Lunar Gardening

“Lunar Gardening”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana


Our ancestors used to sow seeds and plant by the phases of the moon.  While looking at the big, full moon last night, I began to think about lunar gardening – using the moon to decide when to plant, prune, weed and harvest.   According to an article in National Geographic more and more gardeners are starting to plant by the moon.  There is even a website ( that has many hints for successfully gardening by the phases of the moon.

Gardening by the phases of the moon is ancient and seems to have some basis in science.  The moon controls our tides, as well as the water tables in the ground.  Gardening by the moon is concerned with two  factors which are the phases of the moon and the signs of the zodiac. The phases of the moon, as mentioned above, have an effect on soil moisture, causing it to rise to the surface which is why, according to this theory seeds germinate more quickly and the growth of roots and leaves are improved.

Since seeing the full moon last night, that is the phase I am most interested in.  When there is  a full moon, the gravitational pull is strong which increases soil moisture, but less moonlight means more into energy towards root growth. Therefore, the full moon phase is the time for planting root crops (potatoes, onions, carrots, radishes), planting bulbs, and transplanting because those are the plants where root development is important.

I am not sure if I believe in lunar gardening or not, though it might be fun to try it out.  I don’t think there is any real scientific proof for it, but I do know that this is an ancient practice and more and more we are finding out that there is some credence to old suppositions.



  1. tina said,

    January 12, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    I think it would be great fun trying it out. Isn’t the moon great lately??

  2. nancybond said,

    January 12, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    Now that truly is an interesting premise.

  3. January 12, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    Said true, Jan. Indians used to do the Lunar gardening too. We believe that with the growth of the moon some sowed seed grows and with the moon and such, but even some of us have forgotten that. Very Sad 😦

  4. January 13, 2009 at 4:29 am

    Hi Jan, I do believe in it but I don’t practice lunar gardening. Very interesting post and the picture is just over the moon! / LOLove Tyra

  5. pistolette said,

    January 13, 2009 at 6:04 am

    Many people already call me ‘Morticia’ – this would push them over the edge 🙂

    Seriously though, I would like to garden at night because it is usually just too hot to do it in New Orleans during the day. In summer I do all gardening just an hour or two before dusk to save my pale skin the cruelty of high noon.

    • Jan said,

      January 13, 2009 at 4:38 pm

      I am with you about gardening at night during our hot summers. I usually do my summer gardening in the very early morning, sometimes as early as 6:00 AM, to beat the heat.

  6. Brenda Kula said,

    January 13, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    Oh, Robert won’t transplant my huge Mexican fan palm until the end of January because of this! I recall my grannies using an Almanac, but honestly I had forgotten about them until he mentioned this! I’ll forward this on to him.

    • Jan said,

      January 13, 2009 at 7:49 pm

      Brenda, I recall my elderly relatives using an Almanac, too. I think there is a lot more than we know about when it comes to what we now consider folk lore.

  7. Robert said,

    January 13, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    Here is a little test for you all to try. It shows the affectsof the moon to the soil.
    On a full moon, dig a hole in the garden. Then fill it back in.
    Do the same thing on a new moon.
    You will notice that the one hole will not take all the dirt leaving a bump and the other will not be full.
    Happy Diggin

  8. Jan said,

    January 14, 2009 at 5:42 am

    Robert, how interesting. I just may have to try this (when it gets warmer, though).

  9. Brenda Kula said,

    January 14, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    I see Robert is delving into our little community here, Jan. I forwarded your post to him last night, as I mentioned to you in my comment above. This is the first time I’ve seen him comment on a blog though. He seems to know all these interesting little tidbits. Not just someone who builds things, but someone who loves the garden as well. We’re unleashing him on ours soon!

  10. Jan said,

    January 14, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    Brenda, I was glad that Robert commented. He is a very talented fellow. I wish I had someone like him to help around my garden and do a little remodeling. He did a fantastic job at your home. You are so lucky to have found him.

  11. January 22, 2009 at 7:39 am

    Hi Jan,

    Another great post. The theory behind the lunar planting has to do with the moon’s effect on water. Here’s a link (no affiliation) that explains it.

    • Jan said,

      January 22, 2009 at 6:40 pm

      Thanks, Debbie for the kind comment about this post. I already had the gardening by the moon link in the post, but thanks for it anyway.

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