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Guide to planting by the moon

Moon planting calendar for fruit, vegetables and flowers

In ancient times when man had not quite got round to inventing the wristwatch, the most reliable source of telling the time was the sun, moon, and stars. There seems to be several opinions of who came up with the moon planting calendar first. Was it the Egyptians or the Babylonians? It is more than likely that each and every farmer had a planting calendar based on the moon phases, and there would be different variations depending on the geographical location. As their calendars where passed on through the generations they evolved to cover the different crops they tried to grow, and the more productive farming techniques used.

It was noticed that different plants grow better when they are planted during different phases of the moon. Each of these phases imparts an influence on the way vegetation grows on the planet through the rising and falling of the moisture in the ground and in the plants.

To provide more accurate records it was noted that certain crops faired better when planted when the moon was in a specific constellation. As the moon can take only 2-3 days to pass through a constellation, the planting calendar was a ‘cutting edge’ technology.

Planting was not the most important time for the farmer, harvest time also had to be recorded. If you harvest at the correct time your crops will last much longer. It is down to how the plant stores the water in the fruit/crop at different times of the Luna cycle.

Moon planting rediscovered

We in our modern and advanced civilization are rediscovering the benefits of planting by the Luna cycle and various sources are being used to generate Moon Planting systems for us to use. Some of these systems would appear to contradict each other in places, but it is important to remember they are guides for you to use and modify, they are not an exact science.

Three Moon planting methods

There are three methods for planting by the moon. The Synodic, or waxing and waning cycle, the Sidereal, and the Biodynamic cycle.

Synodic (waxing and waning) cycle

This is a simple form of Moon planting which divides the Luna cycle into four phases or quarters. This cycle takes 29.6 days to complete. It then groups plants into categories, Root Crops, Foliage, Crops with seeds on the outside, and crops with seeds on the inside. Then it assigns plants to the phases of the moon which best suits there growing characteristics.

Biodynamic cycle

Secondly, there is the more detailed method using the 12 Zodiac signs as a method of position the moon, for more accurate planting. This method was developed by Rudolf Steiner in 1924, and the Zodiac signs used where the actual positioning of the signs in the sky, when the moon passed through them. In addition to the position of the moon, Venus and Saturn also played a large part in the Biodynamic farming calendar. For more information see the Wikipedia Article on Biodynamics (note ~ this is method i personally recommend).

Sidereal cycle

Lastly the Sidereal cycle is very similar to the Biodynamic cycle except only the moons orbit around the earth is used to define the best times to sow and harvest. The orbit is divided up into 12 equal 30 degree sections to represent the position of the moon in the sky, but it may not be the same as the current moon position. The sidereal cycle takes 27.3 days to complete.

Which of the above methods is better is up to you to find out. I suggest starting with the Synodic as a general rule and while you record the results, read up on the other two. For more information on the Biodynamic cycle read the The Biodynamic and Planting Calendar 2006 and for more information on the Sidereal Cycle read Gardening & Planting by the Moon 2006.

If you start to use Moon Planting for your crops, keep a diary, and add as much detail as you can. You can let us know how you do with your garden using the form below..

The feed for Moon planting contains a general guide to planting crops through the Luna cycle. The feed is updated once a day and is based on the GMT Time zone.

Original Source ~  Gardener’s Calender UK~

~Seven day moon planting guide in side rail widget ~

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6 responses

  1. The Lunation Cycle
    Each lunar month the Moon passes through four phases – New Moon, First Quarter, Full Moon and Last Quarter. The number of days between each change of phase can vary from 6 3/4 to 8, so to make it easier for you. Please note that Moon phases are given in Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), which applies to gardeners in Queensland, NSW, Victoria and Tasmania. Gardeners in South Australia and Northern Territory should subtract half an hour from the given times, and gardeners in Western Australia should subtract 2 hours. New Zealand gardeners should add 2 hours to the given times. Adjustments will have to be made for Daylight Saving when it applies.

    1. Avoid sowing, planting or taking cuttings from 12 hours before to 12 hours after the exact change of moon phase.
    The twelve hours immediately before and after the exact change of each phase is not a good time for sowing, planting, or taking cuttings. We have found that the increase or decrease of unfavourable energy is gradual and it will not have an obvious effect if you run an hour or so into this period when you have a lot of sowing or planting to do. While this is not a good period for sowing or planting, this time can be used to prepare beds, compost heaps, apply mulch, etc.

    THE WAXING MOON
    During the New Moon and First Quarter phases, the Moon is waxing or increasing in light. In these two phases, sap flow increases in the above ground parts of plants, and these are the most suitable phases for sowing and transplanting annuals (and biennials). Flowering annuals, grains, melons and spring onions do well if planted in either phase but, generally, New Moon phase is best for leafy annuals and First Quarter is best for fruiting annuals. Liquid fertilisers will take effect more quickly if applied during the waxing phases. Shrubs and trees can be pruned in First Quarter phase when you want to produce new growth quickly, such as pruning spring-flowering shrubs or summer pruning of roses. When pruned while sap flow is high, sap is quickly diverted to the lateral shoots. When sap flow is low, regrowth is slower and dieback is more likely to occur in some plants. The same principle applies to lawns. If you want to encourage fast regrowth, mow during the waxing phases. First Quarter phase is also good for grafting and budding because these require a high sap flow for successful results.

    2. NEW MOON PHASE – the best time to sow or transplant leafy annuals (we eat the leaf or stem), and flowering annuals, grains and melons. Also sow annual grasses, green manures, and apply liquid fertilisers. Mow lawns to encourage growth. This is the second best phase to sow or transplant fruiting annuals.

    3. FIRST QUARTER PHASE – the best time to sow or transplant fruiting annuals (we eat the fruit or seed bearing part), and flowering annuals, grains and melons. Also sow annual grasses, and green manures and apply liquid fertilisers. Prune to encourage growth and deadhead roses and flowering annuals. Carry out grafting and budding. Mow lawns to encourage growth. This is the second best phase to sow or transplant leafy annuals (we eat the leaf or stem) and flowering annuals.

    THE WANING MOON
    During the Full Moon and Last Quarter phases the Moon wanes or decreases in light and sap flow in plants is more concentrated in the root area. As sap flow gradually slows during these two phases, Full Moon phase is best for sowing and planting because germination is lower, and regrowth slower, during Last Quarter phase. Because sap flow is lower in the foliage part of plants, crops or seed harvested for storage or drying are less likely to rot if harvested during the Moon’s waning period.
    Full Moon phase is best for the sowing and planting of both root crops and perennials (plants that live longer than two years). All trees, shrubs, vines (including fruit trees and vines), globe artichokes, asparagus, rhubarb, strawberries, herbaceous perennials, bulbs and lawn grasses are perennials. The reason that these plants are planted (or sown) in the root vegetable phase is that perennials have a different type of root system to leafy and flowering annuals. Roots of perennial plants have, like root vegetables and garlic, the ability to store carbohydrates and nutrients through periods of dormancy, and this type of root system is important for the longevity of perennials.
    Because Full Moon phase favours root growth, this is also an excellent phase for taking cuttings, or for aerial layering, because root growth must form to support new foliage growth. This is also the best phase for dividing plants for the same reason.
    Prune dormant plants during Full Moon phase. Last Quarter phase is best for cutting back rampant shrubs and vines, – regrowth will be less vigorous.

    4. FULL MOON PHASE – the best time to sow or plant out root crops and all fruiting and decorative perennials. Also sow lawns or lay turf, harvest for storage, take cuttings, divide plants, prune dormant plants and apply solid fertilisers. Mow lawns to slow growth.

    5. LAST QUARTER PHASE – no sowing or planting during this phase. This is a good phase for attending to your soil; weeding, applying mulch, making compost, preparing manure teas, applying solid fertilisers and digging or ploughing, if necessary Prune to restrain growth, and mow lawns to slow growth during this phase.

    Fertile and Barren Days
    These are a further refinement that has been added to moon planting principles through the ages. Fertile days, i.e. when the Moon is in the fertile signs of Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces, or the semi-fertile days of Taurus, Libra and Capricorn, are considered to be of extra help for sowing, grafting, taking cuttings, pruning to encourage growth and planting bare-rooted perennials. Barren days, i.e. when the Moon is in the barren signs of Aries, Leo or Sagittarius, or the semi-barren signs Gemini, Virgo or Aquarius are considered to be of extra help for weeding or harvesting crops for storage. If digging is unavoidable outside Last Quarter phase, it is best to do it on barren days.
    WATERING YOUR GARDEN
    Some moon planting guides will tell you to only water on barren days, while other guides will tell you to only water on fertile days. After keeping rain records for many years, I’ve noticed that Mother Nature does not comply with either of these rules. The truth is that you should water your plants when they need it.

    April 21, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    • you rock Old Fart 🙂
      thank you much xo

      April 21, 2013 at 12:43 pm

      • Thanks Bunny, ACTUALLY, I AM IN THE MOOD FOR DANCE TONIGHT…Shall we ?? LOL
        😀 😀

        April 21, 2013 at 12:47 pm

      • lol, let’s dance 🙂 Sun is shining finally, hope it warms up, we had snow night before last.

        April 21, 2013 at 12:50 pm

  2. GOOD FOR YOU…Enjoy it while you can.
    I am so busy lately, BIG TIME, got me more work now than ever …Wowwwww
    Club manager even put me on full time staff. 😀
    That’s okay, I am tough as wood, till one day will krack and split …LOL 😀

    April 21, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    • lol, take work while you can. i didn’t work all last week due to weather, etc. sucks Congrats on promotion, he must like your work 🙂

      today work on car and tomorrow i should be able to work outdoors either here or somewhere 😉

      April 21, 2013 at 12:57 pm

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