How to Plant by the Phases of the Moon


The age-old method of planting and harvesting according to the phases of the moon has served farmers well in promoting rapid, healthy growth of their fruits, vegetables, herbs and other crops. Just as the moon affects the oceans' tides, its gravitational pull also is instrumental in stimulating the growth of leaves, roots and other plant parts. It is said that seeds will sprout faster and plants will grow more robustly, resulting in larger harvests and plants that don't bolt to seed as soon as those planted during other phases of the moon.

Step 1

Plant above-ground annuals that form flower spikes containing seeds during the new moon, when it is believed its gravity causes water to rise in the soil, making seeds germinate. Examples of these plants include spinach, broccoli, lettuce, and cauliflower. This is also a good time to plant cucumbers and graft fruit trees.

Step 2

Plant annuals that produce their fruit above ground during the second quarter up until two days before the full moon, when its gravitational pull helps the strong growth of leaves. Examples of these plants include melons, peas, beans, peppers, tomatoes and squash.

Step 3

Plant root crops while the full moon is waning and its gravitational pull is very high, which causes moisture in the soil, but the amount of moonlight is decreased, so energy is diverted to plant roots. Examples of these plants include carrots, beets, potatoes, most perennials and bulbs. This is also a good time to transplant and prune.

Step 4

Harvest, cultivate, prune, weed and transplant during the fourth quarter when the amount of moonlight and gravitational pull are at their lowest ebb. This is a resting period during which most new plants will not thrive as robustly as those planted at more appropriate phases of the moon.

Things You'll Need

  • Calendar showing moon phases
  • Seeds
  • Shovel


  • Gardening by the moon
Keywords: gardening planting, moon phases, vegetables herbs

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi'iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Fahs wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, GardenGuides and eHow. She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.