According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac Sampler, a 1931 essay within maintains that the moon’s effect on farm crops and conditions is just a very persistent superstition.
This is a minority opinion; many other studies (scientific!) have proven otherwise. People have been planting by the moon’s phases for centuries and will continue to do so.
The full moon is given different names depending on the month; for May, it’s the Milk Month or Planting Month. (The earth’s tides are highest at the time of the full moon, causing moisture to rise in the earth, thus encouraging growth.) SEEDS WILL ABSORB THE MOST WATER AT THE TIME OF THE FULL MOON.
Even the 12 zodiac signs have an influence; (Please note that this refers strictly to the astrological signs, not the astronomical contellations.) From April 20th-May 20th is the sign of Taurus, the Bull, whose element is earth, productive and moist. It’s one of the best signs for planting and transplanting. It’s good for root crops, potatoes, and other “hardy” growings. This sign is also favorable for leafy vegetables, such as spinach, lettuce, and cabbage.
May 21st-June 20th comprises the sign of Gemini, the Twins, whose element is air, barren and dry.
During this cycle, harvest roots and fruit for storage. Cultivate, pull weeds,destroy pests, and sod. Melon seeds respond well in this sign.
To sum up, first find the best moon phase. From the full moon to half-full, or third quarter planting is the best for growing bulb and root crops, such as onioons, rhubarb, turnips, and potatoes.
Second, find the astrological zodiac sign that best represents your crop. And you must still be in the right season to get good results. (Each seed type has preferences of air and soil temperatures for planting, which should be taken under consideration first before the lunar cycles.)
There are two basic moon activities of the lunar month: waxing and waning. Waxing occurs in the time between the new and full moon and is said to be in its first and second quarters. Waning is the lunar activity between the full and new moon and is said to be in its third and fourth quarters.
The waxing moon phase is a good time for plant growth; the waning moon phase is a good time to control plant growth.
During a waxing moon, you can also: Perform any grafting chore, transplant and repot houseplants, pick fruits and vegetables meant for immediate consumption, water plants, sow seeds within large areas, and harvest grapes.
The waning moon is associated with harvesting; during this time, you can: plant trees and saplings, plant strawberries, start a compost heap, spread and turn compost and organic fertilizer, kill weeds and thin out plants, mow your lawn and cut spring grass.
Here are three adages, or “old familar sayings”, if you will, about moon planting: Plant potatoes during the “dark of the moon”. Plant your seeds within 48 hours before a full moon. NO planting on a New or Full Moon day.