Lunar planting, anyone?

In the last meeting with the gardening group, the subject of lunar planting, or gardening by the phases of the moon, was brought up. That was actually in the context of a much broader discussion regarding the definition of "technology" - how certain types of knowledge is gradually made illegitimate, its practitioners invalidated, just because it is no longer compatible with the current concepts and notions of "modernity" and "science". But this warrants another separate, and definitely long, post.

So, I was saying, the subject of lunar planting was brought up. Personally, I had heard about the concept, but never looked deeply into it or properly researched it. Since I am reviving my spring garden, and having some plants (old and new) in need of potting-on, I thought I would check whether doing it at the time was inline with good lunar gardening practices. Seeing that we were in the last quarter, and that this phase of the moon is deemed particularly suitable for that kind of activity since root growth is promoted, I went ahead with the potting-on curious whether I would notice any different results than before (I had never observed the moon phase in any of my gardening activities).

The repotted plants do seem not to have lost as much of their sheen and vitality (if at all) as they usually do after this strenuous transition, but I am not sure how objective an observation that is and whether I am simply eager to see any results from this newly applied knowledge.

I have yet to sift through the wealth of material and sources I found online on the subject and to properly research it - I will probably want to share the useful information I find; but for now I am curios to know how novel or not lunar gardening is to you, do you plan your gardening activities around the moon phases? Would you? Take the poll below and see where others stand on the subject.

Better Know a Houseplant: Euphorbia Milii Splendens

In my first discussion of insecticidal soap I mentioned how it must not be applied to Euphorbia milii splendens, the Crown of Thorns. Mine is currently in bloom for the first time this season, and in this post I introduce this graceful plant and discuss how I care for it - but I might as well cut it short by saying it is very easy to care for. So, if you find yourself intrigued by its spiny stems and striking delicate flowers, go ahead and purchase one, it will definitely add to your plant display.

I am finding the green.

So I am finally reviving this blog, and my gardening activities. My gardening projects for the past two seasons did not come to fruition (no pun intended - quite literally too really). I know I should attempt a lessons learnt list of sorts but possibly that warrants a dedicated separate entry; however, in this post, I would like to focus on the new plans for this gardening season: spring is upon us, it is already warming up here and I am a few weeks behind in starting the seeds, but I can't be any more excited about this project.
I am now a proud member of التعاونية الزراعية المنزلية (وِرْوِر) - the charmingly named "Domestic Agricultural Cooperative (Wer'wer)" - a group of Cairo based gardening enthusiasts and wanna-be urban farmers brought together by a friend of mine. We've already had a first meeting, and despite having the camera on me for the specific purpose of taking a photo to share in this post, I just somehow didn't get around to snapping that shot. 
In addition to all the potential activities and plans we discussed, I also have some pending ones of my own, which I am hoping to be starting and documenting here soon enough.
In all cases, I am also hoping to develop this blog into a collaboration tool for our gardening group (in addition to others like a calendar an mailing list), and am so looking forward to comparing notes and getting feedback and sharing experiences with other fellow gardeners and friends in my city. So I think I will be posting here more regularly again. And I am feeling good about it.

The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, the second best time is now.

A most effective home-made pesticide

In my last update of the Pests and Bugs post, I wrote that I would follow up with some more insecticidal soap recipes. I have meanwhile tested one against leafhoppers with pretty good results.
In this post, I share the insecticidal soap recipe and introduce a new pest: the leafhoppers - showing photos of them and the damage they wreak.

new seedlings, more veggies

So I had been away over the weekend. Before I took off, I had started a number of seeds (on the same day that I sowed some carrot seeds). Returning home, I was so happy to find that the okra and zucchini (batch 2) seedlings have emerged.