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Gardening by the Moon

Gardening by the Moon, or more specifically, according to the phases of the Moon, is an idea that has been around for as long as humans have been growing their own food. It’s becoming more and more in vogue, cropping up (no pun intended) in books, blogs, and other educational materials coming out of the permaculture movement, “a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature.”

But how could a chunk of rock more than 200,000 miles away affect how plants on Earth grow?

Those who swear by this ancient growing method say the water in both the ground and in plants are affected by the gravitational pull of the Sun and Moon, just like ocean tides are. Just as the tides are highest during the New and Full phases of the Moon, this theory holds, seeds, too, will absorb the most water during these times.

Though the practice is as old as agriculture itself, planting by the Moon is a complex art. Here’s a look at how Moon phase is believed to affect plant growth:

Over the course of a 29½ –day lunar cycle, the Moon goes through four basic phases, New, Full, and two Quarter phases. For half of its cycle, between the New and Full phases, the Moon is waxing (growing in illumination). Then, after the Full Moon, it begins to wane (decreasing in illumination).

November 2020 Moon Gardening Guide

2nd - 3rd Any seed planted now will tend to rot.

4th - 6th Start seedbeds and flower gardens. Good days for transplanting. Best planting days for fall potatoes, turnips, onions, carrots, beets, and other root crops where climate is suitable.

7th - 10th Grub out weeds, briars, and other plant pests.

11th - 12th Favorable time for sowing grains, hay, and fodder crops. Plant flowers. Favorable days for planting root crops.

13th - 14th Start seedbeds. Good days for transplanting. Plant carrots, beets, onions, turnips, Irish potatoes, and other root crops in the South.

15th - 16th Poor planting days.

17th - 18th Good days for planting peas, squash, corn, tomatoes, and other aboveground crops in southern Florida, Texas, and California.

19th - 20th A good time to kill plant pests or do plowing. Poor for planting.

21st - 23rd Extra good for vine crops. Favorable days for planting aboveground crops where climate allows.

24th - 25th Seeds planted now will grow poorly and yield little.

26th - 28th Fine for planting beans, peppers, cucumbers, melons, and other aboveground crops where climate is suitable.

29th - 30th Any seed planted now will tend to rot.


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