Lunar Planting 101 by Jack Kouwenhoven

Updated: Jan 31

Just follow the moon symbols depicting the moon phases on your calendar and fill in the “O”s on the chart for the new moon 1st and last quarter phase. Most good calendars show these symbols.

  • First quarter (waxing)(new moon) Plant annuals that produce above ground, leafy parts and produce their seeds outside of themselves, such as lettuce, spinach & cabbage

  • Second quarter (waxing) Plant above ground annuals that produce their seeds inside. Including beans, squash, peas, peppers and tomatoes.

  • Third quarter (waning) Plant annual bulbs and root crops, such as onions, potatoes, beets and carrots as well as all biennials and perennials

  • Fourth quarter (waning) Also called the dark side of the moon. This is not a good time to plant. Instead: Cultivate, weed, and turn compost, prune and cut grass.

Example: For December 2017 to September 2018 these are the symbols: New moon First quarter. Full moon. Last quarter Leafy greens Seeds inside Roots/onions Cultivate/pruning Light side (Waxing) Dark side (Waning) O Dec 18 O Dec 26 O Jan. 1 O Jan. 8 O Jan. 16 O Jan 24 O Jan 31 O Feb.7 O Feb.15 O Feb 23 O Mar 31 O April 8 O April 15 O April 22 O April 29 O May 7 O May 15 O May 21 O May 29 O June 6 O June 13 O June 20 O June28 O July 6 O July 12 O July 19 O July 27 O Aug 4 O Aug 11 O Aug 18 O Aug 26 O Sept 2

The rest is up to you. If you are planning winter crops just follow the calendar. The best period for most leafy vegetables and annuals would be February 15 to February 23 or April 15 to April 22. Normally I sow my peppers and tomatoes around the last week of March, (indoors, under lights). This year I’ll sow them the week of April 22 to April 29, indoors, under lights. Any earlier I find them too large to keep them under lights. It takes 21 days to transplant time. And I hold them until about June first. Tomatoes and onions don’t do well being direct sown outside. A good time to sow beets, carrots, plant onion seedlings or sets and early potatoes would be March 31 to April 8. The exception being sweet Spanish onions, like Kelsae should be started indoors under lights Jan. 16 to 24th. Remember the soil should be warm when sowing anything, except broad beans or peas, onion sets, potatoes et al, outside. This is only a guide, if you don’t like the dates it’s o.k. I’ve tried it and it works for me!

Article by: Jack Kouwenhoven Moon Phases (explained with Oreos) image by:

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