Gardening By the Moon and Zodiac

Astrological Planting 101

By   |     |  Farm & Garden

Agarden often flourishes in its first year. Later, after pests discover it and soil nutrients become depleted, the same garden may decline despite being cared for just as diligently. This can be frustrating for gardeners, to say the least. Of course, following standard good gardening practices is all-important in keeping a garden healthy. In addition, timing gardening activities to the moon’s phases and its position in the zodiac can give a garden a significant boost.

Moon Phase 1: Leafy Crops and Ornamentals

When the moon is waxing from new to half is the best time to plant leafy crops like lettuce, spinach, and cabbage, which thrive under this influence. It’s also wonderful for ornamentals with showy leaves like coleus, dusty miller, and purple basil.

Moon Phase 2: Flowering and Fruiting Annuals

When the moon is waxing from half to full is the time to plant flowering and fruiting annuals. Vegetable crops like beans, corn, tomatoes and squash produce well when planted in this phase. Flowering plants started now will bloom more abundantly.

Moon Phase 3: Root Crops and Perennials

When the moon is waning from full to half, plant root crops, perennials, trees, and shrubs. Onions, potatoes, beets, and other root vegetables grow well when started during this phase. Hardy perennials, trees, and shrubs planted now develop extra strength in their root systems for overwintering and supporting a vigorous flush of growth in spring.

Moon Phase 4: Weeding

The phase when the moon is waning from half to new is considered barren. Anything planted now may fail to thrive. This is the best time, though, to discourage pests by scattering slug bait or using organic sprays like neem oil. It’s also fantastic for weeding. Many upstate gardens have heavy clay soil that makes it a struggle to dig out weeds with deep tap roots, like dandelions. But during the moon’s last phase, weeds release from the soil more easily, especially if the moon is also in a barren zodiac sign.

Trumpet vine grows over a white arbor

Timing gardening activities to the moon’s phases and its position in the zodiac can give a garden a significant boost.

Fruitful or Barren?

Every zodiac sign is classified as either fruitful or barren. The most barren signs are the fire signs: Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius. The air signs—Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius—are also considered barren. Planting when the moon is in a barren sign and in its last phase is risky. The plant could die a rapid death or limp along for a while before fading away. It can be a delight, though, to discover how much easier weeding can be when the moon is in a fire sign and its last phase.

The most fruitful signs are the water signs, Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. The earth signs, Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn, are also considered fruitful. These six signs are the best for planting, especially during the appropriate phase of the moon. Scorpio tends to have a bad reputation, associated with death and loss, but it also symbolizes rebirth and can be a wonderful sign for planting. In fact, perennials, trees, and shrubs planted when the moon is in Scorpio and its third phase gain extra vigor to survive winter and come back strong in spring.

Read the Signs

Several other signs have qualities of special interest to gardeners. Virgo is great for planting vining ornamentals. Clematis, trumpet vine, wisteria, and other flowering vines planted when the moon is in this sign grow well and bloom abundantly, although vining vegetables like beans and squash may produce less fruit. Virgo is associated with digestion; plants started now make maximum use of available nutrients to grow long, sturdy vines, but fruiting can get short-changed.

Libra symbolizes balance, beauty, and love. It’s fabulous for growing flowers and ornamentals. The rose, the flower most often given to one’s beloved, can produce outstanding blooms if planted in good soil when the moon is in Libra and its third phase and if well cared for with enough sun, water, and organic fertilizer.

Sagittarius is generally considered barren but can work well for herbs and vegetables in the onion family. These plants have flavors that are strong and sharp, like the arrow loosed by Sagittarius the archer. Some herbs, like thyme, oregano, and rosemary, don’t need as much water as other plants, and the drier growing conditions Sagittarius fosters can concentrate their flavors.

Gardening by the moon, the oldest form of astrology, is simpler to learn than the complex astrology interpreting the sun and seven planets. Many calendars show the moon’s phases. Farmers’ almanacs and astrological calendars show when the moon enters and leaves each sign of the zodiac. With these basic guides, gardening with astrology can help create a beautiful, healthy, and productive garden.

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