MOON PLANTING: A TRADITION WORTH TRACKING
Lunar calendars existed to measure time long before our traditional methods today. Moon planting was a system for farmers and gardeners to follow based on the phases of the moon in order to get the most from their plants. While moon planting is not as popular today, it is still practiced by some gardeners and many believe it yields wonderful results.
What is Moon Planting?
There are a few different methods of moon planting, however, the general guide follows the waxing/waning phases of the moon. A waxing moon is when the light is increasing, building to a full moon. A waning moon is when the light is decreasing; the period following the full moon.
While moon planting may have its roots in superstition, it is actually also supported by science. As the moon moves through its different phases, research has shown that the gravitational pull on earth affects the water content of soil. When it is a full moon or a new moon, there is a greater level of water in the soil which helps seeds to sprout.
There are four phases within the moon cycle. Following this general guide, this is how to use the four phases to yield the best results from your garden.
Phase One (New Moon)
At the time of the new moon water content in soil is high as the gravitational pull draws water up to the surface. This is the best time to plant gorgeous leafy vegetables that grow above ground but with their seeds outside, such as lettuce, spinach, kale and cabbage. It’s also a great time to plant flowering annuals.
Phase two differs slightly to phase one as the gravitational pull is decreasing but the moonlight is increasing. It’s the best time to plant above ground annuals that grow with their seeds inside, such as melons, tomatoes, pumpkin and beans.
Phase Three (Full Moon)
Following the full moon, as the light wanes, the energy draws down and the emphasis is on root growth. This is the perfect time to plant root vegetables (such as sweet potato, carrots and onions) and plants that will benefit from root activity such as bulbs and perennials.
In the last phase, decreasing moonlight and a low gravitational pull marks this period as a time to put planting on hold and focus on improving your garden environment. Nourish your garden’s soil, get to work weeding and mulching, and prepare your garden for a new moon. This is also a time of harvesting and pruning.
Do you follow the lunar calendar? Have you had any experience moon planting? We’d love to know your thoughts. Comment below.