The moon in agriculture: influence and culture

Farmers have always taken the moon into account when planning their work, it is an ancient tradition that has been passed down to the present day. The theme of the influence of the moon does not only concern agriculture in all its parts (sowing, transplanting, harvesting, bottling wine, pruning, cutting trees, …) but also many other natural and human activities: for example, tides, hair growth, menstrual cycle, pregnancies.

Even today, among gardeners, the lunar calendar is widely used to decide when to plant different vegetables. However, the fact that there is an effect of the moon on crops is controversial: there is no scientific evidence to prove and explain this fact and conducting experiments to prove it is not easy. In this article I will try to take stock of the phases of the moon for the garden and explain how to follow them. Everyone can then make their own decision and decide which theories to follow.

If you want to know what the moon is today or consult the complete calendar of the phases of this year, I refer you to the page dedicated to the phases of the moon.

Contents [Ocultar]

  • Know the phases of the moon

  • Moon phases of the month

  • June 2020: Moon phases and garden planting

  • The moon and the peasant tradition

  • The influence of the Moon in planting

    • What to Plant on a Growing Moon

    • What to sow on a waning moon

    • Summary of what to plant

    • Transplants and moon phase

    • Biodynamic sowing calendar

  • the moon and science

  • Conclusions on the influence of the moon

Know the phases of the moon

The Moon, as you surely know, revolves around the Earth and has a more or less spherical shape; to be more precise, it is a little flattened and has some bulges due to the force of gravity. Its apparent shape, the one we see in the sky, is due to its position in relation to the sun, which illuminates it making it visible, and to the earth, which obscures it. Ferdinand Magellan said in 1500: “I know that the earth is round, because I saw its shadow on the Moon.”

There are two events that divide the phases:

  • New Moon or Black Moon: There is an apparent disappearance of the moon from the sky, due to the alignment of the earth with the sun, which then eclipses the satellite.
  • Full moon: the entire face facing the Earth is illuminated and therefore the moon appears entirely visible.

The cycle between one full moon and another is approximately 29 days and determines our calendar, so each month there is a full moon day and a new moon day. However, there are exceptions: for example, January 2018 was a month with two full moon days, the following February has no full moon.

At the full moon follow the decreasing phase , in which we go to the new moon, the segment decreases day by day as the earth is aligned. After the black moon begins the growth phase in which it is heading towards the full moon and the segment grows larger, as the earth moves its shadow).

You can divide the two phases into two, obtaining the quarters of the moon: the first quarter is the first phase of the waxing moon, followed by the second quarter which brings the growth to the full moon. The third quarter is the beginning of the waning phase, the fourth and last quarter is when the moon thins until it disappears.

Recognizing the setting at a glance can help a popular saying: “bump the waxing moon in the west, bump the waning moon in the east”. In practice, it must be observed whether the “hump”, i.e. the curved part of the moon, is to the west (west) or to the east (east). An even more colorful explanation that always comes from tradition says that the moon is a liar, that it does the opposite of what it says. In fact, it does not form the letter C when it grows but when it decreases, on the contrary, when it grows it forms the letter D in the sky.

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