When to sow seed

Ian, lIke many other gardeners, is unsure whether he should sow and transplant in the correct moon phase, or sow seeds by the moon phase and transplant anytime, or sow seeds anytime and transplant by the moon.

Over many years of experimenting with moon planting, we’ve found that it is more important to sow seed during the correct phase, than it is to plant out during the correct phase. Seedlings of some varieties of annuals are large enough for transplanting by the time the next correct phase comes around, so it is easy to sow and transplant in the same phase. Others varieties take a shorter, or longer, time to reach transplanting stage, and my advice is that these should be planted out when they are ready, and when climate conditions are suitable, whatever the moon phase. Seedlings sown in a tray will suffer some transplant shock because they often have to be teased apart for transplanting, and these will require some TLC until they become established. However, annual seedlings sown in segmented punnets or individual tubes suffer very little transplant shock and it does not seem to matter when they are transplanted because their root balls are buffered by surrounding mix.

Planting out during the correct phase is important for perennials as strong establishment of the root system is essential for vigorous growth of these plants. This group includes fruit trees and crowns of asparagus, artichokes, herbacous perennials, strawberries, etc., as well as all trees, shrubs and vines.
Most root crop annuals are best sown direct where they are to grow as many don’t perform well when transplanted. If you have to transplant these because mice or ants steal seeds sown in beds, and they are ready to transplant in an incorrect moon phase, just give them some extra TLC. Moon planting gives some extra help in getting plants growing, it is not essential to their survival.

Traditional moon planting is based on observations of farmers for many centuries but very little scientific research has been carried out on why, exactly, certain seeds germinate faster, and grow quickly when sown at particular times, and why cuttings form roots more quickly when taken during Full Moon phase. A brief coverage of this subject on a David Suzuki TV program some years ago stated that fluctuations in sap flow and plant hormones corresponded with the Moon’s gravitation pull, as did subtle variations in Earth’s electro-magnetic field. I think the changes in the electro-magnetic field might be the key to why moon planting works, as plants can only absorb nutrients as water soluble, electrically–charged particles. A serious scientific study of this subject would be most interesting.

3 thoughts on “When to sow seed

  1. Interesting article! I’ve been somewhat curious about Moon Planting, but unsure where to start and this made it much more understandable for me. Will now be giving it a try!

  2. How do you know which is the correct phase of the moon for sowing and planting and what do you do when the correct phase of the moon corresponds to terrible weather – do you give up and risk missing the spring altogether? I would love to do some trials; are there any reports of trials?
    The correct phases for sowing or transplanting vegetables, fruits and perennials can be found in the perpetual monthly diary in my book, Easy Organic Gardening and Moon Planting, which also contains all the best days for particular gardening activities up to the end of 2013. Thomas Zimmer calendars also contain suitable planting dates for the current year. Both of these can be ordered from this blog by clicking on the relevant panel on the right side of the page. The current moon phase is also shown on the home page of my blog, and you will find a sowing and planting guide for the vege garden each month in the moon planting category.
    If weather is “terrible” on the best days for sowing, as explained in my book, there are other suitable days each month, and you won’t have to miss spring altogether. As I’ve said in the post above, moon planting provides some extra help, it is not essential to plants’ survival, and sowing or planting should be done when climate and weather conditions are suitable. You can do your own trials, Garden Mad – and decide for yourself. – Lyn

  3. I have been researching, for over 30 years, the daily, monthly, and seasonal variations within the taste, flavour and quality of plants at the harvesting point, in regards to earths daily rotation, elliptic, synodic and phase cycles of the moon and the solar cycle.

    My research has identified and mapped, unique separate cycles which completely control all these variations. These taste and quality variations can be “exactly predicted” on a daily, monthly and yearly basis.

    My research has also identified and mapped the variations that occur in the time it takes for germination of seeds and for cuttings to strike roots.

    “All of the lunar cycles” combine to effect the germination, growth, palatability and the quality of all plants

    I would be only to happy to talk with you Lyn in regards to demonstrating or educating the world on how important the lunar cycles are on plants.

    – Chris

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *