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Planting By The Moon 2017


Planting By The Moon 2017
Ken Ring

When the peaks and troughs of the three lunar cycles are evenly distributed throughout the month there are more even weather patterns. But when two or more of these cycles peak together, tides are bigger and plants can undergo greater growth surges. For instance if one is planting seeds at the highest chance of rainfall, then these seeds will be more likely to become high yielding plants. Let’s look at how best to employ the three cycles .

As  moon phase moves from new moon to full, plants receive greater energy which translates to greater metabolic activity and absorption rate of nutrients from the soil. Seeds germinate faster and there is a flush of fertility and growth. Two days before full moon around 5pm is the most favourable time in the month for planting seeds. From new to full moon sap is rising in stems and trees, as are water tables. Energies are going to the plant’s extremities, making fruit more colourful and juicier.  From full to new moon energy reverses back into the plant.  Above-ground plant-activity maximizes when moon is waxing because the moon’s energies are outwards, therefore more attention may be needed below ground, e.g. where water may be scarcer, hence more watering of roots may be necessary. This is a time of increasing light and moon pulling sap upwards into leaves and flowers. 

When  moon is waning, energies are directed back to stems and roots. Then, more attention may be needed above ground, e.g. where water may be scarcer on the surface, and leafy greens and flowers may require nourishment, or weeds and vines may need to be removed and perhaps extra shelter and/or water provided for leaves, therefore more above-surface watering and possibly spraying. This is a phase of decreasing light and the general trend is for sap to be slowed in production.

The phase cycle does not always coincide with the cycle in which the moon rises to an increasingly higher or lower point in the sky each day in its daily transiting arc. This is known as ascending or descending and it is due to the tilt of the earth.  The two cycles work together.  When ascending moon coincides with waxing moon, energies are doubly directed upwards and out to plant extremities, and all is expansion. This is a good time to plant, because seedlings are exposed to increased intakes and they will be encouraged to find their feet.  Above-ground manifestations are doubly enhanced. Sowing, which seeks to maximize growth, is best done when the plant is “going for it” above and below ground.  But when descending coincides with waning, everything reverses - energies are inwards and downwards, and below-ground outcomes are assisted. 

Pruning, which seeks to minimize bleeding from severed branches, is best done when the moon is waning+descending because it is “quiet” above ground. Throughout the year the months vary such that the good planting and pruning days are mostly between April and August, and are least are between November - February. That is why winter time in the southern hemisphere is better for gardening activities than summer.  It also explains why for the northern hemisphere, in particular the US, Canada and UK, from April – October is usually considered their best planting season.

The third cycle is the varying distance of the moon from the earth which brings increased wind and turbulent energies, enhancing or delaying growth. The day of closest position of moon to earth is inclined to be not good for spraying.  Perigee is about enhancement, of upward levitation of energies and minimizing of gravitation. It adds energy to ascension and waxing.  Apogee is when the moon is furthest from the earth for the month, bringing calmer energies, when electrical charges in the soil are less potent, and winds are lighter.  

Apogee enhances downward direction of energies and minimizes upward levitation. It adds energy to descension and waning, and is a good time for planting seedlings, because the quieter ground enables young roots to gain a foothold.  Monthly perigee brings the king tides. For half of any year full moon is perigeal, and for the other half, new moon is perigeal. 

The rest days in the garden are when the moon is deemed to have less energizing power. It is an ideal time to attend to activities such as tidying a shed or workshop, repairing or maintaining outdoor structures or planning for the next activity when the moon is once more energized. Between phases, eclipse days and the day after eclipse are considered days to rest, also.void-of-course days, that is, crossing between one constellation (zodiac sign) and the next.

The water table is last but not least factor to consider. Over-irrigation can be as harmful as under irrigating.  When the tide is high at the coast it is also high in the water table under the ground, something grazing stock seem to be aware of.  Because more below-ground moisture makes for sweeter grass it is not uncommon for farmers to use the grazing positions of cows to visually estimate the approach of extreme weather.  . Harvesting on high water-table days can mean crops can be water-logged and tasteless and have shorter shelf-life. The opposite is of note when picking for preserving.  

There is also a tide of varying height of the sap in trees, climbing vines and other plants that extend well above ground, that matches the water table. Insects aware of this timing become more active and more numerous because of the easy availability of nutrients. Birds are aware of where and when the insects are arriving. Plants are in constant need of pollination servicing by insects and birds, so on days of high tidal variations, bird and insect life is on the move and pollination increases through the numbers of insects and bees seeking nectar and birds eating then spreading seeds. Grafting is better done at times of higher water table levels, when plants are not under thirsting stress and nature is more on the move. 

By using tide charts in combination with the optimum activities, you can make better decisions on when to water plants and when not to. For those who do not wish to work out all the aforementioned factors we have written an easy-read 50-page booklet in pdf format telling you when to sow and when to prune for 2017. There is also plenty of other information, e.g. plants and the zodiac, general weather hints and the water tables for each month of the year.

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© Ken Ring  2016

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