Since the dawn of agriculture, farmers have used the signs of nature to help them plant and harvest the best crops possible. Today, you can still read The Farmer’s Almanac, to get helpful advice on all aspects of growing. Ever wondered how two growers can grow the same plant, from the same seeds, and get dramatically different results? The answer could lie behind how the moon can affect your grow.
Phases of the moon
The moon affects tides, menstruation cycles, animal breeding habits, and many other aspects of life on our planet that we don’t even think about. These effects are directed by its phase.
The moon travels through each of the 12 signs of the zodiac every month, staying in each one about 2 1/2 days. The angle between the Sun, Moon, and Earth is called a Phase. The cycle of the Moon can be divided into 4 major phases, and the signs can be divided into 4 effects on plants, or zodiac phases.
Major Phases: New moon to 1st Quarter, 1st Quarter to Full, Full to 2nd Quarter, & 2nd Quarter to New moon
Zodiac Phases: Leaf (Water), Root (Earth), Flower (Air), & Fruit or Seed (Fire)
The signs of the zodiac were given elemental alignments by ancient farmers that correspond to these zodiac phases. Cancer, Scorpio, & Pisces = Water. Gemini, Libra, & Aquarius = Air. Taurus, Virgo, & Capricorn = Earth. Aries, Leo, & Sagittarius = Fire.
The different moons
The moon cycles through the zodiac every month, but the sun goes through the signs once a year. This is why each full moon has a name, corresponding to the phase of the sun and the sign of that month. Different cultures had different names for these moons, according to what they were most concerned with, be it hunting, fishing, farming, or spirituality. Doing a task such as planting or harvesting in a moon zodiac phase that is complimented by the Sun’s phase increases effectiveness.
How these phases affect seeds
When the Moon is waxing, or becoming fuller, plants develop leaves and above-ground systems. It is ideal to plant crops that develop above the ground, like corn or cannabis, during a waxing moon. A waning moon is when plants grow root systems.
Seeds sown just before or around the full moon have a higher rate and speed of germination than those sown at the new moon because seeds are able to absorb more water at the full moon. Studies show a difference in yield by up to 45% for crops sown in the corresponding phase and sign of the moon.
How the moon affects growth
Plants grow in spurts, just like people. They go through cycles of rest and production. Time these correctly for ideal growth management.
Watering plants during the waxing moon gives better absorption, so water down nutrients during this time, to avoid nutrient burn. If they have a deficiency, especially phosphorus, this is the perfect time to give them a nutrient boost.
Potassium is absorbed better at a new moon, and pruning is less stressful on plants at this time. If you have a bug problem, spraying with organic pest sprays during a waning moon in a sign other than Water/Leaf will have the best effect on the pests while minimizing any damage to plants, especially absorption of smell during flowering.
Transplanting and cloning should be done during an Earth/Root sign in the waning moon, to stimulate root growth and recovery.
How the moon affects harvest
When harvesting cannabis, the goal is to dry out the plant material. You can speed up drying and curing times by harvesting in a new moon, when water content in a plant is at its lowest. The flush of nutrients before harvest should be done 2 weeks prior, during the waxing moon, in an Earth/Root sign, for maximum absorbtion.
Cannabis is a flower, which means it is ideal to harvest or begin germination in Air/Flower signs.
To put it all together
Taking the time to make a grow calendar based on the Moon can take very little time, and could increase the yield of your grow substantially. Everything you would be doing is the same, only now you will know exactly when to do it, whether for a short grow, or a full season grow. Doing this repeatedly, and making notes, you will see significant differences in your yield. Don’t forget, it doesn’t matter if your grow is indoors or outdoors, the moon will still affect it. It will also affect the behavior of common garden pests!
It’s not superstition, it’s science
While many people, especially in Western culture may dismiss the Moon and Zodiac as bored fancies of ancient shepherds, or worse, evil pagan practices, the truth is they have measurable effects on both nature, weather, and animal physiology.
The information in the article above was compiled from the modern research of Maria Thun, Germany from 1952 to 1962; Graf, also Germany from 1973 to 1975; Kollerstrom and Muntz 1976; L. Kolisko, 1930; Professor F. Brown of Northwestern University, as well as studies conducted by Wichita State University and Tulane University. Material for this article was drawn from various sources, including E.A. Crawford, The Lunar Garden: Planting by the Moon Phases (1989).
Do you plant by the phases of the moon? How has it increased your yields, for both cannabis and other plants? Let us know on social media or in the comments section below.