Living Better With... Gardening by the Moon

Gardening by the moon is something I have always wanted to look into, but never quite got around to. Last month Marlene from our Living Better Group shared some of her books and resources regarding  moon gardening.

The theory is, that as the moon affects tides by its gravity, it also affects other bodies of water - like humans, and plants. Now, in my head, moon gardening was very complicated, and it can be if you want it to be, but it can also be very, very simple. When the moon is waxing (going from thin new moon to fat, full moon) its gravity is essentially drawing the water content of the plant upwards. So this is the phase of the moon when leaves, stem and plant will flourish. So this is an excellent time to plant peas and beans and all flowering plants. When the moon is waning, it is a good time to plant seeds of plants you are growing for their roots - beetroot, carrots etc, because it gives them time to establish their tiny rootlets before the moon is trying to pull them upwards again. For the same reason it is also the perfect time to transplant seedlings. There, that wasn't so hard, was it?

Isn't it amazing how something you may have regarded as too complex even to think about for so many years, turns out to be so accessible? There may be a lesson there..

Here is the moon gardening calendar that Marlene uses to know exactly the most propitious days of each month to plant each type of seed. Fun fact - the first time I ever realised that moon gardening was not some weird hippy nonsense thought up in the 1960s under the influence of a weird hippy substance, was when I was re-reading Farmer Boy to the children when they were little. I figured if stern Protestant farmers in the 1850s were using moon gardening there probably wasn't much voodoo involved..

Thanks for sharing and widening our gardening horizons Marlene. We are heading towards the full moon on Sunday, so Monday will be an excellent time to start transplanting all those self-sown Spring flower seedlings around the garden. It's good to have a plan. Oh, and as a bonus of thinking about gardening by the moon I have started to pay attention to the phases of the moon. One more facet of nature is intruding daily (nightly) upon my consciousness. I like it.

Please tell me what you know about gardening by the moon. Do you do it? Have I got it completely wrong? It's highly likely. Please let me know:)


Anonymous said…
They used to publish a gardening by the moon chart in the Woman's Weekly. More evidence that it can't be hippy stuff. (Though not evidence that it is efficacious - they also publish star sign predictions.) Don't know if they still do. Remember seeing it when my mum bought the magazine and thinking it looked very complicated and who had time to plant at night. OK, I was very literal. But I also thought who had time to garden every day?
Anonymous said…
As I read the first few sentences, I'm trying to figure out how the heck you can see the plants in order to dig at flashlight I wondered...duh!--> me.
I've read about moon gardening, but not enough to readily know when I should be planting, and then when it's time to plant I either can't find the information or I'm in a hurry.
Perhaps this winter I will study up on it because I believe it could be a help in having a good crop.
Linda said…
Our NZ friend is a writer and always writes according to the Moon Cycle. It certainly works for him. I have also heard of NZ folk who garden according to the Moon Cycle and I think it is successful too.
Jo said…
Ha, Lucinda, Woman's Weekly, who'd a thought? Love it, planting at night. And like you, I had an idea that it involved planting on all different days, which would drive me crazy. But at its most simple, just planting in the two major phases of the moon seems to be enough.. even I could manage two days of planting seeds in a month..

Marieann, love it!! Clearly the moon planting bods need to do a marketing campaign:) Yes, and like you, I thought it was way too complicated. I will be doing moon planting this spring, will keep you updated..

Hmm, Linda, writing by the moon... fascinating! Should we be writing in the waxing or waning moon? Blog posts may become slightly irregular as your author experiments..
Lisa said…
Wow, thank you for simplifying that!!
I have heard about gardening by the moon and heard about it from enough reliable sources to believe there's something to it, but like you, feared it was too complicated to be bothered with. And like Anonymous above, I think I've always harbored some sense that gardening by the moon meant gardening at night, which of course is silly (but actually sounds sort of nice ...).

Mimi said…
It all sounds very boho, dancing in the rain with dreadlocks and bare feet, kind of happy actually Jo, doesn't it? I'm a terrible gardener, so this is as good a strategy as any other! Mimi :)
Jo said…
Lisa, you're welcome:)

Frances, I love the idea of gardening by the light of the moon, but only in summer:)

Mimi, I can't believe there is a domestic skill that you aren't brilliant at!!
Yep, I thought it was hippy-dom but I like you posts, so I gave it a moment, and there you go. It's pretty good. Glad to know something more... cause I did think that it was more damning than endorsing that WW had it in there!
Jo said…
Yep, WW, pretty dodgy:)
narf7 said…
My grandmother used to garden by the moon. Mainly because my grandfather was in bed by that stage, but that is another story! A friend who works in horticulture swears by moon gardening and plants all of her gardens accordingly and her garden is swoonworthy.
Jo said…
Well, a swoonworthy garden is all the encouragement I need Fran:)
This is the website I use as it is Australian and the best one out there, I think! Very detailed.
There is a free monthly day-by-day calender and heaps of information.
I figure, if nothing else, it gives a good schedule to follow and makes planning easier. But I do believe that it makes a difference and every little bit helps.

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