Growing with the moon
The red curry squash have gotten the kisel preparation. The pictures have been taken one week apart, and the second picture clearly shows how big the plants have become. Kesel supports the photosynthesis and stimulates the plants’ growth and maturation.
Photo: Erik Frydenlund
Originally written by Nanna Stærmose
Edited by Louise Curly
Following the phases of the moon and incorporating these into when you sow, transplant and harvest your crops is a fundamental part of biodynamic growing, but you don’t need to follow all the biodynamic principles to give moon growing a try.
The principle works on the idea that the moon has a profound influence on all water on our planet: on the tides, on the sap in trees and the availability of water in the soil. The different stages of the moon each have their own name: the dark moon, waxing, quarter-moon, half-moon, gibbous, crescent, light and waning. A lunar growing calendar (you can find them online) divides crops into four categories: leaf crops e.g. salads, root crops e.g. potatoes, fruit and flowers. Sowing is defined as the day you put the seed in the ground. For example, if a particular day is marked as a root day, you should sow crops such as carrots and parsnips.
Each month has a short or long transplanting period, which is a period that creates favourable conditions for transplanting, for example moving seedlings to a permanent bed in the garden. The transplanting time is affected by the moon's orbit and is always during periods when the moon is descending, and it’s only when we put something in the earth that the moon affects the yield. Proponents of lunar growing and biodynamics believe they’re working in harmony with nature.
For more information read John Harris’s book Moon Gardening. John is the head gardener at the Tresillian Estate in Cornwall where he gardens using the moon. The beauty and health company Weleda also run biodynamic growing courses at their garden in Derbyshire.
About Erik Frydenlund
Biodynamic advisor. Educated biodynamic farmer and gardener at Emerson college in the UK and Agricultural technologist in Denmark. He has worked with biodynamic agriculture in the UK, the USA, South Africa and Israel. He is on the board of the Association for Biodynamic Agriculture in Denmark.
Om Nanna Stærmose
Nanna is the Danish writer of many of the articles in the Greenhouse Forum.
Nanna visits happy greenhouse owners and tells their stories about basic cultivation, but also those stories that are more oblique.