HOME > Chowhound > Gardening >
Brewing beer, curing meat, or making cheese? Tell us about it

Planting by the moon?

EdwardAdams May 9, 2009 05:18 PM

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.

  1. h
    hungry100 Jun 15, 2009 01:18 PM

    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
      janniecooks Jun 16, 2009 03:53 AM

      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.

    2. j
      janniecooks May 28, 2009 12:34 PM

      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
        DGresh May 29, 2009 10:29 AM

        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
          janniecooks May 29, 2009 02:06 PM

          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
            DGresh May 29, 2009 03:08 PM

            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. c
        Cinnamon May 22, 2009 10:33 PM

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

        1. s
          Shazam May 20, 2009 10:00 AM

          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
            cleopatra999 May 20, 2009 06:36 PM

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

          2. a
            agoldman May 13, 2009 11:59 AM

            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
              Kinnexa May 19, 2009 10:17 PM

              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. DiningDiva May 10, 2009 08:00 AM

              Here's a link you might find interesting/useful


              1. j
                janniecooks May 10, 2009 06:03 AM

                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.

                Show Hidden Posts