Planting Vegetables by the Moon Cycle

Overview

Planting by the phases of the moon, or lunar planting, has been practiced since ancient times. According to the University of Florida Hendry County Extension Office(ref 1), the validity of claims that planting crops during a specific phase of the moon has not been proven or disproven by the scientific community. Often regarded as folklore, planting by the phases of the moon is based on the fact that the gravitational pull of the moon influences fluids in both the plants and soil. The Old Farmer's Almanac is based in part on providing farmers and home gardeners with proper planting dates based on the cycle of the moon.

Step 1

Prepare the soil several weeks before planting time. This allows any soil amendments time to enrich the soil. It also assures that you are ready for planting crops at the proper time and avoids unnecessary delays.

Step 2

Plant flowers and vegetables that grow above the ground between the dates of the new moon and the full moon, according to the Old Farmer's Almanac. Check the phases of the moon on the calendar.

Step 3

Plant crops that grow underground, like potatoes, beets, carrots and turnip, from the day after the full moon until the day before the next new moon.

Step 4

Plant leafy vegetables, or those that do not produce seeds outside the fruit, between the new moon and the first quarter, if you prefer a more specific time frame as outlined by the University of Florida Hendry County Extension. This includes salad greens, spinach and corn.

Step 5

Sow seeds or transplant seedlings for vegetables that produce seed inside the fruit, like tomatoes, peppers, melons and cucumbers between the first quarter and a full moon.

Step 6

Plant bulbs between the full moon and the last quarter. According to The University of Florida Hendry County Extension , you should till the soil or destroy weeks in the last quarter of the moon, but you should not plant any type of flower or vegetable.

Things You'll Need

  • Calendar
  • Garden tools
  • Seeds/seedlings

References

  • University of Florida Hendry County Extension: Astrological Gardening -- Planting by the Moon and Signs
  • The Old Farmer's Almanac.com: 2010 Best Planting Dates for Seeds for Patten, Maine

Who Can Help

  • Univerisity of Utah Center for High Perfromance Computing: Lunar Phases
Keywords: plant by moon, lunar phase planting, moon phase planting

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with 4 years experience in online writing and a lifetime of personal journals. She is published on various sites, including Associated Content. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.