If you plant by the cycle of the moon there are real benefits to be realised. This natural gardening approach promotes water conservation, and a reduction in the use of toxic chemicals used in pesticides and fertilisers.
It is possible to achieve abundant, chemical-free crops by working with the moons phases for planting, cultivation, harvesting, and working with the rhythms of nature. This will have a positive impact on our health.
The cycle of the moon controls the ebb and flow of the sea, and this power impacts more than large bodies of water. It is evident on the surface tension of liquids, as well as on land when we are experiencing a full or new moon. Land mass can rise as much as 30cm!
For the devotees of moon planting, it is a logical conclusion that such a powerful resource also influences the growth of our plants.
This method of gardening also has the benefit of keeping you motivated and well organised around your gardening activity.
Time to get your hands dirty! When and how do you plant by the moon?
When the moon is in an Earth sign, root growth is said to be encouraged; foliage in Water signs; flowers in Air signs; and fruit and seeds in Fire signs. Earth and Water signs are fertile, and Fire and Air signs barren.
The moon phase is the main influence in lunar planting, so avoid planting on the days of the full moon or new moon, these phases are better utilised for celebration, rest or meditation. The phase or synodic lunar cycle provides favourable conditions for above ground activity while the moon is waxing and light increases, and below-ground activity as the moon is waning.
NEW MOON PHASE - 12 hours after Dark Moon to First Quarter Every living thing feels an expansion of energy. It is the best time to plant or to start new projects. Plant, graft and transplant annuals that produce above ground, this is particularly good for the leafy kind, also cereals and grains. This is a time when it is best not to pick anything as it rots too easily.
This is a good time to mow lawns to increase growth.
FIRST QUARTER PHASE - First Quarter to 12 hours before Full Moon The energy is still rising - this is a good phase for starting anything. Plant, graft and transplant annuals that produce above ground (like beans, peas, peppers, squash and tomatoes). All activities listed for the new moon phase work just as well. The last two days of this phase, just before the full moon is optimal for planting, and for taking grafts.
First quarter planting, or the time from the new moon to about half-full: plant annuals with above-ground yields, particularly leafy plants (asparagus cabbage, celery).
Second quarter planting, or the time from the half-full to the full moon: plant annuals that have above-ground yields which are vining and produce seed inside the fruit (beans, peas, peppers).
FULL MOON PHASE - 12 hours after Full Moon to Last Quarter There is a peaking of the electromagnetic energy of all living things at the exact time of the full moon, and then a slow withdrawal of energy for the next two weeks, as the moon wanes.
Plant perennials, biennials, bulb and root crops, and anything that produces below ground. The sap flow is downwards into the roots. Pruning is most successful now, and it is an excellent time to harvest all crops. Medicinal herbs and plants are most potent when picked now. This is a great time for sprouting seeds to eat, but not so good for sprouting seeds for planting.
Third quarter planting, or from the full moon to half-full: plant biennials, perennials, bulb and root crops. Crops which are planted one season then produce yields the following year, trees, and shrubs (onions, potatoes, rhubarb).
LAST QUARTER PHASE - Last Quarter to 12 hours before Dark Moon This is a barren phase, where it is best to rest or to prepare for the next new moon. It is great for gardening - pulling weeds, turning the earth, pruning, spraying. Apply organic fertilisers any time during the waning moon, from full moon onwards. Mow lawns to decrease growth. This is the best phase for harvesting crops that you want to store for a time without rotting or losing flavour. It is best to transplant close to the end of this period, as well as set fence posts, and spread manure. Weeds pulled now have no strength to sprout again.
Fourth quarter planting, or from half-full to new moon: pull weeds, cultivate, destroy pests, and turn sod.