Lunar Gardening and its Different Traditions

Moonrise and Moonset

Nick Kollerstrom states that Moonrise and Moonset are the best times to plant, and he confirms the rule with some research data.

This is where the Lunar Gardening Calendar will be most valuable for you as it will calculate and display the exact times of these events in a specific location specified by you, with any corrections (like Daylight Saving Time) already taken into account.

This is how Moonrise and Moonset are shown in the Lunar Gardening Calendar:

Moonrise and Moonset in the Lunar Gardening Calendar

Here the Lunar Gardening Calendar shows that the Moonrise takes place at 7:55, and then the Moonset takes place at 19:23.

Apogee and Perigee

The Apogee is the point of the Moon's orbit where she is the furthest from the Earth, while the Perigee is the point where the Moon is the closest to the Earth.

According to the European Tradition, one should avoid any work with soil or plants on the day of the Perigee as the Moon's influence is too strong at this time.

Maria Thun writes about the Apogee and the Perigee in her book Work on the Land and the Constellations:

When the Moon recedes from the Earth in the course of its monthly cycle, the effect on plant growth can in some ways be compared with that time of year when the Earth is furthest away from the Sun, i.e. midsummer; the tendency in the plant-world is then to run to seed, whereas the growth forces decrease. Thus the effect of the Moon's apogee on the seed plants can still be comparatively beneficial. For the sowing of leaf crops, however, this time is definitely unfavourable. Carrots sown during these days easily become woody. The only plant to react positively to being planted at apogee is the potato.

The Moon's perigee, which can be compared to midwinter when the Earth is nearer to the Sun, has a very different effect. If we prepare a seed bed on this day and sow our seeds, germination is poor. Most of these plants are somewhat inhibited in their growth and are also more subject to attacks from fungus diseases and pests. Apogee-days are mainly clear and bright, while those at perigee are mostly dull, heavy or rainy.

Here is how Apogee and Perigee look in the Lunar Gardening Calendar:

Apogee in the Lunar Gardening Calendar

Here is how the Lunar Gardening Calendar shows that the Moon is passing through her Apogee on this day at 9:02.

Perigee in the Lunar Gardening Calendar

And here is the Perigee, the Moon passes through it at 4:58.

The Lunar Nodes

The Lunar Nodes are the points of the Moon's orbit where she crosses the ecliptic (the path of the Sun aroundn the sky). These are considered as important in the European tradition as the days when the Moon passes one of her nodes are believed to be unfavourable for cultivating the soil, sowing and harvesting.

Maria Thun writes about this in Work on the Land and the Constellations:

...When sowings are made with only one of the planets or the Moon at the node, it is likely that future growth will be adversely affected. It appears that the effect which these intersections or nodes have would make it advisable to avoid these particular times when working with plants.

You can see from this passage that Maria Thun considers not only Lunar Nodes to be of importance but also the planetary nodes, when a planet crosses the ecliptic. However, planetary nodes transits are relatively rare, and currently they are not implemented in the Lunar Gardening Calendar.

This is how Lunar Nodes are shown in the Gardening Calendar:

North Node transit in the Lunar Gardening Calendar

Here is how the Lunar Gardening Calendar shows that the Moon is passing through her North Node on this day at 14:55.

South Node transit in the Lunar Gardening Calendar

This is the Moon's transit through her South Node at 1:14.

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