Subscribe Now to the Digital Almanac Monthly Magazine!
Dear Terry: As we understandDear Terry: As we understand it, basic lunar gardening deals just with two factors (a Moon phase’s moonlight and its gravitational pull on soil moisture) and their effect on plants. According to this method, a person plants aboveground crops between the new and full Moon phases (light of the Moon, or waxing). It’s best to plant belowground crops the day after full to day before new (dark of the Moon, or waning). Some gardeners refine this basic rule in several ways. For example: --You can subdivide tasks by quarter phases (new, first, full, last). Because light and gravitational pull is different between new and first quarter, and full and last quarter, some gardeners find that certain plants respond best, or gardening task results are best, when done during a certain quarter (one of the four phases), rather than just by the light or dark of the Moon, which each span two Moon phases. --You can associate the Moon’s phases with the Moon’s astrological place. Gardeners who use astrology find that certain gardening tasks results are better, or specific plants respond better, when performed/planted according to when the Moon is in a certain astrological sign as well as according to its phase. For example, certain astrological signs are barren and dry, others are wet and fertile, and even more are in between. This influences the types of tasks that should be done when the Moon is in a particular sign. It’s a personal choice as to which method you’d like to use. As to our Best Planting Dates charts for seeds or transplants, these work with a region’s frost dates to determine recommended planting times for certain crops. The “Moon Favorable” column takes those recommended times and further refines them to match those dates that are also good for basic lunar gardening (planting by the light or dark of the Moon). It does not incorporate the Moon’s astrological place. Hope this helps!

2015 Special Edition Garden GuideCooking Fresh with The Old Farmer's AlmanacThe Almanac Monthly Digital MagazineWhat the heck is a Garden Hod?