, ect. It is important to plant while the soil is not frozen so do not leave boxes and dirt out overnight if you are up North. Ground temp should be about 40 degrees. Once we have them planted we line them with black plastic so that the sun is drawn in during the day to warm the soil. It is important that the boxes face south for this. On January 6th we will fertilize the boxes with organic fertilizer. Everything will be in place and completely fertilized by January 8th.
On January 8th we will begin our pruning and grafting and will prune trees and graft new ones and work with starting rootlings until January 19th. Trees will be in dormancy so will be a great time to prune. Grafting for fruit and nut trees is taken from the pruning. We also use some of the pruning to begin rootlings. We take the clippings from pruning and soak the ends in an organic fertilizer from January 1st until the 19th so on the 19th they are ready to be wrapped in sod and burlap and placed in root cellar for rooting. All of this must be completed while the moon is in Capricorn and by the 19th.
On January 20th the moon will be in Aquarius as the dark moon approaches on the 21st. This is a time for getting rid of pests, removing weeds and unwanted growth. We will also prune trees such as Ash that we want to grow slower. We keep our Ash fairly short and bushy as it forests our Ginseng. Aquarius is usually dry and barren as we move into the winter solstice so it is only good for destroying weeds, pests, removing unwanted brush or slowing growth.
Would you like to know more? Check us out at www.organictreasures.com. We post our calendar there and you may print it and share it freely. Happy planting to all.
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