Going by the moon's phases and signs plays a big part in my backyard. I was wondering if anyone else around here still uses these old ways?
My parents experimented with it for a couple decades, but found it more useful to correlate with other natural signs, such as planting corn when the oak leaves are the size of a squirrel's ear (not joking!). I rely on a thermometer, because it isn't going to matter what the zodiac sign is if the soil is still too cold and/or wet.
Are you doing any test controls to see what happens if the signs aren't followed?
I ordered one after reading this and it just arrived. GREAT calendar. Lots of planting/weeding/etc. info and very pretty,too. I bought the long season one as I'm in Tx. w/9 months of growing season.
Garden witch, I'm glad you posted this.... My husband refuses to plant the beans because a friend of his, an elderly Italian woman says that it is the wrong time of the moon to plant beans. He's waiting for the go-ahead from her.
I've been trying to figure this out somewhat logically, but began to really get bogged down on it.
It is logical that if the moon exerts a pull on the tides, it also will exert a pull on the earth. It may follow then that plants that do most of their fruiting above ground would benefit from a "pull" when they are just planted, and conversely plants that are root crop would get a better start when the "pull" is absent.
Since I am person who has always worked in the arts, I
have great gaps in my knowledge of science and I realize
that so many other factors would have a part in explaining the moon signs, but it seems that science always helps to prove ancient superstitions to be true. I would really like to hear more about how this could be true scientifically. L.
I just looked up the link you provided and there were all the answers that I asked about in the previous post. Someday I will look up the links before I jump in with my questions, no matter if I am tired and rushed. Thank you so much for providing that link. It is really interesting.... Lina.
My dad told me once that his own father swore by moon planting, and I remember reading a few years ago that there may be some science behind it. I've never tried it, but I get the impression it worked for my grandfather.
We have found that foliar feeding and liquid fertilizing of plants is much more effective during the few days prior to Full Moon - not a convert to the full 'Growing by the Moon' religion but can vouch for the above.
Around here tomatoes plants are not put in the ground until after the first full moon in June. (Unless of course you have night caps for them)(g)
There is one thing that puzzles me about planting by the moon (actually, the whole thing puzzles me):
Let's say you put some seed in the ground, seed that would, according to the rules found in the calendar (of the link above) be advantaged by planting right after the new moon. But then let's say that it takes the seed quite a while to "wake up" (I've had seeds that took months to sprout...) and happens to sprout more around the full moon... Then will you still get the "advantage" of sowing at the new moon?
I guess my question can be simply put: is it the sprouting time that should be in the "right moon" or the sowing time?
Other questions: does moon affect transplanting, pruning, fertilizing, and we could even include watering (full moon = rise of water = a better rise of water in the plant? )?
Thanks for your link. It is in the same spirit as the www.gardeningbythemoon.com.
But I'm surprised that it even extends to affecting the time of harvesting!
I think what I'm looking for is a more complete information. Mre answers to the why's. I understand the full moon, with it's gravitational pull, pulls the water up, which brings more water, and more nutrients, to plants. Perhaps taking more "sap" into the fruits making them juicier. After that I'm lost. Why some like the full moon and not others?
I guess the scientist in me is looking into the reasons why it should work. I definitly need to continue gathering info.
I think the thing is that so many ppl look at astrology as something hokey, new age, a fad, etc. But, farmers and gardeners have been planting by the moon's phases and signs for a very long time.
I don't think it is so much a belief as it is just another form of science. You don't look at the science behind it, but the science within it. Yeah, I suppose you could look at the gravitational effects of the moon and its position in relation to the earth, and that does play its part. That is the physical science, but there is just so much more than that. I guess its hard to explain without writing a whole book on the subject (which thankfully others have done for us!)
There is no part being played by gravitational pull. There is vastly more pull coming from your own body standing next to your plants that the moon's gravitational pull. As has been repeated often: "A mother holding her child "will exert 12 million times as much tidal force on her child as the moon".
Since I dont know what the moon is supposed to look like during its phases, I am looking for someone to email me with the proper moon planting instructions according to my location in NC. I dont even know if the Moon is in the same phase at every location on Earth. Can I get on a moon-planting mailing list? I dont want to have to remember to look at the moon daily. Anyone else feel that way?
I am totally confused about the moon phases also. Does anyone have a calendar showing the phases? And, good question, are they the same all over the earth? I mean, it's nightime here in NY but I know darn well it's still light in California. And it's already tomorrow in the eastern hemisphere.
The moon exerts the same gravitational force on the earth regardless of the phase. The phase is a function of how much of the earth is blocking the sunlight to the moon. The moon's mass doesn't change, hence the gravitational force doesn't change.
The only possible advantage of following moon cycles is that a lunar calendar is 13 months/year, instead of the 12/year we're familiar with. This 13/year might be a better map to natural cycles, since the 12/year calendar requires some adjusting (i.e., notice that Easter this year was in March, not April as usual; the timing of Easter is actually based on the lunar calendar). Also, a more accurate first/last frost prediction could be made on the lunar calendar than on a "normal" calendar.
I think most calendars have some phases of the moon on them, check any calendar you happen to have. This month my calendar says May 8th is a new moon, so I am planning on sowing some seeds 2 days before that. The Full moon is on May 23, this is the day I will transplant to rest of my tomatoes into the beds. I did most of them during Aprils full moon.
Our local famous gardener in my neck of the woods is Ed Hume and he puts out a little pocket sized guide every year with what to do on what days. He doesn't explain any of the why's but if all you want is to be told what to do on what days something like that would probably be what you are looking for. I found mine on the same seed racks that sold his brand of seeds at both Home Depot and Fred Meyer (which is a regional chain.) I am sure you have a similar local resource. It was only a couple of bucks and is about the same size as a shirt pocket.
A friend talked me into the notion a couple years ago, the jury is still out on the merits of moon phase planting for me. This winter I made it a point to obtain two different pharmacy calendars and they don't have a lot of common date information. Next I looked at three different farmers almanact's again there is a lot of difference from one to the next. I am currently communicating with Caren from the calendar web site listed above. She claims there are different ways to design calendar dates depending on how corrections are applied to lunar event period changes over the milleniums since zodiac events were first used and how accurately the designer accounts for not just days but hours in lunar cycles. I am still waiting for her to perscribe a calendar type of hers for my locality but also am wondering if it would be just as well to hang all those calendars in the out house and use them there. That thirteen bucks would buy a few more packs of fresh seeds or a grow light. What do you think.
I'm intrigued with moon phase planting and just ordered the calendar mentioned above - very reasonable for the download version at $1/month if you get the full year. I've had beginner's luck (didn't follow any particular gardening approach) growing monster tomatoes in containers or small plots with limited sun exposure back East (CT) - have never had pest issues, and am hoping that my new container garden (focusing on leafy veggies) in half wine barrels this year will be a hit.
If anyone wants to embark on this moon planting business for 2007, email me and let's compare notes. I'm just south of San Francisco along the Pacific Coast - but it doesn't matter where your location is. I am particularly interested in veggie gardens that are in part shade.
I've found that my time spent trying to find out what phase the moon, the zodiac,and the stars needed to be,would have been used more wisely working in the garden.Im not saying it dosent work,because through out my life Ive dug a few post holes.If someone says the moon does not effect the soil,go out dig a post hole on the increase and another on the decrease.You will find that one phase you will have more than enough dirt to fill and the other not enough.
I tried planting vegetables by the moon last year and did not notice a difference. For example: I did 6 plantings of peas at about two week intervals, good moon, bad moon, good moonÂ The first 4 plantings all flowered at the same time and I had a ton of peas on all. The first two plantings were much smaller than the later plantings. No real difference between good or bad. For the last one it got pretty hot and they never did real well. Radishes the same procedure, good moon, bad moonÂ I did not notice any difference in size, quality or taste between them. Although one of the good moon plantings had an 11+" circumference Cherry Belle radish. Very impressive but it rotted before I could get seed. Corn, beans and tomatoes same resultsÂ Inconclusive!
This year I am going by the weather not the moons. When the soil temp is right, I will plant.
Most the plants we grow originated 'elsewhere' and don't give two hoots about the phases of the moon in our latitude and longtitude. They are not impacted by 'the moon's gravity' or other mumbo jumbo.
We have something called the 'weather channel' and can check the week's forecast. It predicts precipitation, frost, etc.
I just looked at the farmer's almanac online. It showed what days to plant and what days not to plant and alot of other stuff. I'm going to try it. There is even a right time to get your hair cut. I really need to do that. I definitly got my hair cut at the worst time a few weeks ago. It stands up all over the place and nothing will control it!