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 in 4236BC. Themis, the moon goddess, ordered that the year be divided into thirteen months halved 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 it worked.
Phases of the moon
We know that the tides are affected by the moon’s gravitational pull. 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.
It’s believed that when the moon is waxing, the earth is exhaling. The sap rises into the plant, which gives force to growth above the ground. At this moment, you will plant seeds that bear fruit above ground. For a fast-growing plant, seed 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 a break from watering. If the soil is dry, add water to the ground as plants absorb it faster.
When the moon is waning, the earth is inhaling. The sap goes down towards the roots. This is the time to plant roots stock such as potatoes, carrots and radish. It is also a time that traditional farmers 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. If you are planning on operating on animals, select 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.
There are many versions of a moon calendar. Biodynamic gardening adds the elements of fire, water, air and earth to their calendar. You can follow it 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.
Moon calendar activities can be found on page 94 of Planet Schooling – How to create a permaculture living laboratory in the backyard. If you need curriculum support – purchase here. Have a sneak peek into the book, and download the content pages here.