Moon planting calendar for fruit, vegetables and flowers
In ancient times when man had not quite got round to inventing the wristwatch, the most reliable source of telling the time was the sun, moon, and stars. There seems to be several opinions of who came up with the moon planting calendar first. Was it the Egyptians or the Babylonians? It is more than likely that each and every farmer had a planting calendar based on the moon phases, and there would be different variations depending on the geographical location. As their calendars where passed on through the generations they evolved to cover the different crops they tried to grow, and the more productive farming techniques used.
It was noticed that different plants grow better when they are planted during different phases of the moon. Each of these phases imparts an influence on the way vegetation grows on the planet through the rising and falling of the moisture in the ground and in the plants.
To provide more accurate records it was noted that certain crops faired better when planted whilst the moon was in a specific constellation. As the moon can take only 2-3 days to pass through a constellation, the planting calendar was a ‘cutting edge’ technology.
Planting was not the most important time for the farmer, harvest time also had to be recorded. If you harvest at the correct time your crops will last much longer. It is down to how the plant stores the water in the fruit/crop at different times of the Luna cycle.
Moon planting rediscovered
We in our modern and advanced civilization are rediscovering the benefits of planting by the Luna cycle and various sources are being used to generate Moon Planting systems for us to use. Some of these systems would appear to contradict each other in places, but it is important to remember they are guides for you to use and modify, they are not an exact science.
Three Moon planting methods
There are three methods for planting by the moon. The Synodic, or waxing and waning cycle, the Sidereal, and the Biodynamic cycle.
Synodic (waxing and waning) cycle
This is a simple form of Moon planting which divides the Luna cycle into four phases or quarters. This cycle takes 29.6 days to complete. It then groups plants into categories, Root Crops, Foliage, Crops with seeds on the outside, and crops with seeds on the inside. Then it assigns plants to the phases of the moon which best suits there growing characteristics.
Secondly, there is the more detailed method using the 12 Zodiac signs as a method of position the moon, for more accurate planting. This method was developed by Rudolf Steiner in 1924, and the Zodiac signs used where the actual positioning of the signs in the sky, when the moon passed through them. In addition to the position of the moon, Venus ans Saturn also played a large part in the Biodynamic farming calendar. Form more information see the Wikipedia Article on Biodynamics.
Lastly the Sidereal cycle is very similar to the Biodynamic cycle except only the moons orbit around the earth is used to define the best times to sow and harvest. The orbit is divided up into 12 equal 30 degree sections to represent the position of the moon in the sky, but it may not be the same as the current moon position. The sidereal cycle takes 27.3 days to complete.Which of the above methods is better is up to you to find out. I suggest starting with the Synodic as a general rule and whilst you record the results, read up on the other two. For more information on the Biodynamic cycle read the The Biodynamic and Planting Calendar 2006 and for more information on the Sidereal Cycle read Gardening & Planting by the Moon 2006.If you start to use Moon Planting for your crops, keep a diary, and add as much detail as you can. Let us know how you do with your garden using the form below..The feed for Moon planting contains a general guide to planting crops through the Luna cycle. The feed is updated once a day and is based on the GMT Time zone.For more information about the moon and it’s orbits visit the online britannica moon articles.