“Don’t tell me the sky is the limit, there are footprints on the moon!”
Sowing seeds according to the phases of the moon is often thought of as a bit of garden folklore that’s practiced by a few and discarded as irrelevant by many. Scientists have studied the effects of the moon’s force on the Earth’s groundwater in relationship to sowing seeds, however, and the research has suggested that seeds will absorb water and germinate more quickly when sown coinciding with the moon’s cycles.
The moon completes one full cycle every 29 days. Each lunar month is divided into four phases based on how the moon appears to us from Earth. The first phase begins with a new moon and it is during the first two phases that the moon is waxing (growing). During this time the Earth’s water tables respond the greatest to the moon’s force. Just as the ocean tides are highest during the moon’s first two quarters, the water in your garden’s soil is also believed to be pulled to the surface and readily available for the seeds you have sown. As the moon wanes (gets smaller) the water in the soil returns to the depths and it’s then that chores such as turning the soil over are recommended. No need to break your back with heavy soil when the moon is on the wane!
According to the calendar February 28 (Sunday) is a full moon. If you’d like to experiment a bit, here are a few garden chores to accomplish during the first two phases while water is readily available in the soil:
- Sow seeds for crops that grow above the ground: leafy vegetables, cole crops, grains, peppers, tomatoes etc.
- Plant new trees
- Re-pot houseplants
As the moon begins to wane in the third and fourth phases and waters recede suggested chores include:
- Planting root crops
Of course this is a very brief look at using the moon as a garden guide. If you’re interested in testing the validity of planting according to moon do some research (Ed Hume is a suggested authority on the subject), choose a few select crops to test growing with and without the lunar calendar and keep notes in your garden journal. Be sure to let us know what you find out!