The moon’s gravitational pull influences many things on our planet, but perhaps most notably the rise and fall of the ocean’s tides. It is less well known however, that the same gravitational pull affects groundwater levels. The concept of aligning gardening with the moon phase is as old as agriculture itself. It is believed that as the moon is waxing towards the full moon, groundwater rises up, providing good conditions for planting. No dig gardener Charles Dowding has conducted a number of small studies comparing the yield of crops planted under the waxing and waning moon. So far, he has shown that crop yield in a variety of veg has been higher when planting with the waxing moon.
As the moon wanes its gravitational pull weakens. Groundwater it thought to fall during this period making it a good time to harvest plants. The sap is drawn downwards so sap loss is minimised if cut during this time. This is thought to speed up healing in the plant but also means plants dry out more quickly once harvested.
We commonly harvest our herbs during the waning moon cycle. This cycle, we have harvested Goldenrod, Meadowsweet and well as some lovely flowering Marjoram for upcoming smudge sticks.