Planting by the Moon

Moon phase gardening has been used since ancient times. It was possibly the first use humans made of the lunar cycle and evidence traces it back thousands of years to the ancient peoples of the Nile and Euphrates River Valley.  This method of timing planting, cultivating and harvesting is still used today though little modern science has been conducted into its methods.

Moon phase gardeners look to the gravitational force of the moon on groundwater levels, just as it affects the ocean tides, maintaining that the newly sown seeds benefit from this extra hydration.

A popular source that relies on this method is the Farmers Almanac, a periodical that has been in continuous publication since 1818 in the United States.

Following the rhythms of the seasons and using the lunar cycles gives some structure to gardening practices and offers us the opportunity to become more observant of the earth and its cycles.

I have made a summary of the available information on this method and I hope it will be a useful guide to planting by the phases of the moon. Why not do a little research in your own garden and observe the seasons of the Earth and its only natural satellite – the moon.

sky-3076863_1280-Phases of the moon

Before Starting:

There is NO PLANTING 12 hours before and after the change of lunar phases: New Moon, First Quarter, Full Moon and Last Quarter.

Waxing Moon:

The moon is growing and the pull is upwards.

lunar-phase-1    Week 1: ( New Moon )   IMG_20170911_110321-Lettuce

At the New Moon, the lunar gravity pulls the water up (seeds swell and burst.) Increasing moonlight balances root and leaf growth.

This time is favourable for planting above ground leafy crops, that produce their seeds outside the fruit:

  • lettuce
  • basil
  • spinach
  • celery
  • broccoli
  • cabbage
  • cauliflower
  • cucumbers (the only exception to the rule)
  • flowering annuals
  • sow green manure crops

Apply liquid fertilisers

lunar-phase-2   Week 2: ( First Quarter )   IMG_20160102_120506-Green Beans

In the First Quarter there is less gravitational pull, but the moonlight is strong, promoting strong leaf growth.

This is a favourable time for growing annuals that produce above the ground but their seeds form inside the fruit.

  • beans
  • melons
  • peas
  • peppers
  • squash
  • tomatoes
  • watermelon
  • zucchini
  • rosella
  • pumpkins

Prune to promote faste growth:

  • spring flowering shrubs
  • summer pruning of roses
  • dead head flowers

Apply liquid fertilisers

(Mow lawns at the New Moon or First Quarter to increase growth.)

Waning Moon:

The moon is shrinking and the pull is down into the ground.

After the Full Moon, as the moon wanes, the gravitational pull is high, creating more moisture in the soil. The moonlight is decreasing and putting energy into the roots.

lunar-phase-3     Week 1: ( Full Moon )  img_20160405_112142-multi-coloured-potatoes-2

This is a favourable time for planting root crops:

  • beetroot
  • carrot
  • onion
  • potatoes
  • radishes
  • peanuts
  • perennials ( trees, shrubs, vines, globe artichokes, asparagus, rhubarb, strawberries, herbaceous perennials, bulbs )
  • biennials
  • herbs
  • transplanting (as there is active root growth)
  • pruning, dormant plants
  • dividing plants
  • taking cuttings
  • aerial layering
  • sowing lawn seeds
  • lay turf

Apply solid fertilisers

lunar-phase-4   Week 2: ( Last Quarter )  IMG_20170103_154644-Making garden bed

In the Last Quarter there is decreased gravitational pull and moonlight, and is a resting period.

No sowing or planting. This is the best time to:

  • cultivate garden beds
  • weed
  • mulch
  • attend to compost
  • make manure teas
  • harvest, for storing or drying
  • transplant
  • prune vigorous shrubs and vines to retard growth

Apply solid fertilisers

(Mow lawns at the Full Moon or last Quarter to retard growth.)

Where to find information on moon phases and times

The link below is for Sydney but you can type your city/county into the search bar and find the dates and times for the lunar changes for your location;

For those who live in Sydney here is a link to a Moon Phase Calendar for 2018

radish-sprouts-1407319_1920-Radish seedlings






One thought on “Planting by the Moon

  1. this was such an interesting read! i’ve been keeping track of my moon according to the moon phases. i love how your background is green ^.^


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