Planting by the moon


Planting by the moon

words by
kristee semmler // the barossa nursery

Staying at the beach and watching the tides come in and out, it is evident that there is something pretty powerful at work to be able to move and effect that quantity of water every day.

That powerhouse is in the form of the moon and it’s gravitational pull.

It makes sense that if the moon can have an effect on such a large body of water like the oceans, that it can also have effect on smaller forms of water, and in this case plants and soils, which are largely made up of water molecules.

Gardening by the moon is not a new concept, and no, it doesn’t mean gardening in the middle of the night!

It has been around for a very long time and in recent times, has had a resurgence in popularity.

Basically, moon gardening is the practice of gardening and planting different plants, seedlings or seeds by the different phases of the moon which ensures the best germination, biggest yield and healthiest garden.

As I mentioned above, it is well known that the moon plays an important role in determining the ocean tides.

Moon gardening works on the theory that plants, being made up of a high water content, are also impacted by the moon and its gravitational pull and that certain times of the moon cycle see better results.

The moon cycle, or lunar cycle has four main phases including new moon (dark moon/light grows), first quarter (moon getting bigger), full moon and last quarter (moon/light getting smaller again or waning).

Each phase will last around 7 days. Different times of the lunar cycle have different effects on plants.

A new moon heading into a first quarter moon (waxing of the moon), where the light is slowly increasing, creating an upsurge in energy and moisture along with this increasing light.

There is increased moisture in the soil at this time and so ultimately it encourages seeds to germinate faster and with higher success.

The upsurge of energy and moisture in this phase also encourages great leaf growth in plants due to increased sap and moisture flow (going back to that gravitational pull by the moon).

This is a good time for planting above ground and leafy crops and also flowering plants.

The other side of the full moon, known as the waning of the moon, heading into the third quarter moon and back to the new moon again shows energy, sap and moisture pushed back down into the soil, pushing energy into plant roots.

Hence, from a day after a full moon to a day before the new moon is a great time for planting below ground plants such as root vegetables, bulbs and trees.

For a healthier, more productive garden, it is definitely worth working with nature and trying moon planting.

There are some fantastic guides and moon calendars available  that go into greater detail about when to plant along the lunar cycle.

How fascinating nature is that something as mighty as the moon can have such a major impact on the growth of a tiny little seed.

Happy Gardening!

Kristee Semmler


If you have any good gardening old wive’s tales, feel free to share them by leaving a comment online on the Barossa Mag’s website.

I do love hearing a good tale! 

In the meantime, happy gardening!

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