In ancient times, people’s lives revolved around the lights in the sky. There weren’t digital clocks or calendars to let them know when thing were occurring or when things needed to be done. They rose, ate, slept, planted, harvested by the sun and moon. Does it really make a difference to today’s gardener if we plant crops during a specific moon phase?
Some folks say it does!
Without spouting a bunch of scientific mumbo-jumbo, consider this simple logic. Plant leaves enjoy a spurt of growth during the long light of the full moon. In contrast, they put their energy into growing stronger roots when there is no moon. That makes sense. But what about sowing seeds? In addition to that logic, the moon’s gravitational pull causes the ocean’s tides to rise and fall, so why would it not affect moisture in the soil? Apparently, the full moon pulls more water to the surface of the soil, which increases germination in your seeds. It’s beginning to sound like it’s not hocus pocus after all.
If you’d like to give the moon phases a try this year in your garden, here are some basic rules. First, you must know the difference between Waxing and Waning. It’s pretty easy. Just remember Waxing rhymes with Maxing, and that’s when the moon is maxing out, getting larger and larger, on its way to becoming a full moon.
The basic premise of planting by the moon is to plant things that grow above ground during the waxing moon. Fruits, veggies, flowers that produce toward the sky are the waxing plants. Plant things that grow underground during the waning moon. These would be potatoes, carrots, radishes, ginger. Remember the way the moisture is moving in the soil and the way the moon’s light feeds the leaves? It kind of makes sense.
If this seems rational to you, or at least has peaked your interest, you don’t have to do all the dates and the math and the moon phases and the number crunching. Fortunately for all of us, The Old Farmer’s Almanac has done all the work. Click this link to go to the Almanac’s planting page, input your zip code, and you’ll find not only your best planting dates for most crops according to your last frost date, but also your best planting dates according to the moon!
I’m not saying it works, but I do know every gardener who plants by the moon has an amazing garden.
So, maybe it’s worth a shot.