Myth or science?
Unfortunately, a real study about this subject has not fully done yet. Therefore, we can only belief or not according to those farmers who use the moon calendar to grow their crops. I spent most of my life in the country, surrounded by farmers who certainly believed in the importance of the moon calendar for their plants. And I used to do the same. My point of view is that moon really affects the quality and quantity of our cannabis harvests. But, as I said, there aren’t scientist evidences about it.
We all know that life on earth would be too different without the existence of the moon. The monthly waxing and waning cycles of our satellite have a great impact on the oceans; the moon produces the tides, which are essential to life. Although it hasn’t been widely recognized yet, it is becoming clearer that moon affects the flow of water contained in the plants and animals. It is well known that sap moves with more vigor during the waxing phase, when the moon grows to full. And the sap slows down its strength while the moon wanes.
Studies made at the University of Perugia (Italy) has proved that, indeed, sap moves more vigorously when the moon becomes full and slows down as the moon wanes. This fact has important consequences for growth and pruning. Any strong and sappy plant suffers if is cut or harvested or pruned close to the full moon. Why?
Because, first off, leaking sap is a big risk that exposes the plant to pests and viruses. Moreover, the sap from a cut plant, when deprived of its primary outlet, is prone to engorge smaller channels, where the new buds are developing on side branches. And eventually this can cause the rupture of these channels and finally the death of the new buds. This phenomenon is known as “lunar burn”.
However, some less juicy plants, such as vines, can benefit from being cut when sap flow is strong because it stimulates the development of side shoots and promotes the growth of side branches. Because of this, pruning your plants during the phase of growing moon will be a good idea. The new growth will show earlier and stronger.
Moon phases for cannabis growing
The moon is growing in phases known as new moon (it looks like a little D), crescent moon (it looks like a bigger little D), first-quarter moon (it looks like a complete D) and gibbous moon (it looks like an oval D).
The moon is shrinking in phases known as full moon (it looks like a ball), disseminating (it looks like a little C), second-quarter moon (it looks like half a circle with the shape of a D), and balsamic (it looks like half a circle with the shape of a C).
An old farmer used to tell me: “The moon always lies. When it looks like a D (decreasing) is crescent. And when it looks like a C (crescent) is decreasing.”
The phases the moon goes through once a moth occur in four stages:
New moon to first quarter
First quarter to full moon
Full moon to second quarter
Second quarter to new moon
According to these four stages, we can decide the four focuses for planting, feeding, erasing weeds and the harvest. Roughly speaking, when the moon is waxing our cannabis plants tend to develop leaves and branches. But when the moon is waning, our plants will develop all their underground system (roots). According to this principle, you should try to develop the above the ground plant when the moon is waxing.
The crescent moon is perfect to sow the seeds. We will get faster and greater ratio of germination during this phase. During the gibbous phase, the roots tend to absorb more water and nutrients because the gravity of the moon is pulling water upwards.
During the balsamic phase, the gravity force of the moon is low. Therefore it is the best moment for our plants to rest. Since nothing important affects them, it is ideal for pruning and to get rid of weeds.
As we know, the moon moves around the earth in an elliptical movement, which makes it to vary its distance between our planet and its satellite. That is why the moon seems to appear every night in a different part of the sky. The cycles are:
During this phase the sap ascends to the upper parts of our plant. It is an excellent period to collect cuttings.
It is the best phase for planting seeds. The liquids are flowing downward and, therefore, the underground part of the plant benefits from this tendency. Transplanting, seed germination and planting are the best tasks to do while the moon is descending. And moreover, it is the best period to do any type of soil amendment.
Cultivation based on the stars
Many growers cultivate their cannabis plants according to signs of zodiac. When the moon is passing through each constellation, these stars influence the plants. You should get a biodynamic calendar to better know and understand the influence of constellations in our cannabis cultures. This calendar groups the phases on 4 elements, just like zodiac signs.
1 – Aries, Leo and Sagittarius are signs of fire. Biodynamical growers use these moments, when is possible, to do anything related to seeds: germination of seeds, planting them, and so on.
2 – Geminis, Libra and Aquarius are constellations of air. It is the ideal moment for the buds of the plant. Planting and transplanting are also tasks that are recommended for these phases.
3 – Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces are signs of water. In the phases the leaves and stems grow faster and stronger.
4 – Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn are signs of earth and it is the ideal moment for tasks related to roots. Not only to improve the roots; but also to get rid of the sick ones.
Once we know the 4 phases and everything related with the satellite and the star constellations, we can use this information to get the best of our cannabis cultures in 2.019
1 – Germination of seeds. It is recommended to germinate our seeds while the moon is descending; three days before the full moon and crescent moon. It will increase a better and stronger growth and it will produce flowers with better organoleptic properties.
2 – Planting and transplanting are tasks that should be done while the moon is descending and the growing phase.
3 – Pruning. It should be done while the moon is descending and during the waning phase. This way the amount of stress the plants receives is less.
4 – Growth fertilizer. It should be done when the moon is descending and during the growing phase, provided the fertilizers we are using are natural, biological. In case you are using mineral fertilizers you should use them during the waning phase. It is ideal to apply the fertilizers under the influence of water constellations in order to get very strong stems and large leaves.
5 – Flowering fertilization. The flowering fertilizers should be used when the moon is passing among air constellations. It will help flowers to grow bigger and healthier. It has to be done while the moon is descending and during the increasing phase.
6 – Cuttings. We should cut the cuttings at the end of the ascending moon. Doing so, we will obtain strong and full of sap clones. However, at the same time, the mother plant suffers more stress and, therefore, we must apply mycorrhizae to the mother in order to help herr to recover.
7 – Harvest. This is probably the most important moment for any cannabis grower. The best moment is during the crescent moon, but avoiding the full moon. It helps to concentrate a larger number of cannabinoids. When you cut the plants during the waning moon, the organoleptic properties are more intense. During the descendent moon, the process of drying becomes faster and, therefore, less problematic. The best option is when the moon is passing through air constellations.