The Q&A Archives: Planting by Phases of the Moon

Question: What can I do now according to the phase of the moon? ie. dates for planting seeds the produce above the ground or below the ground?

Answer: Lunar gardening is a time-honored practice based on the assumption that the positions of planetary bodies, especially the sun and moon, coincide with the natural cycles of all living things. Aligning gardening activities with these natural rhythms has brought enhanced success to many a garden.

Lunar gardening can be as basic or as astrologically complex as you want to make it. But the simplified version is to plant annuals that produce their yields above ground during the moon's increasing light, that is from new moon to full moon. Most vegetables are grown as annuals. As the moon's light decreases, from full moon back to new moon, plant bulbs and root crops, biennials and perennials.

From that underlying idea one can progress to planting by the moon's quarter phases. From new moon to half-full moon is the first quarter. Dividing the period of increasing moonlight into first and second quarters allows certain refinements such as waiting for the second quarter to plant above-ground annual crops that produce seeds inside the fruit. Examples are beans, squash, peas, and tomatoes.

Moon guides are available for each year to direct the keen astrological gardener. The Farmer's Almanac is a popular one.

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