Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Beetroot Day

“Husband been knocking you about?” asks Bernard, not unreasonably since I am sporting an impressive black eye.

“Freak handbag accident,” I explain briefly. To Bernard’s evident confusion.

I try, perhaps for the millionth time this week, to explain about Janice’s evil red satchel and a hapless visit to Lydiard Park, but he just looks perplexed. Frankly, I think it might be simpler to blame it on the husband.

* * *

The big Beetroot Day has finally arrived, and John and I have been liaising via email following detailed consultations with my Moon book. Gardening according the phases of the moon is helluva complicated, but I think I’ve finally worked it out, and it seems that the 7th, 8th and the morning of the 9th are ideal for sowing root crops with the moon ascending in the constellation of Taurus. It's a particularly fortuitous time for planting root crops apparantly, Taurus being an earth sign as well as the sign of the Moon's exaltation.

But it’s not quite as simple as that. Apparently, despite being about forty miles from the coast, it’s important to plant the seeds when on the tide is receding too, to balance the effect of the ascending moon. I have forgotten to tell John this, but hopefully this will not hamper the growth of his beetroot too much. Unfortunately I have missed this morning’s receding tide and will now have to wait until 9pm this evening. More importantly, I realise, I have forgotten to actually buy any beetroot seed.

Never mind, if I leg it down to the shop now, I should be able to get my seeds ready and soaked in time for tomorrow’s receding tide at 9.45. Unfortunately, tomorrow is exactly the day I have to wait in for the delivery of a shower part from Screwfix. If I don’t manage to get my beetroot seeds in by lunchtime, I may have to wait until midnight tomorrow for the next tide, which will be pushing it a bit with the moon stuff – did the ancients have all these problems to contend with, I wonder? At least a midnight planting, I suppose, will avoid searching questions about my black eye and give a certain resonance to the theory of moon planting. Although with a waning moon there won’t be much light, and I may find myself either A) planting them in the wrong allotment, or B) tripping over one of the other John’s many garden implements, thus risking the chance of a second black eye.

If the worst comes to the worst, I suppose, I could always chuck them in anyway and call it a control sample.


  1. It sounds horribly complicated - not to mention risky! Mind those garden implements if you do end up planting in the dark!
    (Hate to say it, but beetroots really worth all that ag? I'm very haunted by trauma of evil beetroot bleeding into a slice of Spam at infant's school and being forced to eat it! Bleurgh!... I'm sure yours won't be evil though).

  2. I have two varieties of beetroot - one round and one elongated - does the moon thing work for both? Am enjoying the sunshine this morning - almost a one-layer day!

  3. My blogging/allotment buddy Threadspider and I were going to do a really scientific experiment to see if planting by the moon worked or not. She was going to plant by it, I wasn't and we'd grow the same seed varieties etc.

    However, we planned to do it 2 years ago and all plans were thwarted by the miserable summer where we were glad of any day/time/night when it was dry enough and get out there and plant stuff.

    We're still to reschedule on that one...

  4. Way too complicated for me!! I'm sure it is all worthwhile and you'll be posting pictures of fantastic award-winning vegetables - but I'll be chucking things directly into the raised beds if we get them finished in time.