Over the Moon – Ggrdening with the phases of the moon
Gardening by using the phases of the moon might sound like a far fetched idea but this age-old practice is currently gaining more momentum and with scientific proof to support this trend.
It is well known that the moon has an influence on big bodies of water like the sea visible in the change of tydes. However, the moon’s power is not limited to only big bodies of waer. In fact the moon even have an influence on a drop of water. The human body consists of 60% water and with plants it is as much as 90%.
The basic idea behind Gardening by the Moon is that the cycles of the Moon affect plant growth. Just as the Moon’s gravitational pull causes tides to rise and fall, it also affects moisture in the soil.
Therefore, it’s said that seeds will absorb more water during the full Moon and the new Moon, when more moisture is pulled to the soil surface. This causes seeds to swell, resulting in greater germination and better-established plants.
Moon phase gardening takes into account two periods of the lunar cycle: the time between the new Moon and the full Moon (the waxing of the Moon), and the time between the full Moon and the new Moon (the waning of the Moon).
During the new moon, lunar gravity pulls groundwater up, feeding roots and causing seeds to swell. At the same time, moonlight begins to increase, creating the perfect balance for growth. The new moon is a good time to plant above ground crops like lettuce, broccoli and cauliflower, which produce their seeds outside their fruit. The new moon is also a good time to harvest, transplant, prune, apply pest control and till your soil to eliminate weeds. Some say the weeds that are removed during this time never grow back.
In the first quarter phase, the moonlight is getting stronger, encouraging the growth of seeds along with healthy, leafy plants. The first quarter is a good time to set out plants that produce their seeds inside their fruit, for example, tomatoes or watermelon. This is a good time to do most planting and transplanting. It is also a great time to mow the lawn if you wish to encourage new growth.
At the full moon, when the sun and moon align, moonlight is at its strongest and groundwater is at its highest; it is a time of equilibrium. The day of the full moon itself is not a time for planting, but afterwards the light begins to wane and plants focus on root development and seed germination, drawing moisture from the higher groundwater table. As the moon wanes, it is an ideal time to plant root crops, including potatoes, onions and carrots. During the full moon phase, it is also a good time to apply fertilizer. Later in the growing season, the harvesting of fruits and vegetables is best during the full moon, as they reach their peak ripeness and nutritional value.
As the moon enters the last quarter, it continues to diminish in light, and groundwater recedes, forcing roots to grow and dig deeper into the ground. Root plants favor this period, as do trees, so planting any kind of bush or tree during this phase of the moon is a good idea. As the light wanes, so does planting, and the focus turns to maintenance, cultivating soil, applying pest controls, construction projects, etc. The last quarter is a great time to weed and prune, and if you’re trying to slow down the growth of your lawn (to save on mowing) then be sure to mow the lawn in the last quarter. During harvest time, this phase is also a good time to can vegetables and fruits that have just been harvested, to preserve their freshness.
Gardening by the Moon is more than just a phase. Connecting with the phases of the Moon taps into our deep desire to be in tune with nature. Whatever happens in the world of trends, we’re all in favor of working with nature’s rhythms.
Join us this Friday 4 February for our FREE online workshop on ‘Over the Moon – Gardening with the Phases of the Moon’, with Garden Guru Sue Both.
Please use the following login details to join us at 11am sharp over Zoom: