The “art of good timing” is the age-old belief in lunar rhythms. 

In the old days, people would plan their daily life, from health and home, to nutrition to farming, forestry and gardening, around the positions and phases of the moon. The moon controls ocean tides, influences the groundwater tables and even the movement of fluids in plants.

Gardening by the moon is as old as time. Long before the days of calendars, life was governed by the phases of the moon.

Moon gardening has been passed down through generations. Moon, or lunar gardening, is based in understanding the energy of the moon and timing your gardening chores accordingly.

According to National Geographic, more gardeners today are turning to the moon for sage advice on the best time to plant, prune, weed and harvest.

The practice of lunar gardening centres on the moon’s gravitational effect and the flow of moisture in soil and plants.

Gardening guru, Ed Hume, author of The Garden Almanac , published annually, writes, “There are firm believers in moon gardening today who will not plant anything unless a favourable moon sign is indicated.”

His well-read gardening almanac gives an easy to follow, month-by-month, moon sign gardening calendar. Dates are also included for composting, harvesting and even when to mow the lawn to retard growth.

How does it all work? The moon moves through a cycle every 29 days. The lunar month starts with the new moon. By the light of the (new) moon is an ideal time to perform garden chores such as transplanting house plants, sowing seeds of plants that grow above ground, fertilizing, grafting fruit trees, planting evergreen and deciduous trees.

As the moon wanes in the third and fourth quarters, this is a preferred time to prune plants as the water table diminishes and less sap will flow out of the pruned ends. The fourth quarter is the most dormant period, making this a good time for chores such as weeding.

In the decreasing light phases from the full moon to the dark of the moon, this is a good time to plant bulbs, plant crops that grow below ground (such as potatoes), cultivate weeds, plant biennials and perennials that establish strong roots, as well as prune shrubs.

How is sowing, transplanting and harvesting linked to phases of the moon? One theory is that during the light (waxing) of the moon, sap is thought to flow more strongly, filling the plants with vitality and energy, favouring the planting and harvesting of plants that mature above ground.

As you embark on sowing seeds, mowing the lawn and pruning roses, may the force of the moon be with you.

This summer, why not choose a plot of land and experiment with gardening by the phases of the moon. Plant some crops by the correct moon signs and others not … and compare. A fun, and interesting, project the whole family will enjoy.