Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Do you have to buy the moon calendar each year?
Our reply: No. Our Moon Gardening Calendar is perpetual so it can be re-used for years. It is adjusted to the dates of the new moon each month. Dates are available on our website New Moons page.
Sue asks: Do you have to plant by the moon if you’re planting seeds in punnets/container gardening, or is it just for gardening in the ground?
Our reply: Moon planting applies to pot planting as well as in the ground. It can make seeds germinate much faster whether they are in pots or not. The moon’s gravity has an effect on the whole water cycle – not just groundwater tables, but the flow of water/sap in the plants and in theory could logically extend to the atmospheric/meteorological water cycle as well. Eg. more humidity/rain in growing times compared with dormant times.
Fred asks: Do moon gardeners have to plant at night?
Our reply: Not at all. It is about planting by the moon phases, not by moonlight. Actually the Full Moon is a poor time for planting because there is too much light which makes growth spindly.
Vicki asks about how to use the “double up” of dates at the start/end of the month.
Our reply: The double up or overlap are at opposite ends of the month so you read them as if they are in different cycles. When you change the calendar at the first of a month it will often move back a day or two in that overlap period. This counteracts the double up of a calendar month to a lunar month. Just read the 29/1; 30/2 and 31/3 dates as independent of each other – eg. as 1, 2, 3 and then at the end of the month as 29, 30, 31. As the month changes, reset on the first day and read again as 1, 2, 3.
Maria asks: When is the best time to transplant.
Our reply: Where it says on the calendar to plant and sow – we meant this to be interpreted as transplanting plants and seedlings as well as sowing from seeds. Transplanting is best done at the start of the prolific growth period to give them the longest favourable time to settle in. (It can be done in the rising vitality period as well if you have a lot to do, but avoid the actual New Moon date).
For root crops – eg. Gingers and heliconias, lilies – transplant and divide during the root crop period.
Elizabeth asks about watering by the moon:
Our reply: Watering is more necessary in the growth periods which are marked, and ease off during the dormant times. Water root crops more during the root crop growing period and above ground plants during the prolific growth period for above ground/leafy plants and shrubs.
As a general rule, if plants are wilting they need water whatever time of the month (unless it’s a case of them being too wet and they have root rot).
Simon asks: I recently purchased your Moon Calendar. Its simplicity makes it beautiful. However, you have peas and beans to be sown in First Quarter, i.e. as the moon is waxing. Although they are above ground crops, I’ve heard that peas and beans are the exception to the rule, and should be planted on the WANING moon.
Our reply: Growing for a market garden, we tested the periods ourselves with scarlet runner beans and found they germinated and grew about 5cm overnight in the prolific growing time and didn’t take off for a while in the wanning moon. Others may treat them as a root crop because of the nitrogen fixing bacteria in their roots – which may the case if you are planning to plough them in as a green manure crop. Also beans and peas should not be watered after planting but just placed in damp soil – as they rot easily (the wanning period is generally drier). In our opinion, faster germination is more important, which is what happens in the above ground period. Perhaps test it for yourself in each period and see what happens.
Marjorie asks: If a plant has been started in a small pot at the correct planting time and is now large enough to put into the garden without disturbing its roots does the right planting phase matter?
Our reply: We prefer to transplant in the prolific growth period as the plant is more supported in getting established in the new position. The rising vitality period/second root crop period just before the new moon is a second choice if the plant is becoming too large to wait another week. The Dormant period is not recommended as the plant will just sit in the ground anyway and is more likely to get root rot than if it stayed in its pot – it will put more stress on it by transplanting. But common sense also comes into it and if you are unable to plant later then do what you can. The recommendations will help reduce plant stress, but if it is too hard to strictly follow don’t stress yourself 🙂 For root crops, eg heliconias, gingers, bulbs, transplant during the favourable time for them.
Question: Why don’t the full moon phases on your dial always line up with the date on the normal calendar?
Our reply: This does happen at times as the lunar cycle varies from 28-29.5 days – in this case you can adjust the full moon segment to the date it occurs – but remember to still reset to the next new moon as it occurs and again at the start of the next month. As the full moon is generally a non-planting time this is not usually a problem. We have factored the overlap into our calendar and haven’t focused on these anomalies just to make it easier for people to get the idea of the repeating cycles.
Sue asks: When the New Moon is in the section where there are two dates listed (29/1, 30/2 etc) does this increase the “do not sow seed or plant yet” section or the days of “prolific growth”?
Our reply: The dates are in separate lunar cycles at the start and end of the month. With the re-setting of the calendar on the first of the following month it generally turns the wheel backwards to account for this overlap of cycles.
It is possible to add extra days to different periods as the lunar cycle can vary from 28 to 29.5 days in a month due to the moon’s elliptical orbit. However in these months where the dates remain the same twice in a row it can add extra days to the sector in the overlap.
The calendar can be fine-tuned by adjusting at each moon quarter. In this case follow the cycles to the end of the first month, and then set the individual phases as they occur in the next month. Always remember to shift the new moon symbol on the New Moon in this case as it is the most important phase.
We have accounted for these overlaps in our active growth periods so you can leave it set the same for both months. So long as you are not planting within 24 hours of the full or new moons. It occurs also when the actual moon phase is just after midnight.