Moon Phases: How to take care of your garden according to them

ciclo de la luna

Translated by Nick R

Has someone ever recommended having a Moon haircut? Or have you been told that the Moon affects people’s moods? That’s because this satellite influences our daily lives in many aspects, including gardening.

Maybe you’re thinking that’s crazy, maybe you have no idea how is that possible, and for sure one day you got curious when you heard a relative talking about it.

For this reason, in this blog, we will tell you how the moon influences plants and we will teach you when and what to plant according to the lunar phases. This way you can implement this antique tradition in your garden and check its effects for yourself.

Myth or reality?

For many years, gardeners and farmers have taken lunar phases as a reference to perform the growing tasks. That said, although science has not proven that planting according to the Moon works, anecdotal evidence shows us that it does.

It cannot be denied that the lunar phases affect all kinds of elements found on the earth’s surface, such as the ocean and even the earth, so it would make sense for the moon phases to also affect the water and the earth of a plant.

That is why, if in certain positions of the Moon, the water of the oceans rises, descends and remains stable. this force also affects the plants’ sap. Which causes this substance to rise to the stem and leaves or fall to the roots.

Therefore, science does tell us that both the Moon and the Sun attract the Earth, but since the Moon is much closer, it has a greater positive effect. This is how expert gardeners ensure that the light of the Moon also has a role in the plants’ processes, from seed germination to photosynthesis.

Moon benefits on plants

Below, we will mention aspects in which the moon contributes to plants and gardening, as exposed by Jairo Restrepo in his book “The Moon: the night sun in the tropics and its influence on agriculture”. Here, he compiles his experience and many farmers’ anecdotes, who began to take care of their crops according to the lunar phases.

Influence on sap

Sap is a liquid that runs through plants and nourishes their cells. In other words, the sap is in plants what blood is in humans.

As we have already mentioned, the moon has a strong attraction force over liquids, then depending on the phase in which it is, it causes sap to go up or down through the plant. This helps us to know when to plant certain types of flowers or fruits and when it is best to harvest them.

Influence of lunar luminosity

Although it is true that the Moon does not have its own light, the passage of sunlight through the Moon exerts a strong influence on the germination of the seeds so that they sprout strong and healthy.

It is also said that lunar luminosity influences plant photosynthesis, especially when the Moon is in its phase of greater intensity and gravitational attraction. We’ll tell you how to identify it later!

It favors the production of fruits

Due to the Enormous moon’s influence on plants, growing and harvesting according to the lunar phases give us great benefits.

For example, it allows us to know what is the recommended time to sow the plants so later they produce good food; and grow strong and healthy. We will also know when is the right time to harvest juicier fruits and vegetables.

It tells you when to do gardening tasks

That’s right, depending on the lunar phase and its influence on the sap, you will know when it is best to prune, transplant and fertilize.

Therefore, when the sap is at the top of the plant do not make large prunes as many plants can weaken or die if they are not well nourished.

Likewise, when the sap is at the bottom, it will be the perfect time to fertilize and transplant.

Which are the Moon Phases? How they affect your crops

To begin with, the moon takes approximately 29 and a half days to complete a full orbit around the Earth. During this time, the natural satellite goes through several phases, usually 8 days each, generating changes in its appearance according to its cycle stage.

New moon

This is the first phase of the lunar cycle. In this particular period, the moon stands between the Earth and the Sun, making it invisible from earth. However, thanks to this alignment, the gravitational attraction of the Moon increases.

Remember that, according to the laws of physics, the closer two objects are, the greater the attraction force on each other is. This attraction of the Moon on Earth influences the oceans on a large scale, so when the gravitational attraction increases, tides are created.

That said, as mentioned above, this phenomenon also affects the sap inside the plants, making it ascend to the leaves or descend to the roots.

What to do during this phase?

During the new moon, the sap descends and concentrates all in the roots. Then it is the ideal time to harvest all the food that grows underground, so they are juicier and tastier.

At this moment, we recommend weeding and getting rid of undesirable pests. For that same reason, it will be the ideal time to feed underground plants and the ones with deeper roots.

So, you can perform all the mentioned tasks according to your garden needs and in the order you prefer. What matters is that this should be done at the new moon phase so that you see additional benefits.

First Quarter moon

Also known as the crescent, the moon has already traveled a quarter of its orbit. During this period, we can see in the northern hemisphere, a part of the Moon illuminated in an inverted C-shape, until it can be illuminated up to half. Here, the intensity of the moonlight begins to increase with the alignment of the moon and the sun moving further away.

What to do during this phase?

After the new Moon, the sap begins to rise gradually towards the stem of the plant.

This is the perfect time to sow plants whose leaves are edible or those fruitful out of the ground. This is because they grow rapidly and more vigorously as the full moon approaches.

We suggest cultivating:

  • Lettuce
  • Cabbage
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Aromatic and medicinal herbs

One of our recommendations is to perform brief pruning during this phase. In this way, we encourage the plants to grow faster and healthier.

Full moon

At this point, the Sun fully illuminates the face of the nearest Moon visible from Earth, reflecting a bright circle in the sky. That is why the full moon is 12 times brighter during this phase than in its first. However, its light decreases as its gravitational attraction increases.

What to do during this phase?

This is the period when the sap gathers most intensively in the foliage. Here this substance is already found throughout the upper part of the plant, in its branches, leaves, fruits and flowers. Thanks to this, it will be the ideal time to harvest, so the fruits will be much juicier. Remember to do so as soon as they are ready for immediate consumption.

Here we suggest avoiding radical pruning. Since sap is present in the foliage, pruning the plant can cause it to lose its vital nutrients or leave it more vulnerable to diseases.

It is also the optimal time to fertilize the plants that grow above the ground or with superficial roots so together with the sap that is on top, they will have greater strength. it is also the perfect occasion in case you need to perform grafts.

Waning moon or last quarter

It’s exactly the same as the fourth crescent but in the opposite direction. That is, in the northern hemisphere you can initially observe the shape of a C, and then, with the passage of days, the entire left half of the Moon will be illuminated. During this phase, both the intensity of the Moon’s light and the lunar gravity begins to decrease.

What to do during this phase?

At this point, the sap begins to descend gradually towards the roots.

Here we sow all that was not planted on the crescent moon, that is, flowers and fruits. Especially, those plants with food that grow underground and that are going to be most benefited by the sap at this time.

We recommend you to sow:

  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Ginger

Also, we suggest transplanting during this period, whether you have a new seedling or a plant that needs relocation. That is thanks to the sap that begins to go down, it strengthens the roots and thus allows the plant to adapt better.

Gardening activities according to the moon phase

Finally, to synthesize the information and make it easier to remember, we want to share this chart with you, it has the activities that you can perform according to the moon phase.

Tasks according to the moon phase


We hope this information may help you to start planting using the Moon’s guidance. This way you will know exactly when you should perform certain activities and what the benefits will be.

You’ll see that applying the lunar cycle in gardening is very simple and you’ll have no disadvantages in trying it. Give it a try! There is nothing to lose and you might be pleasantly surprised.