23 Jun 2011
A vital aspect of biodynamic gardening involves natural and cosmic rhythms. Understanding lunar effects and biodynamic planting by Moon cycles is key. The Moon has a gravitational effect on the Earth which affects ocean tides as well as plant growth. This gravitational pull varies throughout the 28 day cycle due to the elliptical orbit of the Moon. Planting is best done a day or two before the New Moon as gravitational forces, as well as light, are most favorable in the week that follows. During the next seven days the Moon begins to grow with an increase in light and gravitational pull. The abundance of light is favorable for leaf growth, but the extra pull is not favorable for root growth. The roots rest while young shoots thrive. The week following the Full Moon the decreased light slows leaf growth as the decreased pull encourages root development. This is a good time to transplant seedlings. The last seven days of the lunar cycle brings less light as the pull increases allowing both roots and leaves to rest prior to the New Moon and a repeat of this cycle.
The biodynamic gardening calendar explores the many rhythms of Nature so that the cultivation of crops can be timed for the best success and productivity. Besides planting by the Moon, the calendar considers the influence of the twelve constellations along with the breathing cycles of the Earth. As the Earth breathes in from noon to midnight, soil and roots are nourished. As the Earth breathes out from midnight to noon, leaves and flowers are nourished. Therefore, it is best to plant in the afternoon and work with plants in the morning.
Here is a simple guide to follow:
- New Moon- roots and shoots encouraged
- Waxing Moon- roots rest, leaves grow
- Full Moon- roots develop, leaf growth slows
- Waning Moon- roots and leaves rest
Biodynamic planting by the Moon is very cool. Not only do you know that the timing will give you better results for your labor, but it so connects you more deeply to the rhythms of Nature. I am always aware of what cycle the Moon is in, and it becomes your guide for growing.