Moon phase gardening is an idea as old as agriculture, popular in folklore and superstition, but there are scientific ideas to back it up.
The Earth is in a large gravitational field, influenced by both the sun and moon. The tides are highest at the time of the new and the full moon, when sun and moon are lined up with earth. Just as the moon pulls the tides in the oceans, it also pulls upon the subtle bodies of water, causing moisture to rise in the earth, which encourages growth.
The highest amount of moisture is in the soil at this time, and tests have proven that seeds will absorb the most water at the time of the full moon. Planting by the phases of the moon will keep in rhythm with the alternating gravitational pull.
Moon phase gardening considers four phases or quarters lasting about seven days each. The first two quarters are during the waxing or increasing light, from the new moon and growing up to the full moon.
At the new moon, the lunar gravity pulls water up, and causes the seeds to swell and burst. This factor, coupled with the increasing moonlight creates balanced root and leaf growth.
The first quarter is the best time for planting above ground bearing annual crops that produce their seeds outside the fruit. Examples are lettuce, spinach, celery, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and grain crops.
2nd Quarter Moon
In the second quarter the gravitational pull is less, but the moonlight is strong, creating healthy leaf growth. It is generally a good time for planting, especially two days before the full moon.
The types of crops that prefer the second quarter are annuals that produce above ground, but their seeds form inside the fruit, such as beans, melons, peas, peppers, squash, and tomatoes.
Plant just before the full moon to get the benefits of peak moisture.
The third and fourth quarters are after the full moon when the light is waning or decreasing, and the energy is drawing down.
The gravitation pull is high, creating more moisture in the soil, but the moonlight is decreasing, putting energy into the roots. This is a favorable time for planting root time for crops, such as beets and carrots.
It is also good for perennials, bulbs and transplanting because of the active root growth. Prune in Scorpio.
4th Quarter Moon
In the fourth quarter there is decreased gravitational pull and moonlight, and this is considered a resting period.
This is also the best time to cultivate, harvest, transplant, fertilize and prune. Mow lawns in the third or fourth quarter to retard growth. Use the water signs for deep watering of shrubs and trees.
Source: Gardening By The Moon
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