No doubt you have heard of the concept. It has been used almost since the dawn of agriculture. Folklore and superstition has promoted it. So it is not surprising that people today question its validity.
Those of you who swear to its soundness point to scientific proof that it is a legitimate method of gardening.
The truth is that university professors have researched gardening by the phases of the moon over many years keeping meticulous records of their results. These studies have determined that plants absorb more water during the full moon.
The fact is, the gravitational pull influences gardening success. Tides on bodies of water are highest during the new and full moon. Just as the moon pulls the tides, it also influences other and smaller bodies of water resulting in the rise of moisture from within the earth. And this encourages plant growth.
Moisture in the soil is at its highest during the new and full moon. Moreover, studies have shown that seeds absorb the most water during the full moon. Planting based on the phases of the moon is of the same pace as the alternating gravitational pull.
So, although it is gravity that influences plant growth, phases of the moon provide a sign as to its various levels of pull.
Lunar gravity at the time of the new moon pulls water up. In addition the increased moonlight creates a balanced root and leaf growth.
First Quarter Moon
Planting of annual crops above ground during the first quarter of the moon is an ideal period for cultivating lettuce, spinach, celery, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and grain crops.
Second Quarter Moon
The pull of gravity is less during the moon’s second quarter. However, the light of the moon is robust resulting in healthy leaf growth. So, this period is a good time to plant, especially two days before the full moon. Annual that produce above ground, but their seeds form inside are ideal for planting during this period. These crops would include beans, melons, peas, peppers, squash, and tomatoes.
Planting just before the full moon provides plants with peak moisture.
The Full Moon
The period before the third and fourth quarters is the full moon when light is decreasing and energy is concentrated in the roots. This is a good time for planting root crops including beets and carrots. It is also a good time to plant perennials, bulbs, and transplanting plants because of active root growth.
Fourth Quarter Moon
The pull of gravity and moonlight decreases during the fourth quarter of the moon and is designated as a time to rest.
It is also the best time to cultivate, harvest, transplant, fertilize and prune.
People who follow phases of the moon to garden suggests that the third and fourth quarters are the best time to mow your lawn to retard growth.