Planting by the Moon


Country MoonThere are two groups of people out there when it comes to planting by the moon; either you believe and follow the signs religiously or you think it is all a bunch of rubbish. Count me in as a believer. As a kid who grew up in a family that always planted a big garden, cultivated a truck patch and farmed, I never remember my parents not following the moon signs.

They had learned their lessons well after a few times when they got behind and did not follow the signs. One year it was getting late and we planted the root crops at the same time as the rest of the garden. Our potatoes, carrots and onions had beautiful leaves and growth above ground but there were hardly any vegetables below ground.

Following the almanac even applies to other tasks such as castrating hogs. One time in particular, we performed this task in the sign of the heart, the worst possible sign to do this procedure. Dad lost 5 hogs that time and he changed nothing in the way that he always performed the castration. It certainly made a believer out of me.

So, what exactly is gardening by the moon and is there any scientific evidence that it works? Well, yes and no. Basically, gardening by the moon is aiming to optimize plant productivity by scheduling specific gardening activities during favorable moon phases.

The theory behind this is that the gravitational force of the moon affects water movement on earth. It is this same reasoning that is behind the high and low tides. This lunar gravitational movement causes fluid movement in plants.

The four phases of the moon, new moon, first quarter, full moon and last quarter govern this cycle. It begins with new moon which is not illuminated. As it "waxes" or grows in illumination toward the full moon stage, it is believed that it is drawing moisture and nutrients upward; thus plants that produce above ground crops will flourish during this stage.

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