June 18, 2024
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Gardener’s Calendar: Planting and Harvesting with Lunar Phases

Are you a plant lover? Do you love being in the garden? Do you want to give your babies the best chance to grow into the most beautiful plants possible? Sunlight, water and plant food is all very well and good, but even better is working with the Phases of the Moon. Learn how gardening with lunar phases…

Why the Phases of the Moon?

Doesn’t that seem very ‘woo-woo’? Isn’t that a little, well, superstitious? How does the Moon help with this kind of thing, anyway?

You may be surprised to hear that this is something that farmers have been doing for many, many years. Farmers – not witches, not mystics, not healers (although that’s not to say that they haven’t been practicing gardening by the Moon, of course!). Farmers have noticed that, since the dawn of time, certain plants tend to bloom by Moonlight, whilst others taste different according to the time that they were planted.

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See, the light of the Moon tends to influence the way in which the plants’ energy is processed, much like how the Sun creates photosynthesis. Together, these two lights profoundly affect all life on earth, from plants, to humans, to animals.

As we know the Moon also governs water, influencing the tides of the ocean. Her gravitational pull also pulls on the soil’s moisture, which feeds the plant in a certain way, which then impacts how the plant turns out.

What’s more, the Moon tends to pull on the moisture of the roots, drawing this moisture upwards during the Waxing Phase, whereas during the Waning Phase, the Moon’s light pulls the energy down towards the roots. This has been scientifically proven, so when your non-believing friends or family question you, let them know that this is all based on nature, not on superstition.  So there!

Keep on reading to learn how gardening with lunar phases…

Now, let’s get more technical and explain what we need to do when it comes to actual planting by the Moon.

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To do this, we first take a full calendar month (four weeks, and break it up into four phases/quarters of seven days per phase. The first two of these phases are the Waxing Phase (when the Moon is growing in Light) and the next two phases are the Waning Phase (when the Moon’s light begins to dim). The Full Moon is the cosmic marker between these two phases, and is usually the time of ripening and harvesting.

As we’ve already said, the Waxing Phase tends to draw water upwards, whereas the Waning Phase pulls moisture down towards the roots. Thus, when we want to harvest the fruits of a plant, we should do it during the Waxing phase. The moisture in the plant’s energy has been drawn upwards, making the fruit ripe and ready. Harvesting fruit on the Full Moon is especially beneficial.

If we want to harvest the roots of a plant, it’s best to do it during the Waning Phase, when the moisture is being pulled downwards.

And what about planting seeds? Well, if you’re already familiar with Moon Rituals, then you’ll know that New Moon is the best time to set intentions. This is based on esoteric gardening, when Farmers learnt that planting seeds during a New Moon, or in the two weeks after, resulted in the seeds drawing in more moisture, and thus, becoming more swollen, riper, and better germinated. Ultimately, this helped in creating the best final result.

Another thing to remember is that, during the Waxing phase. It’s good to prune, cut away and make space. This helps the plant to prepare for its next cycle and, once again, creates healthier fruit/roots or whatever it is you wish to harvest.

With all of this in mind, let’s break it down into bite-sized chunks so that you can easily refer to the Moon Phases when tending your plants. Be they herbs, flowers or fruits, we’ve got you covered!

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Keep on reading to learn how gardening with lunar phases…

Phase One: Waxing New Moon Phase

This is the time to be planting your seeds – around the first seven days after the New Moon is best. So, go on and create your shopping list. Go out and buy those seedlings! The Moon’s gravity will pull the water upwards, helping these seeds to grow and germinate. This not only helps the final result, but also helps to establish more stable and balanced leaves and roots overall.

These seven days are also fantastic for transplanting your plants. So, if they need some new life, this is the ideal time to make it happen.

Phase Two: Waxing First Quarter Phase

This is known as the action phase. The seeds have sprouted through the ground, and are taking shape. The Moon’s light is continuing to draw the moisture up towards the fruit that’s beginning to grow.

The leaves are looking healthy and everything should be going according to plan. These seven days are ideal for starting to harvest the fruit. Anything that’s growing above the ground can be plucked now. These may be your herbs, vegetables or fruit, such as peas, tomatoes, chilies, peaches, basically, lettuce and so on. Happy Harvesting!

Phase Three:  Full Moon Phase

This is the ripening phase. The phase of climax and culmination. The gravitational draw of the Moon is extremely strong now, as we all know. It not only affects planets, but also our moods, our sleep and the process of birth. More women give birth on the Full Moon than at any other time. Full Moon is when we go hunting, when we stay awake, when we are ready for action. The ocean is usually wild at this time, with enormous, powerful waves being affected by the Moon’s light.

Because the light of the Moon is so strong now, the nutrients of the plants are at their best, making this an excellent time for harvesting. But remember, this is only for parts of a plant above ground.

If you want to plant seeds at this time you can – but only perennial plants. You can also transplant certain plants now or cut off pieces of a plant to create new plant babies. The roots are growing and there’s plenty of moisture to make this a success.

Keep on reading to learn how gardening with lunar phases…

Phase Three and Four: Waning Third Quarter and Balsamic Phase

These last two weeks of the Moon’s light beginning to dim and wane are best for resting the plant. Less light means less nutrients and less growth. However, should you wish to harvest now, do it for plants whose produce are beneath the ground – your root vegetables, such as squashes potatoes and onions, for example, are ready to be plucked.

The Waning Phase is also excellent for pruning the plants back. Cutting away dead leaves and preparing the plants for the new growth cycle come the New Moon is great practice. You may want to also treat the plant with (organic) fertilizer, give it fresh new soil and otherwise take good care of the plant. Weeding is also good around this time, too.

At this Waning Phase, another thing to do may also be to create preserves. Making jams or fermenting your produce is great for your Waning Moon Phase.


A Final Note – Best Practices and Rituals for Esoteric Gardening by the Moon

Many studies have indicated that speaking to not only your plants, but also to the water with which you nourish your plants, changes the molecular structure. The water’s cells become softer and more beautiful with kind words, such as Love, Care, Affection and so on. So, remember to talk to your water and your plants regularly! Encourage them to grow, and cut them with care.

Even better would be to only use filtered water or fresh spring water to care for your plants. You might even want to chant a little blessing over your water or when you’re actually watering the plants so that it’s extra-charged.

Some also say that, if you are growing herbs, the best time to harvest them is after it rains or first thing in the morning.

That wraps up how to plant during the Phase of the Moon. Moon Phases aren’t only for personal growth and development, as you can now see. Esoteric Gardening is something you can do in the physical world that connects you to nature, and thus, helps to create a connection to yourself. Gardening can be very therapeutic and nourishing, especially when it’s done intentionally. If you’re someone, for example, who doesn’t have any earth signs in your Astrological chart (they are Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn), then gardening like this can help bring that earth energy in. Many studies have now shown that gardening helps to ease depression and bring mental health benefits, too. So, what are you waiting for? Get gardening!