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Old 04-27-2003, 12:51 PM
Kalt Kalt is offline
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Moon phase gardening/planting

Okay, I'm a city boy and my thumb is anything but green, so there are plenty of things I don't know about planting/farming/harvesting ... or basically anything that involves dirt. That being said, this "planting by moon phase" system sounds like superstitious crap to me, yet it seems to be pretty well-established and common among farmers. I've found plenty of webpages on the subject (that in and of itself meaning nothing as to the validity of it) that all say the same thing rather matter-of-factly, yet none of the webpages explain how or why the system works, and only give instructions on how to do it. Of course, that leads me to believe it's total BS. One webpage mentioned that it had something to do with the light of the moon changing through the phases. I can't see how that would really make any difference at all considering the sun is up for most of the day. And you're not supposed to plant in a full moon. How could that possibly make any difference at all? Then again, I couldn't grow weeds if I tried. But my intuition tells me this is just superstitious baggage lingering on from ages past (as such baggage tends to do).
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Old 04-27-2003, 11:27 PM
Kalt Kalt is offline
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Hmm, I figured there'd be some agrarian folks out there. Maybe those who know about moon-phase planting are the types of people who don't have computers
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Old 04-28-2003, 01:52 AM
stringy stringy is offline
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I have no idea about this - but I'd also love to know if this is BS or a useful technique.

I'm just getting into gardening, and a lot of the moon-phase instructions look damn near identical to any other monthly planting guide, just with added restrictions on which days within that month you are allowed to plant. I don't see how the phase of the moon would make any difference to the growth of a plant - I think watering, fertilising, the amount of sunlight would be far more important factors.

But a definitive rebuttal would be nice...
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Old 04-28-2003, 06:24 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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There is a specific name for this belief (knowing that might aid in the search for empiriacl data), but I cannot for the life of me remember it.
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Old 04-28-2003, 07:24 AM
WotNot WotNot is offline
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This is no help at all, but my Dad recently told me that his Dad would always plant his potatoes out on Good Friday. It used to puzzle my Dad, but if he was planting according to the phases of the Moon then perhaps it makes sense.
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Old 04-28-2003, 07:42 AM
Dogface Dogface is offline
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This is an old, old superstition--IF one thinks that the moon exerts some sort of magical influence. However, if one looks at it as a convenient way to regulate months for planting without having to refer to commercially published calendars, it turns out to be fairly practical for the simple reason that lunar cycles are a fairly good way to subdivide seasons (give or take a few days).
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Old 04-28-2003, 07:48 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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Ah, found it! Biodynamics - although Biodynamics is a slightly broader entity which attempts to add a veneer of respectability - by talking about organic fertilisers etc. - to what is otherwise a metaphysical claim about cosmic rythm forces and unseen energy vibrations.
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Old 07-28-2016, 02:30 AM
Taleya Taleya is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stringy View Post
I have no idea about this - but I'd also love to know if this is BS or a useful technique.
Strangely enough, yes. There are quite a few living organisms that are governed by the lunar cycle. For a great example, look up the best time to cull branches infected by Citrus Gall Wasp in Australia - a full moon in September. (The light levels and the insect lifecycle means this is the perfect time to get 99% of the larvae in one hit.) Likewise nocturnal animals may increase or decrease their activities depending on the position of the moon's cycle, which can affect predation on crops. Tilling in the light of a new moon has been proven to result in less weed regrowth than other times of the cycle, believe it or not (Pubmed - Lowell W. Woodstock and Don F. Grabe. Relationships Between Seed Respiration During Imbibition and Subsequent Seedling Growth in Zea mays L.)

i don't believe there's actually been any sort of study or definitive proof one way or another covering the whole idea of moon gardening, but at least on a basic level there is a logic to it. (as others have pointed out, a lunar year is also easier to work the seasons out on)
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Old 07-28-2016, 04:52 AM
bob++ bob++ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WotNot View Post
This is no help at all, but my Dad recently told me that his Dad would always plant his potatoes out on Good Friday. It used to puzzle my Dad, but if he was planting according to the phases of the Moon then perhaps it makes sense.
My wife's father did the same thing (in Worcestershire). Of course, it helps that Good Friday is a holiday here.

Last edited by bob++; 07-28-2016 at 04:53 AM.
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Old 07-28-2016, 05:52 AM
Quartz Quartz is offline
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Are zombies governed by the moon?

A time-honoured way of determining the time to plant is if the earth is warm enough for the farmer and his wife to have sex on it. The moon being full just gives them extra time to plant.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linked story
It is simple. If the woman is on the bottom, she is the one with the most skin on the ground. Wheat-type plants need 45 degrees Farenheight (about 7 C) to germinate. Corn and other plants need 50 F (10 C). 45F/7C is also the point where the body can tolerate the temperature of the ground without shivering. It's not like lying on a beach, but most people can handle it. What the sex in the fields ritual was actually doing was delaying planting until the female was willing to lie on the cold ground – which also meant that the ground had reached the temperature the seeds needed to germinate before they rotted.

Last edited by Quartz; 07-28-2016 at 05:53 AM.
  #11  
Old 07-28-2016, 05:54 AM
Chronos Chronos is online now
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There's also the matter that, when the moon is full or close to it, you can see by its light and continue doing (some) work into the night.
  #12  
Old 07-28-2016, 06:13 AM
DrFidelius DrFidelius is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taleya View Post
Strangely enough, yes. There are quite a few living organisms that are governed by the lunar cycle. For a great example, look up the best time to cull branches infected by Citrus Gall Wasp in Australia - a full moon in September. (The light levels and the insect lifecycle means this is the perfect time to get 99% of the larvae in one hit.) Likewise nocturnal animals may increase or decrease their activities depending on the position of the moon's cycle, which can affect predation on crops. Tilling in the light of a new moon has been proven to result in less weed regrowth than other times of the cycle, believe it or not (Pubmed - Lowell W. Woodstock and Don F. Grabe. Relationships Between Seed Respiration During Imbibition and Subsequent Seedling Growth in Zea mays L.)

i don't believe there's actually been any sort of study or definitive proof one way or another covering the whole idea of moon gardening, but at least on a basic level there is a logic to it. (as others have pointed out, a lunar year is also easier to work the seasons out on)
The "new moon" is the dark phase, it provides no light and is above the horizon mostly during the daylight hours.
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Old 07-28-2016, 06:45 AM
Musicat Musicat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taleya View Post
i don't believe there's actually been any sort of study or definitive proof one way or another covering the whole idea of moon gardening,..
There you have it. So why do you think there is any substance to such a claim if there isn't any proof?
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... but at least on a basic level there is a logic to it.
Oh, now I see. You're a libra or gemini, right? They always think that way.
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Old 07-28-2016, 06:51 AM
bob++ bob++ is offline
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Some people believe that the position of a distant star at the point of their birth can influence their lives. They can usually point out many instances where people do live up (more or less) to their star sign. They conveniently ignore any contrary evidence or logic.
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Old 07-28-2016, 06:58 AM
John DiFool John DiFool is online now
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
There's also the matter that, when the moon is full or close to it, you can see by its light and continue doing (some) work into the night.
For me, gardening at night just didn't grow...
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Old 07-28-2016, 06:07 PM
AskNott AskNott is offline
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I worked with a man who had grown up a farm boy, and his family had been farmers from way back. He told me that stuff is true about planting during one phase of the moon. He said it worked that way for fence posts, too. "If you want your fence to stay dug in, you'd better dig 'em on the down side of the moon. Otherwise, they'll come back up in a year or two." I asked him what that meant, the down side of the moon, and he said he couldn't remember.

Worthless advice, that.
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Old 07-29-2016, 07:22 AM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taleya View Post
Tilling in the light of a new moon has been proven to result in less weed regrowth than other times of the cycle, believe it or not (Pubmed - Lowell W. Woodstock and Don F. Grabe. Relationships Between Seed Respiration During Imbibition and Subsequent Seedling Growth in Zea mays L.)
Perhaps you can show us where in that nearly 50-year-old paper it makes such a definitive claim. The abstract and the few pages I leafed through before concluding that it would overcome my morning caffeine jolt and induce coma, do not provide any revelations on that score.
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i don't believe there's actually been any sort of study or definitive proof one way or another covering the whole idea of moon gardening, but at least on a basic level there is a logic to it.
Not buying it.

As a tradition it's fun to read about, but the plants apparently don't give a shit.
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Old 07-29-2016, 11:41 AM
ftg ftg is offline
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Planting on Good Friday? There's a 34 day variance for that! Some years you're either going to be way to early or way too late.

I have a lot of farmer relatives. None of them would even know what the superstition is (plant on full or new moon?), let alone abide by it. Both for crops and gardens. If they don't already have a sense of when it's a good time to plant, they check with the local county extension service. Tracking times of earliest/latest frost is important. And those are drifting earlier/later.
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Old 07-29-2016, 12:27 PM
krondys krondys is offline
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For me, gardening at night just didn't grow...
I find that if you set torches around the field, it will continue to grow all night and day. Be sure to put a fence around the garden if you are actively working it at night, though, or the creepers will crater the entire thing in short order.
  #20  
Old 07-29-2016, 12:43 PM
AskNott AskNott is offline
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Planting on Good Friday? There's a 34 day variance for that! Some years you're either going to be way to early or way too late.
I'm sure that's true. However, pegging Good Friday is definitely tacked to phases of the moon. I'm probably going to get this wrong, but isn't Easter the first Sunday after the first Friday after a full moon? There are some other factors I've either forgotten or never knew, but it puts Good Friday right after a full moon.
  #21  
Old 07-29-2016, 07:03 PM
Chronos Chronos is online now
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Easter is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the March equinox. Good Friday therefore will always be in the general vicinity of a full moon, but may be a bit before or after.
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