Lunar Gardening

Ever pay attention to how the cycles of the mind work in time with the shifting of the seasons and the meanderings of the moon? Want to know more?


Moonlight by Thomas Cole, 1834, via Wikimedia Commons

In preparing to introduce you to a lovely Australian “moon gardener,” I realized that it was just about this time last year when I romanced you with a post about … Moonlight Gardening!

Lucky for you moon-lovin’ farmgirls out there, Anne Gibson (aka The Micro Gardener) puts a different spin on Mina Edison’s concept of moonlight gardening. Instead of focusing on luminous night-blooming flower gardens, Anne posts practical advice about veggie gardening in accordance with the lunar cycles.


Photo of Anne Gibson courtesy of

“That may sound a little strange if you’ve never heard of it before, but if you are already familiar with your climate zone and are planting in the right season, then you may want to maximize your gardening success by working with nature’s lunar cycles,” writes Anne in her Micro Gardener blog. “And by that, I don’t mean getting outdoors with a shovel in the middle of the night!”

Well, unless, of course, you want to …

Anne explains that the moon has four phases or quarters, each lasting about seven days, and what goes on in your garden is very much influenced by these phases.


Moon Phases by Orion 8 via Wikimedia Commons

“Just as the moon influences the rise and fall of the tides, it also has a gravitational effect on the moisture in plants, the soil and water table, which is magnified at different times of the month,” she says. “The tides are highest, for example, at the time of the new and full moon when lunar gravity pulls water up. At this same time, the moon also causes moisture to rise in the earth. This is an often unknown fact by many gardeners, yet knowing when this is can help you have greater success with seed germination. If you buy or plant seed, this can save you a lot of money over time.”

While we we’re all familiar with the fact that sunlight is a determining factor of plant growth, Ann explains that moonlight has a marvelously mysterious effect as well. “As the moonlight increases (new moon and second quarter), this stimulates leaf growth. After the full moon, the moonlight decreases, putting energy into the plant roots, and the above-ground leaf growth slows down. So, this becomes a favorable time to plant your root crops because of the active root growth.”


Photo by ExplicitImplicity via Wikimedia Commons

Fascinating, yes?

You can read more about Anne’s experiences with moon cycle gardening at, and if you’re tempted to try it for yourself, you might want to pick up a handy Moon Calendar from her site, too.


Image courtesy of


  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Absolutely fascinating! Lunar cycles and gardens make perfect sense when you hear what Anne has to say. Thanks for sharing this little botany science lesson today. I enjoy learning about how plants and our earth and moon all work together. Her moon calendar is really beautiful with all of the veggies and fruits in the background. It would be a nice thing to have even if you don’t have a huge garden or ag business.

  2. calle says:

    My grandmother’s always did this as does my sister.

  3. My garden mentor, Eva, swore by planting by the moon cycles. And in her 87 years she had the most marvelous and productive gardens. I have never seen such healthy and large and healthy plants. The local ” plain people”, ie Mennonites and Amish, also follow the planting by the moon. The locally published almanac, Baer’s has been giving all the moon and planet cycles since the 1800’s. The concept has been followed by generations of farmers since the Middle Ages.

  4. Karlyne says:

    Fascinating, yes!

  5. Kim Reeves says:

    My grandmother said the moon phases effected everything right down to her health!! We plant by the moon phases! I would love to have one of those moon calendars!!!!

  6. Hi MaryJane

    Thanks so much for helping get the word out about moon gardening. The more people that know how to work with nature’s rhythms the better! Appreciate the links back to my site and have returned the ‘link love’!

    If any of your readers have questions about gardening by the moon, I’m happy to answer or try to help. Warm regards, Anne

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  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    What a cool silo with a widow’s peak at the top! Do nesting birds become widows in the bird world? I wonder?

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thinking green … gardens today

This one is for my farm-hearted sisters who are still chilly, cabin-feverish, or (sigh) snowed in. While a gal can’t control the weather, she can dream green.


Portrait of a Woman by Stevens Alfred Reverie, 1880, via Wikimedia Commons

And who hasn’t already begun dreaming of spring?

So, in the spirit of the season soon-to-come, I’ve wandered about and gathered a garden-green gallery for you.

It’s true!

Come in and stay as long as you like, wandering these fragrantly blooming pathways that are painted in sunlight so brilliant you can almost feel it upon your skin …



Woman in Garden by Philip Leslie Hale, 1895, via Wikimedia Commons

I hope you brought your parasol.


Woman in the Garden at Sainte-Adresse, 1867, by Claude Monet via Wikimedia Commons

Can’t you just smell the green grass brushing past your skirts?


Femme dans un Jardin by Vincent Van Gogh, 1887, via Wikimedia Commons

Do stop and smell the flowers.


Woman in a Garden by John Leslie Breck, 1890, via Wikimedia Commons

Or maybe, just sit a spell …


Woman in the Garden by Torsten Wasastjerna, 1893, via Wikimedia Commons

until the evening shadows begin to fall.


Delicious Solitude by Frank Bramley, 1909, via Wikimedia Commons


  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    I love, love impressionistic art: the hues, the colors, the softness. We are going to the Netherlands the end of April, which was the home of Vincent Van Gogh and we are looking forward to seeing some of the larger painting collections when we are there. I am not familiar with the one shown here, but it is wonderful in the brightness of green and pop of red.

    Top O’ the Mornin’ to ya, Mary Jane!

  2. Oh My! How apropos! Just had 3+” of snow today here in Amishland in PA, and it was daunting to look at. Especially after having rejoiced Sunday that nearly all the snow had melted here. So, MaryJane, your lovely gallery of green gardens was most welcome. Thanks for bringing a breath of much needed spring air.
    Winnie, Im so envious. Please be sure to see the Rijks museum in Amsterdam and see all of the Rembrandts too. To walk into the room with the ” Night Watch” will stay with you your entire life!
    Think Spring everyone, and be sure to celebrate this very green day of St. Patrick.

  3. Karlyne says:

    It’s obvious from the titles of these gorgeous pix that Women Belong in the Garden!

    Sorry about your snows; I just saw Dorothy and Toto go by the window, but the sky is blue! What’s a little 800mph gust?!?

  4. Debbie says:

    Oh my heavens! Lovely images and daydreams of spring! Thank you MJ! We had some flurries this am too!
    This winter just doesn’t want to let go does it?

  5. Bobbie calgaro says:

    Thank you for that lovely touch of spring. Even here in the South, spring refuses to show herself except for a day here and there. Today more freezing rain after 70 degree weather Saturday. Spring is very coy this year but we hope she comes to stay soon for us all. It has been a rough winter.

  6. Terry Steinmetz says:

    Hello! I just read that we had another day below zero to start. I am enjoying the sunshine & heat on oue vacation! I do miss the snow but not the cold temps!

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  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Is it mud season on the way to the barn now?

  2. What kind of bird is this? A falcon, hawk, goshawk or what? Just love birds of prey. We have many here on my mountain farmette. Lots of woods and meadow with tons of voles, mice, etc for them to catch.

    • MaryJane says:

      Might be a red-tail hawk. I’ll need to check the color version of this.

      • A red tailed hawk was my first guess as they are less shy of civilization. I had the rather large ( wingspan up to 5 ft+ ) Cooper’s hawks at my last place. These usually shy and quite wild birds came into town to prey on birdfeeders . They are very handsome and very smart like all birds of prey. I know , it’s kinda sad but they are opportunists. Mother Nature takes care of all her children.

        • MaryJane says:

          And I have some fun little flash-from-the-past dancing bumblebees, dearest dear Lisa! And, and, AND an awesome bumblebee eraser, chicken hankie, and wrapping paper from Nepal, and news that I was unaware of. Love the school chicken project and feeding the honeybees but bumblebees getting sick too!!!??? I didn’t know that bumbles are hurting even more than honeybees and their numbers are also in significant decline. Now what?

          • SO, glad you liked the dancing bees! Weren’t they honey bees, they were sposed to be (bee?) . When I was a kid I got so adept at thumb toys like those bees that I could really make them dance, like the jitterbug ( get it?) and the “black bottom rag”, the “bumblebee rumba” and so forth. Thought some fun would bring cheer to your ” mud season”. Glad the articles, all from our local paper ” Lancaster Farming”, were of interest.
            And couldn’t resist sending you that chicken/rooster hanky. Happy Spring MaryJane ! We will all have to look into the bumblebee problems more.

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  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    OK, I am clueless. Some sort of antique grain harvester?

  2. I think it is a hay bailer, we still have them working here in Amish country in Lancaster County PA. they are pulled by horses or mules. Still work great ( and are much less rusty needless to say)

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  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Oh gosh, this is adorable!!

  2. Debbie Fischer says:

    A work of art! You could frame pictures of sweet Roas Etta and they would sell like crazy in your store. The close ups are the best I think. If I were there I would squeeze her to pices she is jus so darn cute! Well, I would try anyway:-)

  3. CJ Armstrong says:

    Awwwww . . . what a SWEET BABY!!!

  4. Karlyne says:

    Oh, that face!!!

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Wicked in Pink

My newest Heritage Jersey calf, Rose Etta, is coolly unconcerned, calm, and ALL ABOUT nonchalant when approaching my chickens, but …


… as soon as she’s within striking distance, she switches into high gear, breakneck speed. “AaaaRCK, run for your life!!!!” And then, three minutes later, all is calm again. The chickens seem to love the action and entertainment of it all because they have to travel quite a distance to be in my cows’ pasture this time of year. Waddle, waddle, cluck, cluck, cluck, there’s never anything exciting to do around here. Just a lot of laying ’round. All lay and little excitement.


Momma Maizy watches patiently, “Kids these days.”



  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Hahahahaha!! This is just hilarious. Nothing like a barnyard game of catch me if you can!

  2. Pretty in pink! Little Rose Etta is too adorable in her little cow-cape outfit. That is so smart to keep her warm. Around here the farmers take the calves away and put them in little igloos to keep them warm, they really look like igloos ,not kidding. But so cruel for the babies and their doting mothers. So much better to let the calf run around and play and be near her mother. Is she nursing from Maizy, or are you bottle feeding her , so mom can go back to giving milk by milking machine?

    • MaryJane says:

      All my babies nurse for anywhere from 4 to 7 months, sometimes a tad longer if it seems like they need it. I milk their mothers every morning around 10 and get plenty of milk without having to separate them at all during the day. I’m getting 2 to 3 gallons from momma Maizy every morning and the rest she produces goes to Rose Etta during the rest of the day and the night. It’s a great system I think because everyone is happy. I couldn’t bear to separate babies from their mothers. Their relationships are so substantial and involved and there is a tremendous amount of physically important, as well as therapeutic, licking and tender loving that takes place throughout the day.

      • Oh MaryJane, I didn’t doubt for a second that you would be anything but kind and loving towards your calves! Yes, mama cows are the very best mothers and spend the entire day licking and nuzzling their babies. So glad Maizy can spend that very important first few months to nearly a year, totally with her darling baby Rose Etta. Talk about contented cows.

      • Karlyne says:

        Isn’t it funny that such common sense can be so uncommon? I know, I know, Mark Twain said it first, but still, he’s right!

  3. Debbie Fischer says:

    What a sweetie and look and look at her trying to herd those chickens. Mary Jane y’all take the best pictures at the farm and I just love the action shots.
    Thanks so much.

  4. Debbie Fischer says:

    Love sweet Maize, watching Rose Etta as any good mother should. With her pink coat Mama will be able to keep track of her.

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  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Such beautiful golden girls! One could imagine that they are getting ready to go inside that door after a bit of feasting in the yard!

  2. Karlyne says:

    One of my daughter’s chickens went to roost last night – on the BBQ! Really funny picture1

  3. melissa says:

    I love this photo.

  4. karen england says:

    MaryJane, this made me smile! As always, Thank you!

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