Gardening By the Phases of the Moon

According to folklore, to be born on a full moon ensures luck throughout life.  Ironically, the same full moon is said to have the potential to turn (quite unlucky) civilized men into blood thirsty, howling beasts.  As silly as such stories may seem, it is important to remember  that the moon has been scientifically proven to have some very real influences on the Earth.  —An understanding of these influences can help us to become more successful gardeners.  But how?

First off, let’s consider that the Earth orbits the sun and the moon orbits the earth.  –All three exist within a gravitational field, and so the Earth is affected by the gravitational pull of both the sun and moon (the strength of which is determined by mass and proximity).  The most obvious manifestation of the Moon’s influence on Earth is its control of ocean tides.Full_moon_and_lighting_orbit_1

For instance, the highest tides are during New Moons and Full Moons— when the sun and moon are lined up with Earth.  But what does this have to do with successful gardening?

Well, subtle bodies of water are also affected by the moon’s gravitational pull; meaning that  as tide’s are rising, so too are moisture levels in the earth.  Sounds like a good time to plant seeds, doesn’t it?  —Seeds planted during New and Full Moons have been proven to absorb more water and grow faster.

In addition to gravity, light and magnetism are directly affected by the phases of the moon.  Knowing when these Natural Forces are at their strongest allows us to plant our gardens according to the specific needs of plants.

For example, root crops can benefit by being planting just after the full moon because as the moon wanes,  moonlight decreases while gravitational pull increases; this stimulates root growth.  On the other hand, when the moon begins to wax,  moonlight increases and gravitational pull lessens; this stimulates leaf growth and is an ideal time to plant above ground annuals that house their seeds inside their fruit.moonCalender2

If you are interested in this approach to planting (which is an aspect of the Biointensive gardening method), I suggest you get a moon calender which depicts the lunar phases for the year. My brother gave me one for Christmas last year and it’s coming in quite handy.  Thanks Bro!

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