Moon cycles and their influence on cultivation have been used throughout history. Still, there is no universal moon calendar that applies everywhere. Farmers and agronomists pass down first-hand knowledge and experience they received through their ancestors from generation to generation. Nowadays, we know that moon cycles were used by the Mayans and the Incas for growing crops in Central and Southern America. In Spain, Italy and Southern France, moon observation methods were widely known among farmers and agronomists such as Jean-Baptiste de La Quintinie and F. Mainardi Fazio, who worked based on such premise.
Now in the 21st century, the agricultural process has introduced many methods to adapt to any kind of situation. Agriculture is becoming more responsible and ecologically friendly, from outdoor cultivation to big greenhouses and using organic products for pest control. A part of this entails understanding plant processes and how external factors affect their growing. Moon phases can help us in this first step towards an ultimate game changer in cannabis cultivation.
How to Identify Each Phase
Very simple. If we watch the moon closely, we will be able to distinguish among four forms or phases: full moon (a full white circle), new moon (completely dark), first quarter (an inverted D-shaped moon) and last quarter (a D-shaped moon). In order to tell whether the moon is waxing or waning, we must just observe two days in a row with a two-hour lapse and see whether it appears more or less developed according to some point of reference.
Why Does the Moon Influence Cannabis?
The gravitational power of the moon has an effect on sap from cannabis plants, affecting photosynthesis and seed germination, and pulling this substance up from the roots to the top of a plant and then driving it down. Between the first quarter and the full moon, sap is at its most concentrated level at the top of a plant; a full moon will prompt a higher plant development, and between the last quarter and the new moon, sap will be more concentrated in the roots. It is also known that a waxing moon has more influence on sap than a waning one.
Cultivation Guidelines According to Each Moon Phase
The new moon marks the perfect time to trim our plants so that they grow back under the influence of a waxing moon. Pest control will be particularly successful if carried out immediately before a new moon. It is not advisable to plant or seed on a new moon or the three days before one: plants will not germinate nor take root, and their growth will be painfully slow. Finally, we should avoid clearing weed the days before or after a new moon so as not to stress our plants.
The first quarter indicates a good time to prepare compost and loosen compacted soil if you are growing outdoors. Apart from this, between the first quarter and the full moon, cuttings must be taken. During this phase, growers should also refrain from fertilising plants, removing weeds or controlling pests such as ants and snails.
The optimal time to seed goes from three days before a full moon up to three days after that. This is also the best time to spread fertiliser. It is advisable to let organic supplements and pesticides, hydrosols and water sit in the moonlight so that they invigorate faster. One should not trim, grind nor dig near the plants. During this stage, sap concentrates at the top of the plant.
Sap starts heading down, which means this is a good time to seed and the best time to transplant. This is also a good time to trim and fertilise the soil. Apart from that, if weeds are cleared during this stage, they will not spring up again. Finally, we should avoid purging or controlling internal pests.