Herby Gardens


Gardening by the Moon Cheat Sheet

Read time: 3 minutes


Gardening by the Moon is a farming practice that uses the different moon phases as a guide for planting, harvesting, and other garden tasks. The Moon’s gravitational pull affects the moisture content in the soil, helping to promote seed germination or encourage deep root growth. Use this gardening by the moon cheat sheet to help schedule your monthly garden tasks.


Moon Phase: Moon phases are the different ways the moon appears to us based on the amount of sun light it is reflecting at that time. There are eight different phases: dark/new, waxing crescent, first quarter, waxing gibbous, full, waning gibbous, last quarter, and waning crescent.

New Moon: This is the beginning of of the new moon cycle. The light of the moon is growing (waxing). During this time, the lunar gravity pulls water up, helping seeds and seedlings have access to more water at the surface.

Waxing Crescent: The moon appears as a thin crescent, and the light continues to grow.

First Quarter: The moon appears as a half moon.

Waxing Gibbous: The moon light is covering more than half of the moon and continues to grow towards the full moon.

Full Moon: This occurs when the moon is completely illuminated.

Waning Gibbous: During the waning phase, the moon light decreases. Lunar gravity pulls water down into the soil helping roots to grow deeper.

Last Quarter: The moon appears as a half moon, and the light continues to decrease.

Waning Crescent: The moon appears as a thin crescent.

Above ground crops: These are plants that have parts harvested above the ground (tomatoes, lettuce, oats, mints, cucumbers, etc.).

Root Crops: The plant parts that exist below the surface, like roots and tubers (carrots, ginger, potatoes, burdock root, beets, etc.).

Garden bed: The area of soil cultivated for planting seeds or transplanting seedlings.

Seedlings: Young plants grown from seeds.

Transplanting: The action of uprooting and replanting a plant.

Calendar for gardening by the moon

In early February, I mark down all the moon phases for the growing season in a calendar. I use these dates as a guide for starting seeds, transplanting, and harvesting.

Waxing Crescent

New Moon - First Quarter

Best time to sow or transplant leafy herbs and vegetables. Examples:

  • Arugula
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Mints

First Quarter

First Quarter - Full Moon

Best time to sow or transplant fruits and foods with external seeds. Examples:

  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Eggplants
  • Strawberries
  • Broccoil
  • Cauliflower
  • Grains

Waning Gibbous

Full Moon - Last Quarter

Best time to plant root crops and fruit trees. Examples:

  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Potatoes
  • Turnips
  • Apple trees
  • Elderberry
  • Burdock

Last Quarter

Last Quarter - New Moon

During this time it is best to avoid planting, sowing, and transplanting. Instead, work on garden chores like fertilizing, adding soil amendments, weeding, and mulching.

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Hello and welcome! My name is Kate and I am an herbalist and backyard farmer. If you are a beginner herbalist or just looking for information on plants, I write about gardening, natural remedies, and herbalism.




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