Sunday, March 3, 2024

Gardening by the Lunar Phases – Complete Guide

Gardening by the lunar phases

The idea of gardening by the phases of the moon dates back to the first century. A Roman naturalist believed that the moon replenished the earth. The moon would approach the earth,  fill all the bodies, and when she receded, she emptied all the bodies. This belief has become a longtime Old Farmers Almanac tradition. Read on to learn more about gardening by the lunar phases.

One of the questions asked by many is whether this tradition still exists today. It originated in 1792. Is it possible that people follow this tradition in the 21st century? Well, the answer to this relevant question is “Yes,” very much so!


Let me give you some further information about gardening by the lunar phases and how the process works. Perhaps you should give it a try and see what happens!

Gardening by the various moon phases is a wonderful way to help you plan your crops below and above the ground. The simplest rule is as follows:


Phases of The Moon

You can break it down even further and divide the phases of the moon up into 4 phases. Various phases produce various results.


  • At the new moon, the lunar gravitational pull of water is at its strongest. It causes seeds to swell to capacity and burst. This factor, together with the increasing moonlight, creates balanced leaf and root growth. Some examples of crops to plant are lettuce, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, cabbage, and even cucumber.
  • In the second quarter, the moonlight is strong, but the lunar gravitational pull is less. This produces strong leaf growth. Two days before the full moon is generally a good time for planting.
  • Crops that produce above that ground but have seeds inside the fruit prefer the second quarter. Some examples of crops to plant are beans, peas, melons, peppers, tomatoes, and squash.
  • As the moon wanes after the full moon, the energy diminishes. The lunar gravitational pull is high, which creates more moisture in the soil. The moonlight is decreasing, however, which puts energy into the roots.
  • The best crops to plant at this time are root crops. Some examples are onions, potatoes, peanuts, carrots, and beets. It is best to transplant bulbs and perennials during the third quarter because of the active root growth. Pruning is suggested during the third quarter.
  • The moonlight and the lunar gravitational pull decreased completely during the fourth quarter. This quarter is referred to as the resting period. It is considered the best time to harvest and cultivate crops. Mowing your lawn during the fourth quarter will retard new growth.


Lunar Gravitational Pull And Soil Moisture

As mentioned above, the lunar gravitational pull influences the moisture in the soil. The Earth is a huge gravitational field that is influenced by both the moon and the sun. The ocean tides are at their highest during the new and full moon.

This is when the sun, moon, and earth are aligned.  During this time, the moon pulls at the larger bodies of water, such as the ocean. The moon pulls at the smaller bodies of water equally as much. This causes the moisture in the earth to rise.

Dr. Frank Brown from Northwestern University performed a study over 10 years. The results demonstrated that plants absorbed more water when the moon was at its fullest. He conducted his study in a laboratory that did not receive direct moonlight. However, he found that the moon still influenced the results.

Further tests were conducted in Germany. They experimented with root crops and the effect of lunar phases on seed germination. Maximum germination was reported in the days just before the full moon. In addition, germination was heightened when seeds were planted in organic soil that had not been treated with pesticides or fertilizers.

Finally, it was established that sown crops during the most suitable lunar phase demonstrated increased vigor due to it having the best influences. The plants grow at an optimum rate and aren’t influenced by setbacks that may affect less healthy plants. The outcome is crops that are bigger, quicker, and don’t go to seed as fast.

Gardening by The Phases of The Moon

Now that you have all the information about gardening by the moon phases how about trying it yourself? Here are some pointers which will assist you:

  • Firstly, decide on the best moon phase for your seeds. For example, would it be the first, second, third, or fourth quarter?
  • Next, make sure you are in the correct season to get the best results.
  • If you would like to get the most out of your seeds and your season (especially if the season is short), then it would be best to plant your seeds in flats in a controlled environment. What are flats, you may ask? Another name is seed trays.
  • Once your seeds are planted in seed flats, you will need to establish when the seeds will be ready to be planted in the ground. Then, once the weather is warmer and checked when the last frost dates were, you can make a calculated decision. Remember, however, there is no guarantee that there will be no further frost due to changing weather pattern
  • Gardening

  • Next, you will need to find out how long it will take for your seed to grow to transplant size. Again, you can use this chart to help you along.
  • Using the last frost date, count backward with the number of weeks you need and look for the nearest favorable phase of the moon. You may need to adjust the calculation to accommodate plants sensitive to frost and a year that’s warmer than normal.
  • Remember that a seedling can be potted until the temperature is correct. Thereafter it can be planted in the ground.

If you would like to start a fall garden, calculate from the first expected frost date. Count back the number of weeks that you need to reach harvest. In some areas with mild winters, hardy crops can be planted one or two months later.

Make sure that they get some good growth before the cold weather arrives. That way, you will ensure that you are rewarded with a late fall or an early spring harvest.

Moon Planting Matrix

I’m sure a question that would be asked regularly by people living outside of the U.S.A. is how do we apply the above information if we live in different areas? A Moon Planting Matrix has been developed for those who live outside of the US time zones. With this software program, you can customize the details to suit the area that you reside in.

For example, you can manipulate the frost dates, time zones, plant lists, activities, and measurement charts. In addition, there is specific Plant Matrix software that has been developed for the southern hemisphere.

The astrological signs of the zodiac can also be incorporated into the process used for gardening by the lunar phases.

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