Sowing seeds by the moon



Last evening, I sowed my pansy seeds by the moon.

Well, not under the moonlight specifically, but instead by its guidance.

Planting by the moon, or lunar planting, is supposed to help plants grow faster, stronger and larger.

This year I am making a concerted effort to align my seed sowing activities with my Gardening by the Moon calendar. I have purchased this calendar in past years and have tried to also use it as a record of what I am sowing.

Not only does it offer recommendations on when to best sow seeds based on the current moon phase, but it also makes suggestions for appropriate gardening tasks, such as "plant for root growth" or "harvest, cultivate, weed and clone".

In past years of using the calendar, I started out the growing season by recording which seed was sown when. But I would stop recording regularly as spring advanced and life became busier with tending the garden (and well, life). I also had trouble following the recommendations because either I was not home to sow seeds on the recommended day or time, or — shocker — I fell behind in my seed sowing tasks.

But this year I really want to align my efforts as best as possible with a lunar planting schedule. I want to see how it makes a difference.

These seven varieties of pansy seeds kicked off my 2019 seed sowing season.

Using the moon to grow healthier plants

In the past I have shared why you should start pansies and violas from seed. Based on my experience, it takes almost two weeks for the seeds to sprout. It would be great if the moon helps them sprout faster!

According to Gardening by the Moon, lunar planting is influenced by the Phase and Sign of the Moon. The lunar phase controls the amount of moisture in the soil, reaching its peak during the new and full moon. Just like how the moon affects the ocean tides, it can also make moisture rise in the earth, which benefits germination and growth.

Makes sense to me.

The calendar provides four sources of information to provide its suggestions:

  • The astrological sign the moon is in and the best activity for that sign and phase. (Some are fertile, others are barren.)
  • Symbols that indicate the elemental qualities of the moon sign (root, leaf, flower and fruit).
  • What time of day the moon transit takes place.
  • When the moon is not on course — meaning you get to take a break.
I use the Medium Growing Season calendar, which is aligned with hardiness zones 5 and 6. The information is also presented in Eastern Standard Time. There are two other versions of the calendar:  the Short Growing Season (zones 4 and 5) and the Long Growing Season (zones 7, 8 and 9, but on Pacific Standard Time).

I have seeds that I expect to sow each week leading up to my first frost-free week in May. (I am being more conservative with my last frost date this year. In the past I have followed the recommended time frame for my growing zone but have found it's still a bit chilly to move or start the warmer season plants outdoors.)

Not every week is conducive to seed sowing, but I plan to align my seed sowing to the moon when possible. And let's face it — life is so busy that a little help in the garden from the moon would be a bonus.

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