Gardening With The Moon

seeds
Baby radishes and beetroot shooting through.

It is well known between lunar gardeners that growing with the moon means healthier plants. For thousands of years several civilisations such as the Mayan, Aztec, Egyptian, Sumerian and the Celts based their planting calendar on the cycles of the moon and sun. The earliest record seems to have been made by the ancient Egyptians at 4236BC. Themis, a great goddess of the moon, ordered the creation of the year of thirteen months divided by the winter and summer solstices.

Today many gardeners sow their seeds in what they think is the best lunar phase. Many moons ago, I tested this theory and was pleasantly surprised to see that it actually worked.

Phases of the moon

We know that the tides are affected by the gravitational pull of the moon. This pull also affects the water content of the soil, creating more moisture during the new and full moon. This increased moisture encourages the seeds to sprout and grow. Its believed that when the moon is waxing, the earth is exhaling. Sap is rising into the plant and this gives force to growth above the ground. This is the moment you will plant seeds that bear fruit above ground. For fastest growth plant two days just before the full moon. When moonlight is shining on plants it stimulates leaf growth.

The full moon is a moment of feeling full, content and grateful. Many communities in the past used this moment to celebrate together. Plants absorb more water at the time of the full moon. So if the earth is humid you can have break from watering. If the earth is dry, water plants as they will absorb faster.

Moon Phases
Moon Phases

When the moon is waning, the earth in inhaling. The sap goes down towards the roots. This is the best time to plant roots such as potato, carrots and radish. It is also a time that traditional farmer prune and graft as it is believed that the plant will heal faster. Many farmers will also fertilise the soil at this time. Always choose a natural fertiliser.  It’s also suggested that if you are operating on animals always choose a a waning moon.

The new moon which is dark and mysterious is a time to renew yourself. A time to set yourself new tasks or projects. Set intentions. Projects that are started during a new moon have the force of the waxing moon to help come to fruition.

Other calendars

Dome at Ecocentro IPEC
Moon shining through the dome at Ecocentro IPEC – a place of celebration.

There are different versions of the moon calendar. Biodynamic gardening adds the elements of fire, water, air and earth to their moon calendar. You can follow their calendar here. Find a calendar that suits you and try it out and let me know how your moon planting goes? Use this chart to guide you.

Happy planting planting.pnglua_inglesDesign credit: Felipe Horst