Gardening By The Moon

gardening by the moonThe New Year is upon us.

And I’m busy going through my new Garden Diary to plan and plot next years garden.

Every year I go through each month and plot out what I’m going to sew or plant, at what point, to keep our garden producing throughout the year.

I usually split up all of my tasks so I’m doing a little every few days, and staggering my planting and my maintenance, so it doesn’t all get away on me. I have to plan a lot more now that I have a baby to work around.

But this year I’m going to do things slightly differently.

I have decided to have a go at gardening by the moon.

What Is Gardening By The Moon?

It has been thought for thousands of years that the moon’s gravitational pull affects the flow of sap and moisture to plants at certain times, as well as increased light strength raising the amount of light they receive, thus improving growth and health.

Gardening by the moon is basically following the lunar cycle of the moon and following recommended guidelines for what to do (or not to do) depending on the moon’s current phase and how it’s conditions contribute to plant growth at that point.

What Benefits Are There In Gardening By The Moon?

One of the things I like most about the idea of gardening by the moon, is having more of a plan for what I should be doing at certain times.

Gardening by the moon tells you when you should:

  • Plant above ground crops
  • Plant root crops
  • Spray
  • Prune
  • Harvest
  • Cultivate
  • Transplant
  • Rest
  • Or go fishing!

And if you follow the advise you should get better results for your effort.

Those who have gardened by the moon for years talk about bigger, better, healthier crops that don’t seem to be as affected by pests or disease. Their plants grow faster, thus producing crops sooner, and the success rates are generally much higher than when gardening in a more ‘un-planned’ fashioned.

How Do You Know What To Do, When?

The lunar cycle has 4 distinct phases lasting approximately 1 week each and for each phase there are differing conditions, providing sound reasoning as to why one phase is better suited to planting certain crops or undertaking certain tasks (or not as the case may be) than another.

New Moon

In this phase moisture in the earth is pulled up by lunar grativity, making it more accessible to seeds and plants. Along with increased moonlight this phase encourages seed strike, leaf growth and root growth.

This phase is the best time for planting above ground crops that produce their seeds on the outside like cabbages, broccoli, lettuce, spinach etc.

Second Quarter

In this phase the gravitational pulls is less but the moonlight is stronger which encourages leaf growth.

This is a good time for planting above ground crops that produce their seeds on the inside, like beans, peas, peppers, pumpkins, tomatoes etc.

Full Moon

In this phase the gravitational pull is higher but the moonlight is lower so moisture is being pulled up into the roots and seeds but there is less light for leaf growth.

This makes is the best time for planting root crops, that don’t need the moonlight to prosper, like carrots, onions, potatoes, swede, turnips, beetroot etc.

Fourth Quarter

In this phase the gravitational pull is right down, as is the strength of the moonlight.

It is considered a resting time for growth. Instead focus on weeding, pruning, cultivating and harvesting.

There are many resources on the internet for gardening by the moon calendars. I’m using the one that comes with the annual garden diary I buy, but this one is also very handy for getting started.

There is also this one.

So, my gardening by the moon starts on January 1st and I look forward to reporting back on how it’s working out for me. I would love you to do the same if you decide to join me in giving gardening by the moon a go, and if you have any questions in the meantime, ask away in the comments below 🙂 

Happy New Year!

 

Want to know more about growing and gathering edibles?

Fill in your name and address in the form below and you'll receive all the latest updates directly in your in-box.

2 Comments

  1. Taylar

    July 8, 2016 at 5:04 am

    I know this is an older post– but just wondering how this worked out for you? I’ve been toying with the idea for a while now!

    • gandg

      January 17, 2017 at 1:07 pm

      Hi Taylar

      Our first year of following this theory has worked out really well for us. I think the biggest thing we noticed is healtheir plants and a feeling of being more organised in the garden, having days planned to weed, plant or maintain. Less random and more structured in our approach. Our harvest was definitely also improved but I wouldn’t say dramatically so not sure if that is attributed to it or not.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *