Vegetable Gardening by Moon Phase

Updated February 21, 2017

Moon gardening involves planting, pruning, harvesting and cultivating according to the moon phases and whether or not the moon is waxing or waning. Since vegetable annuals require more frequent planting and care, the importance of moon timing comes up more often than for perennial gardeners.


The Roman historian Pliny made several suggestions for vegetable gardening by the moon, including broadly suggesting that all pruning and cutting be done when the moon is waning. Gardening by the moon is something done in many cultures historically, and is still practised in successful gardens today.

Scientific Study

Few studies have been done to test the veracity of lunar gardening. This due in large part to the fact that such experiments would need to be performed over multiple years, since weather, time of year and other external factors immediately affect plant growth. The few studies that have been done have questionable methods, limited time frame, inconclusive results or conflicting results.

Modern Use

John Harris, renowned garden master of one of the widely admired Tresillian gardens of Cornwall, not only still uses moon gardening for flowers and vegetables, but has recently published "R. J. Harris's Moon Gardening." There are also many books, magazines and websites produced in the last 20 years in many countries giving advice to vegetable gardeners on how to garden by the moon.

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About the Author

Samantha Belyeu has been writing professionally since 2003. She began as a writer and publisher for the Natural Toxins Research Center and has spent her time since as a landscape designer and part-time writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Texas A&M University in Kingsville.