We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. By continuing to browse this website you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more by reading Cookies

Gardening by the moon

Have you already heard of so-called moon-gardeners? Many gardeners swear by better harvests as well as a better flourishing of their plants if they comply with the moon. Lunar calendars give advice on what to do in the garden at the right moon constellation.

The tides already prove that the moon has an impact on the Earth. At low tide the water is pulled out to the sea while the water is driven to the coast at high tide. The moon also determines the strength of the tides. The tidal differences are much stronger at full-moon and new moon than at half-moon.

Phases which the moon passes through

The moon changes its fullness as well as its height. The increase and decrease of the moon can be attributed to the different moon phases. Reason for the moon phases is the rotation of the moon around the Earth. This rotation is responsible for full, half and new moon and takes 29.5 days.

New moon: to first quarter
When it comes to moon gardening, the increase of the moon can be imagined as exhalation of the Earth. The plant juices get attracted by the moon and reach the upper parts of plant. This phase is well suited to harvest fruit, planting, transplanting, mowing and pruning. Thanks to the juice in upper parts of the plants, the fruits are said to last longer.

Full moon: to last quarter
When it comes to the decrease of the moon, you can imagine that the Earth inhales. Water and nutrients fall back to the lower parts of plant. This is a good time to harvest potatoes, radish or onions – so every root vegetable. A cut back of your hedge is also well suited because it loses less plant juice. 

Last quarter: to new moon
The time just before the moon reaches its lowest point is perfectly suited to do some lawn care the jobs we don't like. Weeds can be removed and the lawn can be mowed, pest control, fertilised and cultivated . Both grow slower because of this moon phase.

First quarter: to full moon
During this time the moon is still increasing and the earth exhaling. This time is still great for planting and transplanting fruiting harvests. It is not recommended to garden the 12 hours prior to a full moon.

From constellation to constellation

Moon gardeners assume that the moon directs exactly the forces of the constellation where it is located to the Earth. The four elements air/light, water, fire/heat and earth are used by the moon to transfer their forces to the Earth.

The twelve constellations are divided into groups which are called trine. There are four trines which are composed of three constellations. Each trine stands for an element and accordingly for a group of plants. There are trines for roots, flowers, leaves and fruits.

Trine by trine

Root-trine:      Element: Earth
                          Constellations: Virgo, Taurus, Capricorn 
Flower-trine:  Element: Air/light
                          Constellations: Libra, Gemini, Aquarius
Leave-trine:   Element: Water
                          Constellations: Scorpion, Cancer, Pisces
Fruit-trine:      Element: Heat
                          Constellations: Leo, Aries, Sagittarius

Each trine has its own days in the lunar calendar – they depend on where the moon currently stands. Thus, there are days for fruits, leaves, flowers and roots. The calendar recommends which herbs, vegetables, flowers or shrubs are well suited to plant, cut or harvest.

You can find a lunar calendar in the internet – for printing or ordering. Or visit a book store. However, there is no reason to be surprised if the tips differ here and there. There are two different systems in astrology which the calendar relates to. There is the classic, tropical astrology and the sidereal astrology.

So far there is no scientific evidence that gardening by the moon provides better success. But why not try it by yourself and find out?

Image: © David Woods – Fotolia.com


Get inspirational gardening tips! Sign up for the monthly GARDENA digital newsletter.