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Goddess "" Earth "" Cosmology "" Women's Health "" Reader Contributions "" Book Reviews "" Editor's Desk

Gardening by the Moon

All life on Earth is affected by the rhythms of the Moon. The ebb and flow of the tides are controlled by Her movements. Shellfish move in sync with Her. Game animals are affected, becoming more active when She is at her fullest. Even we humans can feel Her power. It makes sense, considering that we are mostly water ourselves. You may be wondering exactly what this has to do with Green Witchcraft. Well, green life is mostly water too. Hence the practice of gardening by the moon.

Why should we garden by the moon? Isn't everything going to grow anyway? Well, yes. Many of your plants will grow regardless of your timing. They just won't grow as well. As we know, the gravitational pull of the moon affects the tides. This same pull also affects the moisture content of the soil and the level of the water table. Therefore, following this method of gardening means that you can garden when moisture is optimal for each type of plant. Furthermore, plants react to any amount of light, even moonlight, meaning they will react to the difference between a full moon and a new moon. Keep in mind, the greatest effectiveness when gardening with the moon occurs when plants are in organic soil using natural fertilizers, so get rid of all those chemicals!

New
During this quarter, the gravitational pull is low but increasing, as is moonlight. This creates conditions good for balanced root and leaf growth. Plant self-reseeding plants and plants that form their seeds outside the fruit. This includes lettuce, broccoli, strawberries, and grain crops. Cucumbers are an exception, in that they prefer this phase as well. Now is the time for turning the soil and adding compost to your garden.

Waxing
This period's high moonlight but relatively low gravitational pull creates excellent conditions for sewing seeds and planting, especially plants that form seedpods or fruit such as peppers, tomatoes, beans, and raspberries. Mow now if you wish to increase your yard's growth, for conditions are right for increased leaf growth.

Full
Plants absorb more water at the full moon, so be sure to water your garden now. After the full moon, gravitational pull is high, resulting in higher water content in the soil, however, the moonlight is decreasing. This results in a favorable time for planting root crops such as carrots, potatoes, and onions. This is also a good time for transplanting, mulching, and fertilizing.

Waning
Due to this quarter's low gravitational pull and lack of moonlight, it is a perfect time for gathering and storing bulbs as well as cultivating, harvesting, and pruning — basically any kind of destructive acts. It is also time to mow your yard if you wish to slow its growth. If you intend to cut sod, do it now. Be sure not to plant anything during this quarter.

If you have decided to try gardening by the moon, you may wish to go into even more depth than just working with the moon's growth. Many gardeners also work with the specific sign the moon is in. Plants tend to have their own preferred type of sign. Generally, leafy plants prefer water signs, root plants and transplantations prefer earth signs, air signs are good for cultivation and harvesting, and fire signs are best for weeding and cultivation.

Aries
Now is the perfect time to harvest roots, fruit, and herbs. It is also a good time to focus on weeding and pest control.

Taurus
This is the second best sign for planting and transplanting. It is also a good time to focus your efforts on root crops and leafy vegetables. Be sure to fertilize if needed.

Gemini
Again it's time to harvest roots and fruit and weed your garden. Additionally, this is an excellent time for cutting herbs and flowers to be dried.

Cancer
This is the best sign for planting and transplanting, especially leafy and fruit-bearing plants, as well as a good time for grafting and growth-encouraging pruning.

Leo
This is the worst time to plant. Instead, put your energy into cultivating and weeding your gardens.

Virgo
This is a good time to work with some flowers and vines. Now is excellent for any initial garden and soil preparation.

Libra
Now is the best time to plant fragrant flowers, ground covers, vines, and herbs. It is also good for planting pulpy stems and root crops.

Scorpio
This is the best time to plant sturdy plants and vines and to sew seeds. It is favored by tomatoes, corn and squash. Now is a good time for irrigation and transplantation.

Sagittarius
This is an excellent time to harvest root crops, plant fruit trees, and cultivate the soil.

Capricorn
Be sure to plant root crops and bulbs now to encourage hardy growth, leaving enough time for grafting, pruning, and fertilizing.

Aquarius
Harvest time! You can harvest anything during this sign, especially root plants and fruit. If you have time left, use it to cultivate, weed, and deal with pests.

Pisces
Now is the second best time to plant and transplant.

If you wish to try this method of gardening this year, I highly recommend that you go to www.gardeningbythemoon.com. It is by far the best reference I have found. Be sure to check out the extensive planting chart. Using these methods can result in a wonderfully fruitful garden this year. Be patient and this Fall you will be sure to appreciate the difference a little planning can make.

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