Sometimes observations made over many centuries verified by long human experience are simply not explainable by science. The fact is that many gardeners and farmers – practical people who rapidly drop any idea that does not yield results – rely on gardening by moon.
At least, part of the influence of the moon is related to its gravitational effect on the earth, but the influence of the very smaller moon is greatest due its close proximity. Early research has also shown that during the increasing or waxing moon, seeds and transplants take up water more readily than those sown in the decreasing or waxing time of the moon. As a result, leafy above-ground vegetables appear to be favoured by the waxing moon, while below-ground plants requiring less water are favoured by the waning moon.
Rules of Planting by the Moon
New Moon Waxing to Full Moon
This is time to plant the seed and seedlings of annuals that provide their harvest above ground. Garlic and grain crops also do well if planted during this waxing period. It is a good time to sow or lay turf, plant roses, graft new flowering and fruit trees, and ornamental flowers.
This is considered the best time to plant biennial and perennial plants, root and bulb crops.
From the New Moon to First Quarter
This is the best time for planting annuals, particularly those that do not bear their seeds in fruits as spinach, cabbage, celery, lettuce and endive.
From the Quarter Moon to the Full Moon
Plant species that bear their seeds in fruits, for example beans, peas, cucumbers, squash, capsicum (peppers) eggplant, tomatoes and melons.
From the Full Moon to the Third Quarter
This is the time to plant all root and bulb crops, as well as perennials and biennials. This includes potatoes, onions, rhubarb crowns, grapes and berries. Trees and fruit trees should be also planted in this period.
The fourth quarter of the moon cycle is most unfavourable for the plants and it is advisable not to be planted anything in this period.
The Moon and Gardening Activities
Many garden activities are also governed by the phases of the moon.
All propagation is favoured, including taking cuttings, budding and grafting. Once the cutting are rooted, they should also be potted during a waxing moon. This also the best time to re-pot indoor plants.
Many gardeners believe that plants, drawing water from the soil and consisted mainly of fluid, are influenced by the moon, just like the ocean’s tides. Watering the garden is considered to be most effective during the waxing phase of the moon, although seasonal conditions , current weather and soil type obviously should also determine the need for water in the garden.
Due to the higher water content of plants in the waxing phase, fresh fruits are at their juiciest and salads at their crispiest if harvested in this phase. Grapes are preferably harvested just before the full moon.
Activities associated with the waning phase of the moon including dividing perennials ( in late autumn to winter), making and turning compost heaps, mulching, killing weeds and pruning. It is also the time for harvesting and drying herbs for ease of drying and high potency, harvesting and drying flowers, ploughing and hoeing.
Many gardeners consider this period as best time for using organic sprays on fruit trees.