Here's more on how your garden can grow

By PHILIP CASE State Journal Columnist Published:

Last week I wrote about Ron Boggs from Sellersburg, Indiana and his beans raised from seed. Theyve been passed down through his family from one generation to the next for a century or more now! Several of you wrote or called asking about what kind of beans they were and if Boggs would be willing to sell some seed.

I put the questions to him. Heres his answer:

This may be hard to believe but I have no idea what the name of the beans are. They're not really a pole bean but they do better on a pole. I think I told you that they will pull corn down if you try to plant them that way. There is a place in Iowa called Seed Savers. I've been wanting to send them some with hope they could give me a name.

As for selling seed, I try to keep at least a two-year supply because of not knowing the weather. If there is enough interest I'll plant a couple extra rows this year for seed. You may have started something.

If you read the piece youll remember Boggs plants one tripod just for seed and he said hed plant more if there were enough folks interested in purchasing some. So, if youre interested, let me know and Ill share that information with Ron.

Dark of the moon

I also noticed and had it pointed out to me by a couple of readers that Southern States right across from Your Hometown Newspaper, is having a Dark of the Moon seed sale.

And it couldnt come at a more appropriate time!

Believers in planting by the phases of the moon and signs of the zodiac say that grass seed should be planted during the dark moon in February. Dont ask me to explain why, thats just what they say and Ive always passed that information along.

I know that runs contrary to what folks in the Cooperative Extension Service say but, hey, planting by the signs and phases doesnt sync with research from the University of Kentuckys farms either but we all know it works!

Now, back to it.

The dark moon, or full moon, comes into force officially at 11:44 p.m. Monday and continues until the next new moon or no moon visible in the sky at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 27. So while the moon is waning (growing smaller) you should be planting grass seed if you have any to plant.

A personal testimony

Several years ago our pastures had gotten in pretty sad shape: little grass and lots of mud from too many horses on too little ground. It was during the time when Roger Sparrow was County Extension Agent for Agriculture here so I asked him what to plant, after I got a soil test of course.

He looked at the test, made a recommendation for fertilizing the fields and told me what mixture of seed to plant per acre. I went over to Southern States and they mixed it up for me.

And then I waited for a you guessed it dark moon in February.

Clark and I worked several days on those fields, spreading the fertilizer and then the seed. One night we even had to plant by the lights of the old Bronco to get it done before the moon moved to the light phase.

(But as an aside let me say planting in the dark of the moon doesnt mean you plant at night! When the dark moons in force, well, its in force all day and night.)

Im proud to say that even to this day we have an excellent stand of grass on those seven acres. I know the fertilizing was important as was the right kind of seed and I cant help but think planting them at the right time had something to do with the success.

So, if you have grass seed to plant get started on Valentines Day (unless you want to utilize the last 16 minutes of Monday) and be done by 7:29 p.m. on Feb. 27!

Other information

You know now the moon is in the dark phase beginning late Monday night. As for the signs, today and Monday are both killing signs, Leo (the heart) being in force.

Tuesday through Saturday find flowering signs in force: First two days under the influence of Virgo (the bowels), followed by three ruled by Libra (the reins). These are bloom days, so if youre doing something with you houseplants you wont find better days.

If you have changes to make, like stopping bad habits, beginning good ones, weaning small animals or children, or elective surgery to schedule, theres a stretch of days beginning Tuesday, Feb. 21, and continuing until 7:30 Monday, Feb. 27.

During this time the moon is, as weve surely established by now, in the dark phase and the signs are going out of the body. Ill get into the specifics next Sunday. For now, if you have changes to make, mark your calendar: Feb. 21-27.

If you have questions, you may call me at The State Journal, 227-4556; at home, 223-8422, or e-mail me at pcase@state-journal.com. I love to hear from you with questions or comments.

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