When you are starting to plant your seeds you most often take time to consider the sunlight or the grow lights for your plants. Sure, light is one of the most important factors to consider when you are starting to grow; after all, the light will give your plants the energy they need for photosynthesis. One thing you may not have considered before is the moon. Planting by the phases of the moon is one of the most overlooked aspects of growing. I know the idea of planting according to the phases of the moon seems like something from a witch's handbook, but there is scientific evidence to support it.
Everyone remembers Isaac Newton from grade school and how he established the laws of gravity; it also proves the tides of the ocean are affected by the gravitational pull of the moon. Even though the sun is larger, the moon is closer to the Earth, therefore the gravitational pull of the moon is stronger than the sun's pull.
The gravitational pull of the moon affects the water content of the soil. There is a higher moisture content during a new and full moon. Dr. Frank Brown of Northwestern University did research over a 10 year period and took precise records of his results. His findings were that the plants absorbed more water during the full moon. Even though he conducted his experiments inside a laboratory, without direct contact from the moon, his findings remained constant that the moon influenced his plants.
Planting by the moon phases is all about timing. Because we are able to anticipate the phases, we can plan ahead to maximize the connection between the solar system and biological cycles to get the best results from our cannabis plants.
The phase of the moon
The moon travels through the 12 Zodiac signs and stays about 2 ½ days in each sign. It forms an angular correspondence with the sun that is called a phase of the moon. When we talk about phase it means the angle between the earth, sun, and moon. The earth orbits the sun and the moon orbits the earth. The earth's orbit is what defines the ecliptic that is divided symbolically into the Zodiac.
This can all seem quite confusing but it is worth it to study and make sense of it. When the moon is becoming fuller or waxing, plants will develop leaves and aboveground systems. Crops like cannabis should ideally be planted during a waxing moon. During a waning moon is when plants grow root systems. According to experiments, seeds sown right before or around the full moon have a higher rate and speed of germination than those sown during the new moon due to seeds being able to absorb more water at the full moon. Studies have shown an increase of up to 45% in yield for crops that were sown in the corresponding phase and sign of the moon.
We can go beyond just planting according to the moon, we can also care for our plants according to the moon. Just like people, plants grow in spurts too and have cycles of rest and production. If you water your plants during a waxing moon they will absorb water better. Therefore this is a great time to water down nutrients to avoid nutrient burn. If your plant is suffering from a nutrient deficiency then this is a good time to give them a nutrient boost.
During a new moon is a good time to prune as it will be less stressful on your plant. If you are having a bug problem spraying your plants during a waning moon will be the most effective on pests all the while minimizing damage to your plants, like the absorption of smell during flowering.
You should follow the moon all the way to harvesting time. The goal after harvesting is to dry and cure your buds. You can even speed up this time by harvesting during a new moon when the water content of your plant will be at its lowest. The nutrient flush should take place 2 weeks before this during a waxing moon for maximal absorption.
Taking the time to look at a farmer's almanac and following it can positively influence your crop from start to finish. Both indoor and outdoor growers can benefit. You would still do the exact same thing as you normally would, except now you will know the perfect time to do it.