Mark your calendars; here are the dates that gardeners and naturalists alike won’t want to miss for fall 2016.
August 12. Grab your binoculars and a cup of coffee. The annual Perseid meteor shower peaks late on this balmy August night after the moon sets (1:25 a.m. CDT). Expect to see 50 or more meteors per hour in northerly latitudes.
August 18. This full moon is known as the “Sturgeon Moon” because the sturgeon fish is most readily caught during the month of August.
August 19 to 24. Jupiter, Venus, and Mercury form a triangle that can be spotted low in the western sky after sunset.
Gardening by the moon. Plant aboveground crops August 9 to 11. Plant belowground crops August 1, 19, 20, 27, and 28.
September 5. Enjoy the day off from work. It’s Labor Day, and your fall garden is calling.
September 16. September’s full moon is known as the “Harvest Moon” because pumpkins, squash, and beans are ripe.
September 22. Autumn arrives to the Northern Hemisphere on this day, the fall equinox. Begin preparing for impending winter while giving thanks for summer’s abundant harvest.
Gardening by the moon. Plant aboveground crops September 6 and 7. Plant belowground crops September 23 and 24.
First two weeks of October. Mercury remains visible in the pre-dawn sky.
October 16. This month’s full moon is known as the “Hunter’s Moon” or “Blood Moon” because hunters can now see deer and other animals that come out to graze on the grain remaining in harvested fields.
October 31. Carve a pumpkin, dance around a bonfire, don a costume — it’s Halloween!
Gardening by the moon. Plant aboveground crops October 3, 4, 12, and 13. Plant belowground crops October 21 and 22.
November 6. Set back your clocks and relish an extra hour spent in bed; daylight saving time ends today.
November 8. Go vote!
November 14. Catch a peek of tonight’s much-anticipated “supermoon.” This is the closest the moon has come to Earth in the 21st century, and it won’t orbit this closely again until 2034.
November 24. Pat yourself on the back for storing so many homegrown heirlooms; they’ll come in handy for today’s Thanksgiving meal.
Gardening by the moon. Plant aboveground crops November 9 and 10. Plant belowground crops November 17, 18, 26, and 27.
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