This page was last updated on Monday, 02 September, 2013.

Gardening by The Moon

More people are attempting to grow their own food whether due to the cost of store bought or whether due to the concern of what's in their food or where it came from. Definitely a worthy goal and not one to be taken lightly considering the amount of time and physical effort it evokes. I've been an avid gardener for well over a decade and I grow non-hybrid crops and save seed from year to year. I will share my seed saving techniques with you when that time arrives but for now I'd like to stay within the seasons as nature intended. I'm sure some of you have already planted your gardens but in my area, it's right around the corner being memorial day weekend. The method of planting I use is called "Gardening by the Moon. Before I get into gardening by the moon, I would like to speak a little bit about soil. I spent quite a few years building up my soil before I really had the results I wanted and I can't say enough about how important the soil is to your garden.

I started simply with a truck load of horse manure and rototilled that into my clay based soil. I also used lime and compost and it was definitely an improvement. The following year I had a load of rich dark muck delivered and mixed that in as well and year after year I added more humus, peat, compost and manure. I had problems with my rototiller this year and a friend brought over their rototiller to get me off to a good start. They could not believe how thick and beautiful my garden soil was. It was worth the time and effort I put into and now all I have to do is add compost, plant and keep the pests away.

I normally start my seed indoors but this year I turned a woodshed into a makeshift greenhouse which has worked out exceptionally well. I start them a couple of months before planting season starts and I use a moon calendar for guidance. The moon travels through astrological signs every couple of days or so and it wouldn't surprise me if the farmers almanac actually goes by the moon as well. It makes perfect sense as each astrological sign is a representation of the four elements of earth, water, air and fire. Naturally plants wouldn't do well in a fire or even just air but they prosper in the earth and with water. Those are the signs you want to plant in. The earth signs are Capricorn, Taurus and Virgo and the water signs are Pisces, Cancer and Scorpio.

A couple of websites I use that give the astrological moon sign per day each month are...

The moon also waxes and wanes from Full Moon to New Moon and back again. It's continuous cycles again and again. When the moon is full, the following two weeks it is getting smaller so it is called a waning moon. Waning moons draw down the water tables and therefore the plants root systems reach down deep to the diminishing water tables. An excellent time for root crops and you may notice the plants don't seem to grow above the ground very much while they are concentrating on their root systems instead. Then comes the new moon and it reverses. The following two weeks the moon start growing and this is called waxing. During this period the plants reach to the sun and the moon and the water tables rise. The plants seem to grow quickly and this is when the put their energy into bearing fruit. All is in perfect harmony when you understand the cycles.

There is more to this if you want to examine it further as plants themselves have astrological signs where one plant will prefer a water sign and another an earth sign. What I have laid out here for you are the basic rules to gardening by the moon but there are always exceptions to those rules. For instance onions prefer to be planted when the moon is in an air sign but for the majority of plants and the easiest to remember, I follow the rules. I have had a beautiful plentiful garden with this method and I hope you try it too.

Again, basic rules:

Waxing Moon for top growth
Waning Moon for root growth
Water and Earth signs for planting and transplanting
Fire and Air for weeding and harvesting

Moon Phases

It's that simple!

One more little old fashion tip that may seem a little whimsical but we never know the power of nature. When planting seed, native American used to put the seeds in their mouth for a few seconds before planting. They claimed the plant would grow and develop more of the vitamins and minerals that you need as if analyzing your saliva. It's a nice thought and plants are life just as we are so who's to say it doesn't work.

Well I hope you have a wonderful experience with your garden and we all learn to work with the seasons and the earth.

Blessings to you all and happy planting!


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