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Planting by the moon?

My mother said her grandmother kept the best kitchen garden and always planted by the moon, whatever that means. Venturing onto the web yields mixed results for what it means. I want to try it, so anyone who has with good success, let me know. I did plant my beans and lettuce on the waxing moon and the germination of the lettuce has never gone so well before.

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  1. The Old Farmer's Almanac includes planting by the phases of the moon for each month. Never had the discipline to try it myself, and despite ignoring the moon have had good luck in my garden. It might be hard to find a copy now; it's usually published around late fall,early winter for the upcoming year.

      1. The Farmer's Almanac website has planting dates that include schedules for planting by the moon. I tried it this year with some plants when I remembered, so we'll see what happens. I've heard good things, but so far I haven't noticed much of a difference.

        1 Reply
        1. re: agoldman

          I also recommend the Farmer's Almanac (NOT the 'Old Farmer's Almanac' - look for the one published by Geiger Brothers). There's a pretty detailed list of planting dates, etc. by the moon, with the explanation "many people believe they get the best results" following the phases of the moon. There are also tables of the best days to do just about anything, including digging post holes, quitting smoking, baking bread, and castrating farm animals. A very entertaining read, and worth a try! Can't hurt, might help.

        2. There actually is a scientific basis for this. The moon at night reflects a certain wavelength of light that tells seeds to germinate and plants to start opening buds.

          You can get grow lights that emit that wavelength to help with indoor seed starting.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Shazam

            huh, very interesting. Might give this a go, maybe not until next year though.

          2. Or you could read up on 'biodynamics' but that's like a down-the-rabbit-hole approach vs. simply considering moon phase.

            1. plant flowers and above ground crops during the light of the moon; plant bulbs and vegetables bearing crops below ground during the dark of the moon.

              3 Replies
              1. re: janniecooks

                I'm pretty much a skeptic on this one. I followed some links that talked about scientific studies about planting by the moon. One prominent person in this area is Maria Thun. As soon as I saw her pictures puporting to show that radishes planted when the moon was in one constellation or another I was convinced that this is nonsense, as constellations are just a viewpoint relative shape in the sky and have no physical relationship to anything on earth. Lots of articles said "scientific studies support" but none of them link to the scientific studies.... Of course there is no harm done, but I won't hold my breath waiting for the evidence.

                1. re: DGresh

                  of course, it's folklore borne from eons of agrarian experience. but no harm in trying it. I always intend to follow the moon phases, but when it comes right down to it, I plant when I'm ready to plant. if it's the dark of the moon and I need to get the tomatoes in the ground, I don't wait around for two weeks.

                  1. re: janniecooks

                    I agree with you there; my constraints on finding the time to plant the tomatoes are strict enough as it is! We were away most weekends in May which made it *really* hard. But as you say, no harm in it. I'd love to try a controlled experiment of my own.

              2. This might be a dumb questions, but when you plant according to the phase of the moon do you actually do the planting at night?

                1 Reply
                1. re: hungry100

                  It doesn't mean you plant at night. Planting during the dark of the moon means doing your planting when the moon is waning, that is in the phase from the day after the full moon to the day before it is new again. During the day or whenever. Planting during the light of the moon means planning your planting from the day the moon is new to the day the moon is full.