Gardening by the Moon
The gravitational and magnetic forces of the Sun, Moon and Earth combined, create complex rhythmic patterns which give us our daily, monthly and seasonal changes. The Moon gives us a wonderful monthly visual of the process of all cycles. At its simplest, it is the movements of giving and receiving, breathing out and breathing in, expansion and contraction, waxing and waning. They also determine the inner changes and growth cycles of all the life forms on the planet. When we work with these energies, we work with, rather than against, the current improving both our efficiency and our general feeling of well being and attunement.
The combined effects of the Sun and Moon’s pull on the Earth’s liquids, is seen daily in the ocean tides. The liquids in animals, plants and our own bodies, are all moved in similar ways. The most important consideration for many gardening jobs is the direction and intensity of the sap flow. For most planting we want the seed to sprout and grow upwards and then put down roots, so we plant in the waxing phases of the Moon. The days just before the Full Moon seem to give best results. The days just after the Full Moon are best for planting root crops as the sap then flows down to strengthen the parts of the plant to be harvested.
What we want from a plant also determines the sign of the Moon that we plant in. Plant - Flowers for their beauty and fragrance in the Air signs: Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. Plant Fruit and Seed in the Fire signs: Aries, Leo and Sagittarius (especially liked by garlic, onions and leeks). Leafy vegetables are best planted in Water signs: Cancer for abundance; Scorpio for sturdiness; and Pisces for good root growth. Plant root crops in Earth signs: Virgo for abundance; Capricorn for endurance and drought resistance and Taurus for longevity. Grafting, Transplanting and Cuttings are best done during the waxing phases and in Water signs. Divide roots during Moon in Capricorn or Taurus, in the early morning or late afternoon. Trees should be planted during the Waning Moon in Taurus or Capricorn.
Other work in the garden can also make best use of the direction and quality of the Moon’s energy. Preparing the soil - fertilising, watering, mulching and starting compost - are better left until the Last Quarter when the goodness is drawn back into the earth ready for the next cycle of growth. A Water sign is best for these activities.
Weeding is most effective when done during the waning Moon, in Fire or Air signs, especially Aries or Gemini, to discourage regrowth. The same applies to cutting down trees that you don’t want to resprout. Spray insect pests in an Air sign too. Prune during the waning Moon, Last Quarter in Scorpio if possible. Scorpio, with its love of recycling, is also the ideal sign for working with compost.
Fire and Air signs and the Waning Moon are most favourable for harvesting. Harvest above ground produce, especially herbs for drying and seeds for keeping, close to the Full Moon. Mushrooms are generally most plentiful at the Full Moon. Dig root crops for long storage in the late afternoon, preferably during the Last Quarter of the Waning Moon. Cut wood for carpentry or burning on the Waning Moon as that is when it will be most hard and durable.