How to Grow Vegetables to the Moon Cycle


The practice of growing plants by the phases of the moon goes back to ancient times. It was believed that the moon controlled the moisture of the earth. We know today that the moon's cycles affect the earth's water table through gravitational pull. When the sun and moon create the strongest pull by being on opposite sides of the earth, we are in a full moon phase. When the sun and moon are on the same side of the earth, there is also a strong pull. This is a new moon phase. It is advantageous to plant vegetables at these times, when water is closest to the earth's surface.

Step 1

Prepare your vegetable garden site. Mark off the area by making a line in the soil with the corner of your hoe. Remove all weeds and debris. Turn the soil, about a foot down, with your shovel. Work out all dirt clods. Add compost to the soil and work it in with your shovel. Rake the vegetable garden area so that it is level.

Step 2

Create rows with your hoe. Use the corner of your hoe, and run a long line down your garden, making an indentation about 4 inches deep. Make another line, parallel to the first line, spaced a foot away. Allow the soil to fall to the center of the two lines, creating a garden row.

Step 3

Use your calendar to locate the moon's phases. Most calendars show these. The new moon and the first quarter, waxing phases, are the times to plant seeds for above-ground vegetables, such as green beans, corn, lettuce, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli and squash. This is called the light of the moon. You still will plant in spring months after the last frost in your location.

Step 4

Moisten the garden area with a hose water sprayer. Plant your above-ground vegetable seeds at the waxing moon phases according to the seed depth and spacing suggested by the manufacturer. This information will be on the seed packet. Every seed has different requirements.

Step 5

Plant vegetable seeds for below-ground crops, such as carrots, radishes and potatoes, during the full moon to the last quarter (waning moon). This is called the dark of the moon. Again, follow the seed manufacturer's suggestion for seed depth and spacing. This is also a good time to transplant any vegetable plants, such as tomatoes and peppers, that you purchased at your local nursery or garden center.

Step 6

Spay water gently over the seeded rows, keeping the soil moist, until the seeds germinate (sprout). At this time, begin using the row indentations (motes) made by your hoe on each side of the row for watering. Fill the motes when the soil in the motes is dry about a half inch down. You will find your vegetable plants need less watering when the water table is close to the earth's surface, during the light and dark of the moon phases.

Things You'll Need

  • Hoe
  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Rake
  • Hose spray nozzle


  • Cornell Center for Materials Research: Moon Has Twice the Influence on Tides as the Sun
  • Gardening by the Moon: How Does Lunar Planting Work?
  • The Old Farmer's Almanac: Farming by the Moon
Keywords: vegetable moon phases, planting by moon phases, moon gardening

About this Author

Karen Ellis has been a full-time writer since 2006. She is an expert crafter, with more than 30 years of experience in knitting, chrocheting, quilting, sewing, scrapbooking and other arts. She is an expert gardener, with lifelong experience. Ellis has taken many classes in these subjects and taught classes, as well.