of years before the invention of fertilizers, pesticides, ozone-depleting
chemicals, ether-reddened tomatoes, plastic packaging and cling
film, farmers planted their crops according to the rhythms of nature,
the positions of the planets and the phases of the Moon.
Today, an increasing number of gardeners and farmers are using
astrology to cultivate crops, fruit, flowers and vegetables, believing
the Moon and the planets to have a significant effect on the constancy
and quality of the produce. While the Sun gives life to everything
on earth, the Moon would appear to regulate life.
The four elements, heat, earth, air (light) and water, vital ingredients
in an astrological chart, all have a direct input into the way our
gardens grow. Plant life, in common with human life, is based upon
cycles. Seeds create roots, shoots, leaves and flowers and, finally,
seeds. And so the cycle begins again, orchestrated by the rhythms
of the Universe. Seeds to seeds, ashes to ashes, earth to earth.
Lunar gardening takes place in daylight, and the basic principles
are simple. Activities concerned with growth and expansion should
be carried out while the Moon is waxing - that is during the first
two phases which occur between the New Moon and the Full Moon. Fruit
and vegetables for immediate consumption should also be picked during
the waxing Moon.
activities related to controlling such as pruning, weeding and spraying
- as well as the harvesting of food or flowers to be dried, preserved
or conserved - should be done when the Moon is waning - that is
during the third and fourth phases which occur between the Full
Moon and the New Moon.
The Zodiac sign through which the Moon is passing is also of great
importance to lunar gardeners. As might be expected, the Water signs
- Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces - are the most fertile and, generally
speaking, vegetables are best planted when the Moon is in one of
them - or, failing that, when the Moon is in Libra, Taurus or Capricorn.
The Fire signs - Aries, Leo and Sagittarius - along with Gemini,
Virgo and Aquarius are regarded as barren signs, useful mainly for
cultivating and killing weeds. Taurus is a good sign for planting
anything which needs to be hardy such as potatoes, radishes and
turnips. It is also ideal for leafy vegetables such as lettuce and
cabbages. Compost should be started when the Moon is in a water
sign - particularly Scorpio.
Flowers grown for their profusion must be planted while the Moon
is in Cancer or Pisces; for their beauty and scent - when the Moon
is in Libra; for sturdiness - when the Moon is in Scorpio; and hardiness
- when the Moon is in Taurus.
Timber should be cut when the Moon is waning and NOT in a Water
sign. Organic fertilizers are best used when the Moon is waning,
chemical fertilizers when it is waxing.
By mowing the lawn when the Moon is waning, the grass grows more
slowly than it does if it is cut when the Moon is waxing. Transplanting
when the Moon is waxing and in a Water sign means that the plants
not only survive but tend immediately to send out new nodules.
the proven influence of the Moon on our plants and vegetables, it
is still necessary to use a certain amount of common sense when
gardening with the Moon. Obviously if there is a blizzard blowing
or six feet of snow on the ground on the recommended planting days,
there is no point in trying to follow the lunar schedule to the
letter. The seasons and the temperature also have to be taken into
Since it takes about nine days for the Moon to move from one water
sign through the fire, earth and air signs - to the next water sign,
if weather conditions prevent planting on the correct day, then
the next best time will be nine days later. And it goes without
saying that natural gardeners with green fingers will always have
a head start over those who garden without interest, instinct or
Lunar gardening involves knowing the phases of the Moon and the
signs through which it is passing at any one time. It takes roughly
two weeks for it to wax from New Moon to Full Moon and another two
weeks for it to wane back to New Moon. During its 27-and-one-third-day
journey around the earth, the Moon passes through each of the 12
signs of the Zodiac. Details of the Moon's movement can be found
in an astronomical ephemeris, an astrological calendar or at: http://www.gardeningbythemoon.com/