This summary of the principles of lunar gardening includes an outline of what activities to undertake during each lunar quarter and zodiacal sign. It is important to note that the planting dates are selected according to the Moon's sign before 12 pm. If the Moon goes void-of-course or changes sign after 12 pm, the date is not selected. If you live in a time zone with more than three hours difference from Eastern Standard Time, you may wish to plant even if the calendar indicates otherwise. Use your own best judgment about weather, season, temperature, and your time zone to schedule your gardening activities.
Another important factor is your own "vibes," or green thumb. If you enjoy what you are doing, if you identify with your work, and if you can visualize the results, you are more apt to be as successful in gardening as in other activities.
Many people claim they achieve larger produce by gardening by the Moon. Also, their fruits and vegetables are more flavorful and nutritious. We agree. Moon gardening principles have been practiced for thousands of years all over the world. This fact alone is enough to recommend their use.
Planting by the Moon
During the increasing light (from New Moon to Full Moon), plant annuals that produce their yield above the ground. An annual is a plant that completes its entire life cycle within one growing season and must be seeded each year.
During the decreasing light (from Full to New Moon), plant biennials, perennials, bulbs, and root plants. Biennials, perennials, bulbs, and root plants. Biennials include crops planted one growing season to winter over and produce crops the next season, such as winter wheat. Perennials, bulbs, and root plants include plants that grow from the same root year after year. A simple though less accurate rule is to plant crops that produce above the ground during the increase of the light and to plant crops that produce below ground during the decrease of the Moon. This is the source of the old adage, "plant potatoes during the dark of the Moon."
You can further increase your accuracy for good harvests by paying attention to which quarter the moon is in. The times of these quarter changes appear on this calendar's date pages.
FIRST QUARTER (INCREASING HALF TO FULL): Plant annuals producing above ground, which are generally of the leafy kind that produce their seed outside the fruit; also plant cereals and grain. Examples are asparagus, cabbage, celery, endive, and spinach. As an exception to the rule, cucumber seems to do best in the first quarter rather than in the second, even though the seeds are inside the fruit.
SECOND QUARTER (HALF FULL TO FULL MOON): Plant annuals producing their yield above ground, which are generally of the viny kind that produce their seed inside the fruit. Examples include beans, peas, peppers, squash, and tomatoes. Plant cereals and grains also.
THIRD QUARTER (DECREASING TO HALF FULL): Plant biennials, perennials, bulbs, and root plants, including crops that winter over and produce their crops the next year. Trees, shrubs, berries, onion sets, potatoes, rhubarb, winter wheat, and grapes are best planted at this time.
FOURTH QUARTER (HALF FULL TO NEW MOON): The fourth quarter is best for cultivating, pulling weeds, destroying pests of all kinds, and turning sod, especially when the Moon is in one of the barren signs (please see below).
Planting by Moon Signs
MOON IN ARIES: Barren, dry, fiery, and masculine; use for destroying noxious growths and pests, and for cultivating, plowing, and tilling.
MOON IN TAURUS: Productive, moist, earthy, and feminine. Use for planting crops, particularly root vegetables and potatoes, when hardiness is important.
MOON IN GEMINI: Barren, dry, airy, and masculine. Use for cultivating, or for destroying noxious growths, weeds, and pests.
MOON IN CANCER: Very fruitful, moist, and feminine. Use this productive sign for planting and irrigation.
MOON IN LEO: Barren, dry, fiery, and masculine. Use this barren sign for killing weeds, and other noxious growths, and for cultivation.
MOON IN VIRGO: Barren, moist, earthy, and feminine. Use this sign for cultivating, weeding, and destroying pests.
MOON IN LIBRA: Semi-fruitful, moist, airy, and masculine. Use for planting crops and enhancing root growth. It is a good sign for flowers and vines, seeding hay, corn for fodder, and other livestock needs.
MOON IN SCORPIO: Very fruitful, moist, and feminine. Use this very productive sign for planting most things; especially good for vines and sturdiness.
MOON IN SAGITTARIUS: Barren, fiery, dry, and masculine. Use this sign for planting onions, seeding hay, etc. Also good for cultivation.
MOON IN CAPRICORN: Productive, but dry, earthy, and feminine. Plant potatoes and other root crops.
MOON IN AQUARIUS: Barren, dry, airy, and masculine. Use for cultivation and for destroying noxious growths, weeds, and pests.
MOON IN PISCES: Very fruitful, moist, and feminine. Use for planting most things, and especially good for root growth.
Excerpted from Llewellyn's 2008 Astrological Calendar. For current-year almanacs and calendars, click here.