Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Planting by the Moon

Tulips Spring 2005
For the past year I've been informally investigating the benefits of following traditional times for planting. Basically you plant annuals and above ground crops when the moon is waxing in the early part of the month and plant perennials and root crops when the moon is waning. Also there are better traditional times for planting which coincide with where the moon is in its path along the ecliptic which is divided by the twelve signs of the zodiac.

According to "Guided by the Moon: Living in Harmony with the Lunar Cycles" by J. Paungger and T. Poppe, the various signs of the zodiac delineate the various growth effects of the moon on plants in the following ways:

fruit: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
root: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
flower: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
leaf: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

Anyone knowledgeable with Astrology will recognize these as coinciding with the elemental associations of fire, earth, air and water and suggest the nature of the elements are not arbitrary but are based on correspondences in nature. The more I study Astrology, the more I realize observation in nature does correspond and science is not so divorced from it, despite skeptics insisting otherwise.

As I said before, I've been informally experimenting with these concepts. Plants that I've moved during leaf, flower, or fruit periods often expend all their energy during the following growth period and are less likely to survive the winter. Only when I move them in a root period do they seem to hunker down and wait until the following growth period to bloom and put on leaf.

Also the plants moved in the leaf period tend to get really leggy, putting all their growth to leaves and stems. Planting seeds in anything other than a root period also have varying results and planting flowering plants in fruit and leaf periods don't seem to germinate. Overall, my impression is that following the cycles of the moon does seem to help maximizing my success with growing plants.

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