Does anyone sow their seeds according to the phases of the moon.
I have been trying to figure out the first quarter etc.
We have a new moon today. So are we now in the first quarter?
Yes Ivy. There are several ways of gardening by the moon. The first and simplest is according to the moon's quarters and uses a waxing moon for activities and plants that happen above ground eg sowing leaf, flower and fruit crops, and the waning moon for below ground activity such as root veg, cuttings and divisions.
Then there is the system which takes into account the moon's relative position on the sky - ascending or descending relative to the night before - and finally the biodynamic system which take into account the waxing and waning together with the moon's position in the 12 zodiac signs as well as its relative position to the earth. This last is very complicated but there are calendars available online and in books and magazines and a poster called Biofreak kindly posts the dates and activities - and when not to garden - on the above mentioned thread.
Lunar gardening is pseudoscience, like Astrology, and is not supported by any scientific evidence. The phases of the moon cannot possibly affect the germination of seeds. Just sow the seeds when it suits you.
It is supported by those who use it successfully. No-one has funded a thorough scientific evaluation because it is not in big commercial interest to do so. However you will find that French gardening magazines publish lunar calendars and Italian seed companies advise which days are best to sow seeds.
It's a system that's been used since Egyptian times but, like any other, you can take it or leave it.
I find I organise my time better in the garden if I discipline myself to stick to root jobs on roots days and not get distracted by leaf or flower jobs and so on. Their are even jobs when gardening with any plant is discouraged in favour of maintenance of boundaries, tools, sheds etc What's not to like?
"Lunar gardening is pseudoscience, like Astrology, and is not supported by any scientific evidence. "
so far as I can tell, the same could be said of " double digging" but lots still stick by it.
I do neither .
Last edited: 27 February 2017 08:23:31
For anyone who can read French I recommend reading http://www.jardiner-autrement.fr/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/dossier-jardiner-avec-la-lune.pdf JARDINER AVEC LA LUNE : MYTHE OU REALITE ? a scientific study published by the Société Nationale d'Horticulture de France (roughly equivalent of the RHS).
Their conclusion "si [l]es effets lunaires existent, ils sont non seulement faibles et inutilisables mais pour le moment, inexpliqués" If the lunar effects do exist they are not only minimal and useless but for the moment remain unexplained.
Obellix writes "[lunar gardening] is supported by those who use it successfully." Yes, but who says lunar gardening is successful? those people who believe in it, of course. So we are back to square one.
This is what I would say:
- if gardening by the moon does no good, at least it does no harm;
- I expect people who "garden by the moon" to be dedicated gardeners who take great care of the way they grow plants, and thus ensure good crops.
Interestingly, one of the French gardening magazines recently published an article on the topic of "debunking gardening myths". That was quite interesting and complete, except that it failed to debunk the "gardening by the moon" myth. Guess why? that magazine features a one-page "lunar gardening calendar" in each of its monthly issues.