Planting By The Moon
Romance, gazing at the stars – let’s face it, moonlight is great for a lot of things. But there’s more to the Moon than meets the eye and heart.
For one, many gardening experts say that planting according to the Moon’s phases – and gravitational pull – will help your plants and vegetables reach their full potential. Here’s a closer look:
The Moon & Agricultural Astronomy
There’s nothing new about planting by the moon as it likely dates to the dawn of agriculture. While there’s a lot of superstition and folklore associated with it, there’s also enough scientific evidence to back it up.
*Planting by the Moon is based on the four phases of the moon that last around a week each.
*The first two phases are during the waxing – or increasing – light of the Moon – while the third and fourth phases are when the light is decreasing.
*While the Moon pulls tides into the ocean, it also influences other bodies of water and causes moisture within the earth to rise. In turn, this is when the highest amount of moisture is in the soil and when seeds will absorb the most amount of water.
*The moisture in the soil is highest during new and full moons.
*During a new moon, lunar gravity lifts groundwater up which causes seeds to swell and burst. Increased moonlight also helps create a balanced leaf and root growth, which is why this is the best time to plant annual above-ground crops such as lettuce, cauliflower, cabbage, celery, and others.
Planting During Other Phases of the Moon
*There is less gravitational pull during the second quarter of the moon but the moonlight is still strong. It’s a good time for planting annuals whose seeds form inside the fruit – such as peas, melons, beans, squash, and tomatoes.
*During the waning, or decreasing, phase of the moon, plant root crops. The gravitational pull is high during this phase, which creates more moisture in the soil but the decreasing light means more energy is put into the roots. The waning phase is a great time to plant root crops such as carrots, onions, beets, potatoes, etc., as well as perennials, biennials, and bulbs.
*There are also moon phases when the gravitation pull of the sun and the moon are combined, which is a great time to plant above-ground crops such as leafy greens.
Benefits of Moon Gardening
As mentioned, many veteran gardeners and farmers swear by the positive effects that lunar planting has on their crops, including:
*A faster germination rate for seeds
*Plants tend to grow larger and faster
*There are higher yields
*Plants are stronger and have fewer pests.
Remember this simple rule of thumb: during any month of the year, the best days to plant or transplant are days that fall on Scorpio, Cancer, or Pisces. If you plant or transplant on these days, your chances of success will be greatly increased. Otherwise, there are the secondary days that can also work: Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn.
If you’re interested in trying Moon gardening, it’s a good idea to get a moon-based planting calendar and/or by downloading one online.