Have you ever heard of anyone planting by the moon phases, or moon phase gardening? Before you go dismissing it as a bunch of “New Age” hogwash here is a quick rundown on what it is and the basics of how to do it.
I was blessed to have a Great-Grandmother alive and active until I was 14. Grandma Minnie was her name and she was one in a million. She was like an Indian, a Garden Witch and the Farmers’ Almanac all rolled into one fiery red-headed lady.
Grandma Minnie, man she knew things.
A few of the things she was known in her little community for was being the old lady with the huge garden, having really odd astrological knowing and reading future seasons based on weird signs she would say the wooly worm told her.
In the family there was always this understanding she was a little crazy, but now I know she was very well connected with nature, could read signs well and knew when was the best time for everything garden growing and nature wise.
All these years later I find myself stumbling across things I wish I still had my Grandma Minnie around to teach me, like planting by the moon phases.
Moon Phase Gardening
Ok so what does planting by the moon phase or gardening by the moon cycle even mean? Is it all superstition or is it something more?
Following and knowing the lunar cycles was something our ancestors did well, all over the world. In times past it was clear to people that the moon and its different phases had huge influences on everything, from a woman’s’ menstrual cycles to the tides in the ocean.
The moon has a huge pull on all living things, that includes garden plants.
Planting by the moon phase has to do with knowing what cycle the moon is in to plant what. Bulbs, roots, and tubers should be planted at different times than flowers blooms and fruits.
The idea is that where the moon currently sits in its cycle will have a huge impact on the growth of your plant. Are you growing beets for the root or the leaves? When you plant those beets and where the moon sits in its cycle will help to determine the success of your garden.
Have you ever planted carrots and thought you had puny plants because of its tiny tops only to dig them up and find beautiful big carrots? According to the moon phase gardening theory, that might just have been a moon cycle/ planting miracle.
Planting by the moon cycle basics
When gardening by the moon (or doing anything by the moon) keep in mind these terms:
New Moon: When the moon is hidden or dark, the beginning of a lunar cycle.
Waxing Moon: When the moon is in it’s “growing phase”, the time between a new moon to a full moon
Full Moon: When the moon is full or at its brightest/ strongest, the midpoint of the lunar cycle.
Waning Moon: When the moon is in it’s “shrinking phase”, the time from when its a full moon to a new moon
The basic principle for gardening or planting by the moon is if it’s a plant you use for what you see (above ground) plant it at a full moon or waxing moon phase.
If you are planting a plant for what you don’t see, root/ bulb/ tuber plant it when the moon is not visible or at a waning moon phase.
See it (plant) tomato = See it/ full moon
Hidden (plant) carrot = hidden moon/ new moon
Planting by the moon phases is nothing new, and it’s not meant to be difficult. Simple nature connected observations made by our ancestors and used for eons. This is, of course, a simple planting by the moon phase, there are also “Best Days” you can check out for a much more in-depth gardening guide.
Is there something to planting by the lunar cycle? Your ancestors would say yes. Is it something you have to do now to grow a garden? Heavens no! Is it worth knowing and implementing into your own gardening habits? Well that’s up to you, but I would say mother nature knows best, and it would be worth a try (wink, wink) ♡♡♡
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Beth is a mother of 5 living on a handful of acres in an old farmhouse in central Kansas. Beth has a background in the military and health and fitness however her passions come from her homestead life. Beth is an enthusiastic homeschooling mom, avid organic gardener, chicken & goat wrangler, who is obsessed with herbs and natural remedies and maintaining an all-around Do-It-Yourself lifestyle. Beth loves to share all she has learned about and sustainable living. While striving for a healthy, natural life, family-centered life.