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Lunar Gardening

Growth, Fullness, Decay


Lunar Gardening

Rooftop Urban Garden/Photodisc

Just as we are influenced by the lunar rhythm, so too is the plant kingdom. The folk wisdom of gardening lore is sound practical guidance, and partly why the Farmer’s Almanac is still sold today. "Natural astrology," as a guide for farmers (and travelers) has known continuity through the ages, and its wisdom refined.

The basic rules involve following the Moon phases, and to act when the Moon is in fertile, semi-fertile or barren signs. Of course, planting has to be done in its season and when the weather is right. After that, looking to the Moon phase adds a boost to your efforts.

As a general rule, annuals that flower above ground do best when planted just after the new Moon, during the increasing light. The little annual seedlings grow quickly, with shallow roots. When the light is decreasing, it’s time to plant biennials, perennials and bulb or root plants. These varieties grow out with wide root systems, and the slowed activity of the waning Moon favors stability.

The rhythm of the garden matches that of the Moon phases in many ways. For example, the waning Moon is a time for mowing, weeding, pruning and harvesting. A refining step is looking to the Moon’s Zodiac sign, together with the phase. An annual planted under the waxing Scorpio Moon, gets a push. And if you’re pulling weeds, you’ll pick the last Quarter Moon, under a barren (slow-growth) sign.

Planting a Moon Garden:Don't we all look fabulous under Moonlight? Imagine having a lunar sanctuary with luminescent flowers. A Moon garden is designed in whites, yellows and silvery shades, and full of scented night bloomers like Moon flowers, four o’clocks and Angel’s Trumpets.

It’s meant to be a serene oasis, with flowers, trees, and herbs that compliment the Moon’s glow. It can be a mix of delicate blooms with silvery thyme and trees like the weeping willow or dogwood. The atmosphere is complete, with soothing chimes, floating candles in a pond, and a comfortable seat to take it all in.

Planting by the Phases:

  • The new moon is a good time to plant crops with external seeds that produce fruit above ground; examples are spinach, zucchini, cabbage, grains, cauliflower.
  • The 2nd quarter waxing moon favors seeding root vegetables with internal seeds; examples are beans, squash, peppers, tomatoes, peas, eggplant.
  • The full and waning moon is a good time to plant root crops, or transplanting seedlings with wide root systems.
  • The 4th quarter is a fallow time in the garden, but ideal for composting and removing undergrowth.

Some Garden Tips:

  • Soak seeds in water for a few days before planting; it mimics the soil moisture that peaks at the New and Full Moon.
  • Plant seeds a few days before the Full Moon, so they’ll grow quickly at the lunar peak.
  • Though air signs are dry and barren, flowers and herbs thrive when planted under the air sign Libra.
  • Lunar gardeners favor planting under fertile water signs, but root vegetables like potatoes, like earth signs.

For Everything, there is a Season:

  • Gather seeds at the Full Moon, under an air (Libra, Aquarius, Gemini) or fire sign (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius).
  • Transplant seedlings under a waxing Moon, and in a fertile sign.
  • Harvest and put up fruits and vegetables under the waning Moon, in fire or air signs.
  • Weed and deal with pests under a waning Moon, in a barren sign, preferably fire.

Choosing the Right Moon Sign:

  • The Fertile signs are Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces
  • The Semi-Fertile signs are Taurus, Libra and Capricorn
  • The Semi-Barren signs are Aries, Sagittarius, Aquarius
  • The Barren signs are Gemini, Leo, Virgo
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