Cosmic Events and Other Astrological Stuff
Gardening Under the Lunar Phases
by Jenni Muscat
I would be the first to admit that this aspect of Astrology is somewhat challenging, but certainly not impossible. I've been able to put my limited knowledge of this type of gardening to the test (and I'm not normally a green thumb!) for the last five or so years now, and I have seen a great deal of success. This aspect of gardening has been a recognised concept for thousands of years and it's a good thing that remnants of ancient knowledge have still survived to the present day.
The first general rule of thumb would be to remember when the waxing, full, waning and new phases are in the monthly calendar. When the moon is new and then waxes to full, this would be a fortuitous time to plant, while at the opposite end, the waning to new phase is a better time for tilling the soil and getting stuck into the weeding.
Some Astrological signs are more fruitful than others for growing and cultivating, though. For reference on this subject, I have researched to some degree from a book called Moon Magic by Lori Reid. The list of signs reads below:
Fertile signs - Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. This makes perfect sense, and I have adhered to this rule more than anything else. Since one of the main ingredients for successful planting and gardening is regular watering, it is therefore appropriate to plant under any of these water signs. The best time of all is during the waxing phase and before the full moon in all the signs. Under Cancer (the moon's ruler), anything planted during that time has the strength and hardiness to grow and thrive. In particular, planting watery fruits and vegetables like melons and cucumbers are sure to grow well during the waxing phase in Cancer. Under the waxing sign of Scorpio, it's a good time to sow, plant and transplant flowers, fruit and vegetables that crop above the ground. Vines and climbers are meant to do well under Scorpio's waxing phase as they are robust plants that produce lots of off-shoots and seeds. Under Pisces' waxing phase - I've planted at this time more than any other and my plants are still thriving - it's a good time for root growth and general planting. Low growing plants with pastel-coloured flowers are said to grow best at this time. The only exception would appear to be ivies and vines. If we consider for a moment the traditional and modern rulers of these signs, that being Moon for Cancer, Mars and Pluto for Scorpio, Jupiter and Neptune for Pisces, it may explain to some extent why most plants would grow so well and why some won't.
Semi-Fertile signs - Taurus, Libra and Capricorn. Venus rules both Taurus and Libra, giving off that aspect of colour and richness, the more, earthy element to gardening. Saturn rules Capricorn, so that would imply some solid sowing and tilling to make a beneficial garden ready for harvesting. In Taurus, plant bulbs and other types of plants that crop under the ground during the waning phase, after full moon and before the last quarter.
Annuals, leafy vegetables and pastel-coloured flowers are good planting during the waxing phase. Ivies and other vines are not recommended. Under the sign of Libra, we have the scope of beauty, fragrance and colour come into play. The most auspicious time is after the new moon and before it waxes full. Vegetables shouldn't be planted at this time, but vines and climbers can. This could be because produce isn't as beneficial under this sign as the more exotic and colourful plants; those that are aesthetically pleasing to the sight and smell. Under the sign of Capricorn, plants which are more hardy and resistant to drought conditions are said to survive well. Plants that crop under the ground apparently do well. Weeding is not a good time under the Capricorn phase and I can see the sense in that. Our yard is rather weed prone at times and they are extremely tolerant to hot and dry conditions.
Semi-Barren signs - Aries, Sagittarius and Aquarius. Mars, Jupiter and Saturn/Uranus claim rulership of these signs. Fire and Air elements that they are, they're not quite on the barren side and plentiful produce with the more pungent smells and flavours are especially beneficial during the lunar phases in these signs. Under the sign of Aries, it's a great time to weed in its waning phase. I'll make a point of observing when next I weed and in which phase, just to see when they're at their most vulnerable. The moon will soon be waxing in this sign as this article goes online so I will wait until the next waning phase of another appropriate sign to test this out. Vegetables like garlic can be planted just before the moon leaves this sign, and during the waxing phase. Soil can be cultivated, along with mowing the grass. When in Sagittarius, it's recommended to plant only the more pungent-tasting fruit and vegetables during its waxing phase and just before the moon leaves the sign. Cultivation and mowing are also good at this time. Under Aquarius, land can be cultivated and mowed, but no planting, sowing, transplanting or weeding of any sort is recommended.
Barren signs - Gemini, Leo and Virgo. Gemini and Virgo are both ruled by Mercury and would fit well here, because of its more sanguine disposition. The sun rules Leo and its very hot aspect would also suit barrenness. When being barren is suggested, while it isn't an auspicious time for planting and sowing, it's an excellent time for pruning, destroying pests and diseases (only if necessary in this instance), weeding and cultivating. In the southern hemisphere, this would be even more pertinent, as those three signs are either in the onset of winter or early spring. Therefore, it would be a great time in tilling the soil and getting it ready for planting. Under the sign of Gemini, cultivate the land, weed, prune and eradicate between the last quarter and new moon. Under Leo and Virgo, it's much the same as in Gemini - with an emphasis on no sowing, planting or transplanting.
On the topic of mowing: While it's obvious that the grass generally slows down during the wintertime and speeds up to astronomical proportions in the summer, it's worth noting when this oftentimes weekend job is of benefit. If you wish to have a thick and lush growth of grass, mow around the time of the waxing phase and full moon. If you wish to slow the growth of grass down, mow during the waning and dark phases. Keeping the signs in mind, and being alert to the moons various phases in each sign, you should notice a pattern, and this applies to all areas of gardening.
For successful lunar gardening, eight fundamental rules are laid out. For those of us who already have an idea of what it takes to produce the best garden possible, some of these rules are generally a no-brainer. An ounce of common sense would always apply in this regard. For those others who have otherwise never considered growing anything before and are embarking on this for the first time, it is important to keep these basic rules in mind:
- Plant or sow at the right season for the plant concerned. As an example, annuals are planted in springtime, when they will flower or fruit
- Take note of the location preferred for each plant. Some plants will require free-draining soil, others are more hardy in coastal or drier areas. Others still require full sun or prefer shade.
- Plants that grow above the ground should always be sown during the waxing moon.
- Plants that grow below the ground should always be sown during the waning moon, such as roots.
- Annuals need to establish roots quickly, but only need shallow spreading areas just below the surface, and during the waxing phase. Since annuals will last only until the autumn, they are easier to pull out once they have finished flowering.
- Biennials and perennials should be planted during the waning moon. Shrubs and trees need more time to take root and they produce a wide-spreading and sturdy root system. The waning phase allows for that longer and quieter time to establish themselves.
- It would appear to be a risky time to undertake any sowing or transplanting at new, full and quarter phases. I can't say I've really attempted to transplant too many things but when I tried to plant on the new moon, none of them have survived, so I believe this has merit, as the moon is still unseen and in darkness. It would be an auspicious time for planning and organising where to have a garden but not for general planting.
- Familiarise yourself with a moon calendar, and especially one which marks when the phases are and in which sign.
Talk to other gardeners and nurseries. Getting into this rewarding hobby requires a bit of time and thought. No mention is needed of moon gardening if you don't wish, unless you're talking to someone who understands what this is about. Intuition will also serve to guide you and by just applying the basic common sense rules before you start, and during your planting time, you are assured of a healthy and luscious garden.
Until next month, I bid you a fond farewell.
Jenni lives south of Sydney with her three children and menagerie of pets. Her passion for Astrology has been utilised at great length for the last ten years. Along with self-learning, she has studied at the Sirius School of Astrology under the guidance of Ed Tamplin and Sherrynne Dalby. Jenni's other interests include Reiki, Feng Shui & intuitive alignment of the land and home, Heathenism, Shamanism, Crystals, Metaphysical Healing, Paranormal investigations (conducted through the SOuL Searchers team of Spheres Of Light) Tarot and Angel readings, along with gardening, walking, family & friends. Jenni has various creative endeavours including making candles, soaps and runes for sale, along with selling crystals and other trinkets.
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