Planting using moon phases

Does it affect anything

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Planting using moon phases

#1  Postby Adco » Oct 29, 2016 9:57 am

(I put this thread in the pseudoscience section because I'm not convinced that it belongs anywhere else. If I'm wrong, please move it)

So, we bought some seedlings recently. Basil, parsley, coriander and tomatoes. We put them in wooden planting boxes with a base of potting soil and a filler of herb soil as per the nurseries instructions. After two weeks the basil has already flowered, the tomatoes have small fruits on and the parsley is shriveling. The coriander seems be growing but not thriving.

This morning we went back to the nursery to ask someone for advice. The resident horticulturist asked us did we plant the seedlings taking the phase of the moon into account. I told him that I had never heard of such a thing to which said that the moon's phase is important when planting. I asked him that if that is true, why doesn't the nursery have big signs up informing customers about the pitfalls of planting at the incorrect time.

I did a Google search and found plenty of sites promoting this claim. The main reasoning is to do with gravity affecting the water levels. When the moon is in a certain phase, the gravity affect makes the water either stay near the surface or dissapate away. Much like the tides that we can see at the beach.

The problem I have is that there are two high and low tides per day. The phase of the moon doesn't affect the number of tides else there would only be two tides every 28 day cycle.

1) is there more to this than meets the mind?
2) surely the gravity affect on the water retention is negligible? And,
3) if gravity does affect the water retention, it must do it about 56 times in a lunar cycle.
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Re: Planting using moon phases

#2  Postby newolder » Oct 29, 2016 10:09 am

*Surface tension is unaffected by changes in local gravity from +1g to -1g. The effect of the Moon on interstitial water in soil is much smaller than the non-effect of inverting the plant-pot.

*Effect of gravity on surface tension.

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Last edited by newolder on Oct 29, 2016 10:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Planting using moon phases

#3  Postby Fenrir » Oct 29, 2016 10:17 am

Do phases of the moon have anything to do with distance from earth?

Someone must know.
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Re: Planting using moon phases

#4  Postby Adco » Oct 29, 2016 10:29 am

Fenrir wrote:Do phases of the moon have anything to do with distance from earth?

Someone must know.

As far as I know, phases are a result of the position of the moon to the sun from an earth perspective. When the earth is between the sun and the moon, there is a full moon. When the moon is between the sun and earth, it is a new moon and all the other phases are in between those two positions.

The distances between the moon and earth vary slightly over the cycles because the orbit isn't a perfect circle around the earth but not enough to make a noticeable difference.
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Re: Planting using moon phases

#5  Postby Weaver » Oct 29, 2016 12:16 pm

Fenrir wrote:Do phases of the moon have anything to do with distance from earth?

Someone must know.

No, they do not have any relationship with orbital distance. Moon phase is a purely angular relationship between the Sun and the Moon as observed from Earth. Orbital distance variations occur irrespective of moon phases.
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Re: Planting using moon phases

#6  Postby Fenrir » Oct 29, 2016 9:56 pm

Weaver wrote:
Fenrir wrote:Do phases of the moon have anything to do with distance from earth?

Someone must know.

No, they do not have any relationship with orbital distance. Moon phase is a purely angular relationship between the Sun and the Moon as observed from Earth. Orbital distance variations occur irrespective of moon phases.

Yep, that's what i was getting at. If moon phase is independent of moon distance then moon phase is independent of moon induced gravity and moon phase can't reflect soil moisture.
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Re: Planting using moon phases

#7  Postby ScholasticSpastic » Oct 30, 2016 12:49 am

While it is probably untrue that lunar phases are important to consider while planting, there is this:

We all know the moon is primarily responsible for the rising and falling of ocean tides. In most places, but not everywhere, there are two high tides and two low tides a day. For any particular spot on Earth’s surface, the height of the tides and their fluctuation in time depends not only on the moon, but also on the sun – and also on the shape of the specific beach, the larger coastline, the angle of the seabed leading up to land, and the prevailing ocean currents and winds.

The difference in height between high and low waters varies as the moon waxes and wanes from new to full and back to new again. The larger tides are called spring tides (nothing to do with season of spring). The smaller tides are called neap tides. Click the links below to learn more about the tides.

http://earthsky.org/earth/tides-and-the ... on-and-sun
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Changes in gravitational attraction causes a slight dilation of some aquifers, which in turn temporarily changes the aquifer porosity a slight amount. Wells showing tidal effects show two maximum and two minimum water levels each day, each of which are about 6 hours apart. The minimum measurements occur when the Moon is either directly overhead, or on the opposite side of the planet. The strongest effects are seen at New Moon, when the Moon is directly between the Earth and Sun, and at Full Moon when the Earth is between the Sun and Moon. At First Quarter and Third Quarter phases, when the Moon is at a right angle with respect to the Earth and Sun, the cycles become very poorly defined.

http://dnr.mo.gov/geology/wrc/docs/WhyW ... Change.pdf
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The effects of tides, and the effects of lunar phase on tides, will be amplified for coastal aquifers.

I suspect, however, that the primary reason anyone doing planting refers to lunar phases is that printed calendars have only been available for a very small fraction of our agrarian history. Lunar phases were used to track the passage of time and to coordinate planting and harvesting of crops, and the celebration of their attendant festivals, for most of that history. It's probably, at this point, just another superstition, like throwing salt over your shoulder or knocking on wood.
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Re: Planting using moon phases

#8  Postby Weaver » Oct 30, 2016 3:51 am

The differences in Moon phase and tidal amplitude are due to alignment with the Sun.
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Re: Planting using moon phases

#9  Postby aban57 » Oct 06, 2017 8:37 am

My hairdresser told me that I should plan my haircut on a full moon. I didn't want to tell her she's stupid before she cut my hair, so I let it go. It got me thinking though. What phenomenon do people who believe in this bullshit think occurs during full moon that doesn't the rest of the time ?
The only one is gravity. And if seas are (mostly) not big enough to be affected by the Moon's gravity, as opposed to oceans, then how could it affect our hair growth ? And if gravity affected hair growth, then pulling them (like with a weight) would work tremendously.
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Re: Planting using moon phases

#10  Postby zulumoose » Oct 06, 2017 9:37 am

What phenomenon do people who believe in this bullshit think occurs during full moon that doesn't the rest of the time ?


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