The Practice Of Sowing Seeds According To The Moon Phases Is Known As “Biodynamic Farming” Or “Moon Phase Gardening.”

Moon Phase Gardening is based on the belief that the moon’s gravitational pull and its phases can influence the growth and behaviour of plants.

Moon phase gardening aka lunar sowing, biodynamic gardening

This practice has its roots in ancient agricultural traditions and has been referenced in historical texts dating back to the Roman era. In the 20th century, it was popularised by the philosopher and scientist Rudolf Steiner, who developed a system of farming based on holistic and ecological principles.

Here’s a summary of key points about sowing seeds according to the moon:

  • Biodynamic farmers believe that the moon’s gravitational pull can affect the moisture in the soil, which can influence seed germination and plant growth.
  • They also believe that the different phases of the moon can influence plant growth and development, with the waxing moon promoting growth above ground and the waning moon promoting growth below ground.
  • There is limited scientific evidence to support these claims, and many agricultural researchers believe that factors such as temperature, soil quality, and watering practices have a much greater impact on plant growth than the moon’s phases.
  • However, some gardeners and farmers continue to use moon phase gardening practices as part of their overall approach to sustainable and holistic agriculture.

An Elizabethan Perspective On Moon Phase Gardening & Sowing

A manuscript “Receipt Book” belonging to the Elizabethan, Lady Elinor Fettiplace, mentions sowing in “the wane of the moon in Marche”. I’ll write more on the recipes and advice in the manuscript at a later date. It makes fascinating reading.

“All those seedes which you sow in the wane of the moon in Marche, will never runne to seede. And for those you will have run to seede the last quarter of the moon in Aprill is best to sow them in.”

Lady Elinor Fettiplace, 1604

Lunar Phases Research

There have been some studies on the topic of moon phase gardening, but the results have been mixed, and more research is needed to determine the validity of the claims. Some claim no verifiable evidence exists.

biodynamic farming with lunar phase seed sowing

What Has Been Thought and Taught on the Lunar Influence on Plants in Agriculture? Perspective from Physics and Biology Olga Mayoral (University of Valencia) et al reviewed some of the beliefs about lunar influences in agriculture and found no verifiable evidence that it worked.

We found that there is no reliable, science-based evidence for any relationship between lunar phases and plant physiology in any plant-science related textbooks or peer-reviewed journal articles justifying agricultural practices conditioned by the Moon. Nor does evidence from the field of physics support a causal relationship between lunar forces and plant responses. Therefore, popular agricultural practices that are tied to lunar phases have no scientific backing. We strongly encourage teachers involved in plant sciences education to objectively address pseudo-scientific ideas and promote critical thinking.

Olga Mayoral et al.

Here are more sources …

  • A study published in the journal “Perception” in 2002 found that the moon phase did not significantly affect the growth of cress plants, but the researchers suggested that more research was needed to explore the possible effects of lunar cycles on plant growth.
  • A study published in the journal “Biological Rhythm Research” in 2008 found that the germination rates of lettuce seeds were slightly higher during the full moon phase, but the authors acknowledged that the results were not statistically significant.
  • A study published in the journal “HortScience” in 2010 found that the growth of cucumber plants was not significantly affected by the moon phase.
  • A study published in the journal “Acta Horticulturae” in 2012 found that the growth of tomato plants was not significantly affected by the moon phase, but the authors suggested that other factors such as temperature and humidity could have masked any potential effects.

The above isn’t to say that the moon doesn’t affects seeds or plants. But so far no evidence has been found.

Lunar Sowing: A Gardens Perspective

Charles Dowding is a well known gardener with a massive following and has shown an interest in the lunar sowing topic. He has conducted limited experiments and made his findings public. To date they haven’t been conclusive enough to make him declare that sowing by the phases of the moon is the way to go.

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Image attribute: TheLostProbe (Screenshot) & John Van Vilet (Virtual Textures), CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons, Patricia Alexandre, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
Tag: Moon Phase Gardening

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