Waiting for the Full Moon to Plant

Egyptian papyrus of the Horoscope superimposed on the full moon

Egyptian papyrus of the Horoscope superimposed on the full moon

It may sound like an “Old Farmer’s Tale” but there are solid science based reasons to plant around the time of the full moon.  The moon’s gravitational pull on the earth, strongest during the time of a full moon, will bring water in the soil closer to the surface.  This improves seed germination and makes more moisture available for newly transplanted seedlings.  If you have seeds to plant, check the germination dates, as you may want to put them in a few days earlier than the full moon.  Seeds that take a long time to germinate will benefit from the extra moisture most when they germinate and the tiny rootlet emerges.

It is also important to know the date of your average last frost.  The USDA released new zone hardiness maps  this past January after re-evaluating statistical information on average dates for first and last frost throughout the country.  These new maps indicate that our garden has been moved from Zone 6a to the warmer zone 7a.   Whether or not this confirms global warming, to me it means I can put my tender tomatoes, eggplants and peppers in just a little earlier than I usually do.  Checking for your hardiness zone is easier than ever now as the new maps are computer ready with a place to just type in your zip code to pull up your hardiness zone and the dates of earliest and latest average frost.  Be sure to enlarge the map for your area to check the computer as I have found it to be wrong occasionally.  Remember that this is an average and that you should also check the long-range forecast before risking your precious seedlings.

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