Carl Sandburg once said, “The moon is friend for the lonesome to talk to.” But do you consider when that friend, the moon is full or new? Keeping in contact with that acquaintance may be important when it comes time to consider whether to prune, plant, fertilize, you name it. The moon and its phases influence more than our high tides. But can it weigh into the success of our gardens?
Some say, (old school gardeners) to prune any woody plant material on the descending moon (the phase between the full moon and the new moon.) It’s a given that the moon has an effect on water; i.e., the tides in the ocean. So let’s look at the basis of this pruning theory and the moon’s phases. When you prune during the descending moon, the plant material’s flow rate of moisture (sap flow) is at its lowest. The plant can cauterize these pruning wounds much quicker when water/moisture in the plant is at its lowest flow rate (or cycle). It weeps less; less moisture is lost, which is important to the overall health of the plant.
With gizmos, gadgets and apps that can track the whole gamut (high and low temps, humidity, forecast, storm warnings, and of course, keeping track of our friend, the moon) there’s absolutely no reason to overlook what we might be able to control. Let's not forget this long lost friend, the moon and all its wonderful phases, especially launching into a new planting season. It's full speed ahead.
The descending moon cycle is coming soon. And should you or your garden be lonesome, it’s time to sharpen the shears. Get ready to prune and croon to the moon.
Image of a winter moon by Ann Bilowz
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Happy Gardening. Annie