Lunar Gardening and its Different Traditions

Root, Leaf, Flower and Seed Signs

Another major difference is that according to the European system, the most important factor is in which sign (constellation) the Moon is in, not the phase of the Moon like in the American system. Phases are actually aren't that significant in the European tradition.

There are four groups of signs (constellations): Seed Signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius - the Fire signs of the Traditional Astrology), Flower Signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius - the Air signs of the Traditional Astrology), Leaf Signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces - the Water signs of the Traditional Astrology) and Root Signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn - the Earth signs of the Traditional Astrology).

As you might expect, according to the European Tradition, when the Moon is in one of the Seed Signs, the energy in the plant is mainly concentrated in the fruits and seeds, these parts develop more actively and so this time is most appropriate for cultivating those plants that are grown for their fruits and seeds (e.g. apples, tomatoes, beans, cereals).

The Flower Signs, when the Moon is in one of them, activate the growth of flowers. These days are recommended for cultivating those plants whose fruits are, from the botanical point of view, flowers, like artichokes or cauliflower. Of course, they are good for the real flowers too.

The Leaf Signs, when the Moon is in one of them, promote the growth of the leaf parts of plants. These periods of time are the best for cultivating plants like cabbage, salad or spinach.

The Root Signs, when the Moon is in one of them, mark the time when the bark and the underground parts of the plant develop well. This is an appropriate time for cultivating potatoes, carrots, onions and other similar plants.

Waxing Or Waning Moon

It seems that the authors of the lunar gardening guides that follow the European Tradition do not pay much attention to whether the Moon is waxing (increasing in light) or waning (decreasing in light). However, Michel Gros in the In Tune With The Moon book states the following about the waxing Moon:

Plants increase in vitality with moonlight and as the Full Moon approaches, their resistance to parasites and diseases increases. Fruits and vegetables harvested at this time store well and impart more vitality when eaten, while cut flowers last longer in a vase. Silage and mown hay are of better quality, compost is warmer and animals are less anxious when there are people around.

About the waning Moon, Michel writes the following:

As the moonlight decreases, so does the vigour of plants, although their specific energy is increased - colours, scents and tastes are more perceptible during this phase, and nutritional and medicinal properties are more pronounced. However, it is more difficult to store harvested crops in their natural state and this phase is more suitable for preserving foods, making jams and bottling wine. Insecticides and fungicides are more effective.

Although it somewhat discounts the Moon's phases, the European Tradition pays significant attention to a number of other factors, and below you will find the description of most of them.

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