“With the waxing of the moon, the earth exhales.”
– Ute York
Lunar gardening is fun and makes so much sense!
The gravitational pull of the moon on the earth affects water on our planet. The moon’s pull is stronger than the sun because, even though the sun is larger, the moon is closer to the earth.
As the moon gets full or waxes, its gravitational pull on the earth gets stronger. And it is felt the most when the moon is full (the moon and sun pull from the opposite sides of the earth at this time).
This is when the tides are at their height and people go a little wild.
But not only does the moon’s gravity affect tides and us, it also affects underground water tables.
So if you plant when the moon is waxing or growing toward being full, remember the water table is rising as well.
This means water is more easily available to a plant. The increased moisture content of the soil encourages seeds to sprout and grow.
Dr. Frank Brown of Northwestern University researched this over a ten-year period of time and found that plants absorbed more water at the time of the full moon.
Tests by Frau Dr. Kolisko in Germany and by Maria Thun also found maximum seed germination on the days right before the Full moon.
So as the new moon (no moon) grows, seeds swell with water and burst into life more quickly. This 2 week period in a month is considered the best time to plant leaf crops.
And this period is great for harvesting leaf crops because as the moon moves towards full the plant is putting everything it has into growing and is full of nutrients.
photos from Gardening by the Moon website
Similarly, when the moon goes from full back to being a sliver the opposite is true.
Ute York, in her book “Living by the Moon” says
” With the waning of the moon, the earth inhales. Then, the sap primarily goes down toward the roots. Thus, the waning moon is a good time for pruning, multiplying, fertilizing, watering, harvesting, and controlling parasites and weeds”
Now is the time when the water table drops, and it is a good time to plant root crops, such as turnips, carrots, onions, and bulbs etc.
How to know? Get a MOON PHASE widget and put on your homepage. And go to this Farmer’s Almanac article (click on it) for more info.