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How to Plant by Phases of the Moon

By Barbara Fahs ; Updated September 21, 2017
The moon might help your plants grow faster and stronger.

About three generations ago farmers relied on folk wisdom to ensure the largest harvest of their crops, which they relied on for food and income. One method was planting by the phases of the moon. The moon’s gravitation force is capable of controlling the tides on Earth; it also stimulates plant growth and even the quality of harvested crops. If you’re trying to go more “green” and grow some of your own food, consider checking the phases of the moon.

Planting by the Phases of the Moon

Plant spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, celery and other annuals that develop flower spikes during the new moon.

Plant vegetables such as melons, peas, peppers, squash, tomatoes, beans and other annuals that produce fruit above ground during the second moon quarter, up to two or three days before the moon is full.

Plant root crops during the moon’s waning phase, after the full moon. Include carrots, potatoes, beets, onions and bulbs in your waning phase planting.

Avoid planting during the fourth quarter, because the moon’s gravitational force is lowest during this phase. Good gardening projects during the dark of the moon include harvesting, pruning, cultivating, transplanting and weeding.

Mow your lawn during the third or fourth quarter to slow its growth.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Calendar
  • Bedding plants
  • Seeds
  • Shovel
  • Trowel
  • Clippers

Tips

  • When the moon is waxing, its energy is believed to cause water to rise in soil, which speeds seed germination.
  • During the second quarter, the moon's gravitational pull is less than at other times of the month, helping strong leaves to develop.
  • When the moon is waning, its gravitational force is very strong, and it causes more soil moisture. Energy is believed to be diverted to plant roots during this phase.

Warning

  • Believers in planting by the moon's phases claim that plants you attempt to start during the fourth quarter, or dark of the moon, will not succeed as well as seeds and bedding plants you put in the ground during other phases.

About the 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 and various websites. She earned her Bachelor of Arts at University of California, Santa Barbara and her Master of Arts from San Jose State University.