In today’s fast paced technologically advanced world, many gardeners are going ‘old school’ with tried and true growing practices. Some are actually going ‘ancient school’ by practicing lunar gardening, a method of gardening that dates back to prehistory.
Many ancient cultures closely connected the lunar cycles with the fertility of the earth. They planted, weeded and harvested their gardens based on the phases of the moon. Not much has changed about the methods of lunar gardening, except for our understanding of how it works.
Just as the moon controls the tides, it also influences the groundwater tables beneath our feet. Understanding how the lunar cycles affect groundwater and timing gardening chores accordingly, is the basis of moon gardening. Another factor, is moonlight. Believe it or not moonlight effects the growth cycles of plants too.
For moon gardening purposes, the twenty-nine day moon cycle is divided into four quarters. Each quarter, specific garden chores are preformed:
In the first quarter, when the moon is in its waxing phase from new to half full, plant annuals, herbs, and green vegetables. During this time lunar gravity pulls moisture up from water tables and the levels of moonlight increase daily. These factors promote balanced root and leaf growth.
Plant fruit and vegetable bearing crops during the second quarter, when the moon is in its waxing phase from half full to full. During this time, strong moonlight promotes leaf growth.
In the third quarter, when the moon is in its waning phase from full to half full, plant root crops like radishes and beets, perennials and bulbs. At this time the strong gravitational pull draws more moisture into the soil, but moonlight weakens daily. These conditions are ideal for active root growth.
The fourth quarter, when the moon is in its waning phase from half full to new, is a good time to harvest, weed, prune and fertilize the garden.
If you would like to try out lunar gardening, moon phase today can be found in most calendars and farmer’s almanacs. Who knows you might just get moonstruck by lunar gardening!
In 1985, Briscoe White opened The Growers Exchange in an abandoned Texaco station on a busy urban street corner in Richmond, Virginia. In 1987, Briscoe opened a nursery in Charles City County, 25 miles east of Richmond along the shores of the historic James River. Currently there are 5 distinct growing environments with 5 acres under cover and it allows him to grow a variety of plants: herbs, perennials, annuals, fresh flowers and produce.
The past twenty years have been spent growing an environment within the store and the community that encouraged an exchange of plant and gardening information. In the summer of 2005, he closed the doors to the local market, and moved onto the Internet. The company is now based at our facility in Charles City, and have been connecting and exchanging with gardeners all over the country.