What’s the idea?
Ever wondered why some years you grow great crops and others poor?
Gardening by the moon may be your answer.
What’s the story?
Allotment holders are a competitive lot, always checking on each other to see how well or badly they’re doing.
One of my neighbours always seems to grow better vegetables than the rest of us, so I asked him his secret.
He told me he used ancient moon gardening techniques to decide when to plant and to harvest.
Learn how to garden by the moon, and your crops will be transformed.
People should do this because…?
Gardeners in ancient times noticed that crops grew better when the moon was at certain points in its monthly cycle.
Further observation and experimentation brought success, so gardening by the moon became more common.
My neighbour says that the water in the ground and the plants are affected by the gravitational pull of the sun and moon, just as the tides are.
Tides are highest during the new and full phases of the moon and seeds will also absorb more water at this time.
Gardening by the moon is a complex art, here’s a look at how the Moon’s phase is believed to affect plant growth.
How do you do it?
Certain astrological signs are better for planting, and others for harvesting, weeding, trimming, and cultivating.
Seeds planted when the moon is in a barren sign will germinate poorly, if at all.
The best time to plant seeds is when the moon is in the zodiac’s water signs such as Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.
Don’t plant seeds or transplant on the day that the moon moves from one phase to the next.
It’s also not wise to plant on the day of a new, full or quarter moon, check your calendar for these dates.
Planting should always be done according to the current size of the moon, and whether or not it is waxing or waning.
Waxing and waning process
Waxing; New Moon through First Quarter
You should plant crops that grow above the ground at this time such as strawberries, corn, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, and also plant crops whose seeds grow on the outside of the plant.
Waxing: First quarter through to new moon.
If you’re growing crops that grow above the ground and produce internal seeds such as squash, tomatoes, beans, pepper melons and eggplants plant them now, along with other crops that produce internal seeds.
Waning: Full moon through to the third quarter
This is the time to plant root vegetables that produce their crops underground such as carrots, onions and turnips.
Waning: Third quarter through new moon
Don’t plant anything during this period.
Keeping a track on all the variables can be worrying so use the Farmers Almanac
If this ancient method of gardening has captured your interest, why not give it a go?
You could make a simple experiment by planting one crop in a container or planter and grow it by the phases of the moon and another as a control.
I’ll try this experiment too and see if I can grow vegetables as good as my neighbours.
Stuff you may need
- Garden and/or containers
- Watering can