Lunar gardening practices base themselves in the idea that the moon's phases positively impact plant growth when used effectively. For example, during the Victorian era, people planted herbs during a full moon hoping for a bigger harvest. In modern times, the Maori of New Zealand still follow a lunar calendar for gardening.
Metaphysically speaking, the moon's energy transforms phase by phase. The first quarter represents new beginnings, the second quarter to full moon symbolizes growth and fertility, the third or waning quarter signifies the harvest, completions and resolution, and the dark moon represents rest and inner thoughts.
Those interested in trying lunar herb gardening only need a lunar calendar and basic gardening tools to get started.
Waxing Moon: Leafy & Seed-producing Herbs
Start your leafy herbs and herbs you value for their seeds now. Examples include basil, borage, dill, parsley, sage and marjoram.
2nd Quarter to Full Moon: Annual Herbs
Plant fruiting herbs, annuals and savories during the Second Quarter to Full Moon phase. For example, if you're using cayenne for culinary or remedial purposes, it thrives during this phase. Other annual herbs include aloe, chervil, coriander and savory.
Waning Moon: Deep Root Herbs
The waning moon moves energy from overhead to below ground. It's the ideal time to plant herbs like comfrey or wild indigo (Baptisia tinctoria) that require deep root growth. Perennial herbs also benefit from this timing, including oregano, thyme, bay, chives, fennel, lavender, lemon grass and mint.
Dark Moon: Garden Maintenance
Weed, till and tend your herb garden. This keeps with the symbolism of rest, and lunar gardeners believe the practice deters weed growth going forward.