Moon Phase Gardening
This article is intended as a brief overview to the concept of using the moon as a guide to gardening.
Most devotees of this practice are people who believe in astrology.
However you don't have to believe in astrology to believe that the moon has influence over earthly events; after all, most people are aware that the tides are determined by the moon.
The Phases of the Moon:
The moon has four phases or quarters lasting about seven days each.
The first two quarters are during the waxing or increasing light, between the new and the full moon.
The third and fourth quarters are after the full moon when the light is waning, or decreasing.
The effects of the moon:
As mentioned above, people know that the tides are influenced by both the sun and moon, but they may not know that they also exert a gravitational pull upon other bodies of water on the planet.
For example; this gravitational pull causes moisture to rise in the earth (soil), which encourages growth, and tests have proven that seeds will absorb the most water at the time of the full moon.
The effects of frost:
The astral signs might indicate that now is the time to sow / plant a given type of plant, but local knowledge states that to plant /sow then might put the task in conflict with your latest frost dates.
To adjust for this, start at your last frost date then count backwards the number of weeks you need, then look for the nearest favorable moon phase, and then to the perfect moon sign.
As an alternative, plants can always be potted up and held until the outdoor temperature is right.
Astrological Moon Gardening:
|Aquarius - January - Weeks 1-4||Pisces - February - Weeks 5-8|
Airy, Masculine, Dry and barren.
Good for pest and weed control, and gather herbs.
Watery and feminine.
Moist and fertile.
Plant above ground crops
|Aries - March - Weeks 9-13||Taurus - April - Weeks 14-17|
Fiery, Masculine, Dry and barren.
Cultivate and destroy pests and weeds.
Good for gathering herbs and pruning.
Earthy,Feminine, Moist and fertile.
Planting herbs, and root crops such as horseradishand potatoes.
|Gemini - May - Weeks 18-22||Cancer - June - Weeks 23-26|
Airy and masculine. Dry and barren.
Cultivate soil and destroy weeds.
Watery, Feminine.Moist and fertile.
Plant above ground crops!
|Leo - July - Weeks 27-30||Virgo - August - Weeks 31-35|
Fiery,Masculine, Dry and barren.
Prune to discourage growth.
Weeding and cultivating, and mow the lawn
Earthy,Feminine, Moist and barren.
Excellent for harvesting root crops.
|Libra - September - Weeks 36-39||Scorpio - October - Weeks 40-44|
Airy,Masculine,Moist and semi-fertile.
Plant flowers and vines.
Watery,Feminine Moist and fertile.
Plant root crops and graft rootstocks.
|Sagittarius - November - Weeks 45-48||Capricorn - December - Weeks 49-52|
Fiery,Masculine,Dry and barren.
Weeding and pruning
Earthy, Feminine Dry and fertile.
Mend or build structures, fences and beds.
For Planting Out:
1st Choice: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces.
2nd Choice:Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn.
To encourage growth: a waxing moon.
To discourage growth: the waning moon.
For transplanting and grafting:
Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.
For weeding, cultivating and pests:
Aries, Gemini, Leo, Sagittarius or Aquarius.
Aries, Leo and Sagittarius.
In increasing Light:
From the new moon to the full moon, is the best period for planting annuals which provide their yield above the ground.
In decreasing Light:
From full moon to the new moon, is the best period for planting biennials (those plants on a two-year cycle), perennials, and root and bulb crops.
*Planting potatoes during the dark of the moon is simply an old adage.
Or more specifically:
First quarter: or the time from the new moon to about half-full;
Plant annuals with above-ground yields, particularly leafy plants which produce their seed outside the fruit. e.g asparagus, cabbage, celery, endive, and spinach.
Some plants, such as garlic, melons, hay, and grains and cereals, do well if planted in either the first or second quarter.
Second quarter: 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, plus beans, peas, peppers, squash, eggplant, tomatoes, and cucumbers.
Third quarter: from the full moon to half-full;
Plant biennials, perennials, bulb and root crops any crops which are planted in one season to winter over and produce yields the following year, trees, and shrubs, plus onions, potatoes, rhubarb, grapes, winter wheat, and berries.
Fourth quarter: from half-full to new moon;
Cultivate, pull weeds, destroy pests, and turn sod.