Hartley Magazine

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Moon Power

For a long time I’ve been fascinated about the effect of the moon on plant growth. I’m no expert and there are plenty of places to learn more, but the pulling power of the moon on the tides and lifecycle of the planet must in some way affect not just plant growth but life in general.

Over the years I’ve dabbled in sowing and growing by the moon, kidding myself that if I had more time I’d adhere to the rules fastidiously and follow the system wholeheartedly. Usually what ties me up in knots is when I’m away at the critical point in the calendar for sowing or tending the plants. But what I can say is that even just following the simple moon phase really does make a difference, when you sow your seeds in the right moon phase they grow away really well and even seeds sown a week or two earlier of the same sort are quickly outgrown by those sown at the right phase. Or if you wait a couple of weeks to sow at the correct phase the plants quickly catch up any sown previously.

I taught myself a few basics, which are over generalised and not accurate but basically have me sowing leafy above ground crops (salads, herbs, spinach and the like) at new moon when the moon is waxing and root crops and tubers (potatoes, onions carrots and beetroot) at full moon as it starts to wane. I still follow those basics today and intuitively follow the moon phase, but what I could never give full attention to was the astrological impact of the star or planets on the timing of different gardening activities, those in the know call these root days, flower days, leaf days and fruit days and it all depends on which sector of the zodiac the moon is passing through at that time. For me that all just ties me up in knots, since when I’ve got time to garden and do things, it doesn’t always fit with the suitable days. Like most things in life I suppose you give it the attention and the time you think appropriate. When I’ve got time to experiment properly then this is definitely a system I’d like to explore more. It’s so much easier these days with Internet forums and advisory websites, when I first started you pretty much had to work it out for yourself from calendars and charts. That really gave me brain strain.

It’s still something that I’d love to experiment with and the more I learn about it the more intriguing it becomes. There’s an interesting website that explains the basics and offers more information once you’ve grasped the principles. It’s a great place to start and once you are hooked you can order the lunar calendar that marks out the days for different activities. In fact just checking it out again now fires up my imagination and has me reaching for the seed packets and the moon calendar. www.lunarorganics.com.

If the greenhouse improves your growing practices, imagine what a difference moon power could make to your plants. Of course you need to get the plant basics right first and you won’t be surprised to learn that for the very best results you need to employ at worst organic principles and at best go Biodynamic, but that’s another huge learning curve to grasp.

My advice is to start simple and concentrate on the moon phases to start with. Experiment. Why not try it for yourself this growing season, it’s a great one to get the kids interested in plants and it’s pretty easy to do if you choose easy to sow and grow plants like peas, beans and salads. Let us know how you get on. It could be the start of something really interesting.