Planting by the Moon

by Ceri Loxley

Planting by the Moon has been practised for centuries and its theory has been proven with many trials and experiments.  The Moon’s magnetic pull has a direct effect on the Earth’s water - the liquid in the soil, the sap in the plants and the height of the water table.

If you’re interested in Planting by the Moon, I would highly recommend reading more about the subject. A wealth of information can be found in books and on the net. After having a go at Planting by the Moon myself, I find that I need to keep it simple and so I give myself some basic guidelines to work with.  We designed our SEASONS & CYCLES Calendar and Lunar POCKET PLANNER and Lunar WALL PLANNER with these guidelines in mind so we've included both the Moon's phase and path.

  Sow Fertilise Plant Harvest
Above ground vegetables Waxing Waning Descending Ascending
Root vegetables Waning Waning Descending Descending


The two main lunar phenomena are:

Moon Phases  29.5 day cycle

The waxing phase is between the new and full Moon. The light is increasing and the energy/sap is drawn upwards into the plant. At full Moon, the peak of the cycle, the energy changes and the sap is pulled down into the roots as the light decreases. During this waning stage, the soil is absorbing - the best time to water, sow and fertilze.

Moon’s PHASE waxing or waning determines when to sow & fertilise

Moon’s Path  27.3 day cycle

In a lunar month, we can observe the Moon moving across the sky with a different path each day.  The Moon rises higher in the sky each day (ascending) until she reaches her peak. At this point, she begins to descend and rise lower in the sky each night.

moons path
Moon’s PATH ascending or descending determines when to plant & harvest

Why does this happen?
In a year, the Sun follows a path in the sky which is known as the ecliptic - the ecliptic is made up of the zodiac constellations and we view this from here on Earth.

The Moon follows the path of the ecliptic but is tilted 5?. The tilt in the Moon’s orbit means that as she travels forward she may be directly on the ecliptic, above it or below it.  When the Moon is north of the ecliptic she is said to be ‘ascending’. When she is south of the ecliptic she is said to be ‘descending’. It is this motion that makes the Moon appear higher and lower in the sky over a lunar month.

  Ascending Moon
(14 days)
Descending Moon
(14 days)
Point Moon starts LOWEST HIGHEST
Moon climbs daily HIGHER LOWER
Draws plant sap UP DOWN
HARVEST ABOVE ground plants BELOW root plants
Moon rise/set moves NORTH SOUTH



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