Gardening by the Moon, or more specifically, according to the phases of the Moon, is an idea that has been around for as long as humans have been growing their own food.
Here at the Farmers’ Almanac gardening by the Moon has always been our philosophy, and our print editions always include a Gardening by the Moon Calendar that uses phases and position of the Moon to predict the best times to perform specific gardening tasks.
Our readers have long sworn by this method of managing their gardens and crops.
But how could a chunk of rock more than 200,000 miles away affect how plants on Earth grow?
Those who swear by this ancient growing method say the water in both the ground and in plants are affected by the gravitational pull of the Sun and Moon, just like ocean tides are. Just as the tides are highest during the new and full phases of the Moon, this theory holds, seeds, too, will absorb the most water during these times.
Farmers’ Almanac Planting by the Moon Calendar
The dates listed below are consistent across all growing zones. Please consider your regional weather and climate before following our suggestions. We recommend that you talk with your local greenhouse or agricultural extension office to discover optimal windows of time within which you may use the dates below.
A glossary of our gardening terms is below the calendar. Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below.
1st – 5th
A barren period. Favorable for killing plant pests, cultivating, or taking a short vacation. Last day is a good harvest day.
6th – 7th
Plant flowers. Fine for sowing hay, fodder crops, and grains. Favorable days for planting root crops.
8th – 10th
Start seedbeds. Good days for transplanting. Plant carrots, beets, onions, turnips, Irish potatoes, and other root crops in the South.
11th – 12th
Do no planting. First day is a good harvest day.
13th – 14th
Plant sweet corn, beans, peppers, and other aboveground crops where climate is suitable.
15th – 16th
Barren days. Fine for clearing, plowing, fertilizing, and killing plant pests.
17th – 18th
Extra good for cucumbers, peas, cantaloupes, and other vine crops. Plant peppers, sweet corn, tomatoes, and other aboveground crops in southern Florida, California, and Texas.
19th – 20th
A barren period.
21st – 23rd
Fine for planting beans, peppers, cucumbers, melons, and other aboveground crops where climate is suitable.
24th – 25th
Seeds planted now tend to rot in ground.
26th – 27th
Start seedbeds and flower gardens. Good days for transplanting. Most favorable days for planting beets, onions, turnips, and other root crops where climate allows.
28th – 31st
A barren period. Favorable for killing plant pests, cultivating, or taking a short vacation.
1st – 1st
A barren time. Best for killing weeds, briars, poison ivy, and other plant pests. Clear wood lots and fencerows.
2nd – 4th
A favorable time for sowing grains, hay, and forage crops. Plant flowers. Favorable days for planting root crops.
Farmers’ Almanac Official Gardening Terms Cheat Sheet
Above ground crops: Crops that produce their yield above the soil (corn, peppers, squash, etc.)
Root Crops: Crops that produce their yield below the soil (potatoes, radishes, carrots, etc.)
Seedbeds: A bed of soil cultivated for planting seeds or seedlings before being transplanted.
Seedlings: Young plants—especially ones that grow from seeds (rather than from a cutting).
Transplanting: To uproot and replant a growing plant or an already well-established plant.
The terms “Favorable,” “Good,” and “Best” are all considered beneficial days for planting. “Favorable” and “Good” mean the same thing. However, “Best” is considered the optimal day for planting seeds.
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