Planning to farm and plant according to the moon is derived from the idea that the moon provides and governs the soil’s moisture, thus increasing the chances for healthier, stronger and more nurtured plants.
A first-century Roman naturalist by the name of Pliny the Elder once stated about the moon, “replenishes the earth; when she approaches it, she fills all bodies, while, when she recedes, she empties them.”
This statement portrays that the nearer the moon is to the Earth’s surface, the more nourishment it provides.
Some of the techniques many farmers and gardeners use today are based off of past traditions and what has proved to be successful in growing.
Many of these techniques are also scientifically proven to be the best methods to use in planting. In the planter’s guidelines, there should be a total of eight phases when planting by the moon.
The phases are referred to as the new moon, waxing crescent, first quarter, waxing gibbous, full moon, waning gibbous, last quarter and the waning crescent.
Each of the moon’s different phases acts as a guide for many farmers and gardeners around the world, When the moon rises during the later parts of the days, it is said to bring fair weather.
When there is a New Moon in its first quarter, or what is also referred to as waxing phases, provides for fertile and wed conditions for the soil.
The new moon’s occurrence is when it lies nearest to the sun at the time when it is most evident from the view from the Earth. The inference of the new moon can also be depicted from when there is a black circle appearing in the sky, due to the moon and sun having the same ecliptic longitudes.
However, if observed keenly, there is a very thin crescent during the time of the new moon. During the time of the new moon, planting above-ground crops, grafting trees and transplanting should be conducted.
The best time for killing weeds, thinning, pruning, mowing and planting below-ground crops should be conducted during the time of the full moon until the last quarter.
This period pf phase is also known as the dark of the moon. The period of phase just prior to the full moon is considered the best time for planting, due to the soil being particularly wet which allows for the proper nourishment and absorbing of minerals and fertilizers.
The waxing crescent will appear just a few days after the new moon, and occurs every 29 and a half days. The term “waxing” also means growing.
The phase occurs when the moon’s crescent rises before noon and transits the meridian before sunset, while setting before midnight.
The waxing crescent moon is also referred to as the “young moon”, and is always seen in the west after sunset.
The first quarter shows half of its hemisphere in the light. To those viewing from Earth, it will shows half of its day side and will rise at noon while maintaining a high overhead position during sunset.
Despite illuminating half of its hemisphere, it is referred to as the first quarter phase because it is one quarter of the way around the orbit of the Earth until the next full cycle of phases.
The first quarter phase of the moon occurs one week after the new moon’s phase.
The waxing gibbous phase of the moon is seen when it is more than half lit but not quite fully. Waxing gibbous usually occurs no more than two weeks after the phase of the new moon.
The waxing gibbous moon will rise between noon and sunset. The word gibbous comes from a root word that means hump-backed, which is the shape that is depicted during its phase of the moon.
The waxing period tends to be a very productive time of period for not only planters, but all of society as a whole. This time period has people focusing on creation and beginning of things. For farmers, the waxing phase is a great time for planting and growing.
The waxing phase is the time the moon’s light illuminates from being new to full. This is a period of increased activity in regards to planting as it stimulates seed germination and development, and enables the parts of the plants that are above ground to grow and improve as well.
Leaves, flowers, fruits and seeds blossom while water is spread throughout the plants, thus stimulating nourishment and growth.
The waxing phase increases the speed of the spreading of water throughout the plants’ bodies which activates the carrying of nutrients and phyto-chemicals, which are also factors of health, development and growth.
In regards to the quality of plants, it is important to efficiently conduct planting by the moon by following the guidelines according to the different phases.
When planting by the moon, the waning phase should be used as a time to plant seeds and crops, transplant seedlings and divisions. This is because the absorption of nutrients from the soil occur the most during the waning phase.
The proper nourishment of the roots and all of the soil will provide for the production and development for more lush of foliage, higher production of brighter and more colorful flowers and sweeter and healthier fruits and seeds.
When planting by the moon, the time after its full illumination creates high gravitational pull, in which there is a great amount of moisture in the soil resulting in great conditions for vegetation.
As the moonlight decreases, more energy is put into the roots. Therefore, the end of the full moon is a great period of time to plant root crops, such as beets, carrots, onions and potatoes.
As planting according to the moon’s different phases may just be seen and regarded as following traditional folklore, the production rates and success of planters worldwide from its practices has proven the theories to be more of a fact rather than beliefs.
I know a country gal who swears by the Farmers Almanac. As for me, I do what I can when the weather’s decent, I’m not at work, and I feel up to it. I don’t have the luxury of planning my activities around the moon.
Loved this article- very helpful! Thank you for being so in depth and discussing a topic not many usually think about (or apparently have time for, lol!)
Dean Guymon says
Mike: These articles that you have been using lately are informative and often fun. However, I miss the down to earth real words that come from your experience and personality.