Looking to get the most out of your fruits & roots? Consider Moon Phase Gardening.
While it would seem that ‘Moon Phase Gardening’ is rooted mostly in folklore and superstition, there’s a lot of scientific backing which lends credibility to the practice – no matter what the scale of planting.
We know that the Moon exerts a gravitational force on the Earth, which affects water, in particular – the moon is responsible for the oceans’ tidal changes, after all. Since water plays a pivotal role in nourishing plants and crops to grow, it makes sense that the lunar cycle could have an effect on gardening choices!
Tides are highest at the time of the new and full moon, because the gravitational force ‘pulls’ the water upwards. Moon Phase Gardening suggests that this effect applies to all water on earth, so it causes moisture within soil to rise, encouraging growth.
Planting along with the moon’s four phases – with certain phases considered more conducive to planting – are said to yield specific benefits, for different plants and crops.
At the New Moon, the rising water as a result of the gravitational pull causes seeds to swell and burst. This, coupled with increased moonlight, is said to create balanced root and leaf growth. This first phase is the ideal time to plant above-ground bearing annual crops that produce ‘outside’ seeds, like lettuce, spinach, celery, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and grains.
In the moon’s second quarter, the gravitational pull on the water is less, but the moonlight remains strong, promoting healthy leaf growth. Plants that benefit from planting at this time include annuals which produce above ground, with seeds ‘inside’ – like beans, melons, peas, peppers and tomatoes.
Light is waning in the third quarter, but the gravitational pull is at its strongest, which is said to put energy into the roots. This is the best time for planting root crops, like carrots, potatoes, rhubarb, and perennials & bulbs.
In the fourth quarter, both gravitational pull and moonlight are on the wane, meaning that this is considered a resting period. Moon Phase Gardening theorises that this is the best time to cultivate, harvest, transplant, fertilize and prune.
There’s a theory that the twelve zodiac signs also have an influence over when to sow and when to reap. The moon stays in each sign for two to three days at a time. The water and earth signs are deemed as being fruitful – when the moon is in that constellation, it is considered to be a good time to sow. Air and fire signs are deemed barren, meaning they’re a time to forego planting and focus instead on weeding and pruning.
UCOOK meals taste good, no matter what the phase of the moon – and are far simpler than keeping track of the zodiac. They, and a host of other sponsors, have joined forces to offer over R200 000 worth of prizes on www.mothers-day.co.za. Enter now to stand a chance to win a series of amazing prizes for your number one lady – Mom, of course!