How the Moon Affects Your Weed
Planting by the phases of the moon is and often overlooked aspect of growing, but learning how they effect cannabis can make a huge difference to a grow.
Most of us cannabis growers probably think of sunlight or indoor grow lights as the main factor when growing our plants. Light produces big, resinous flowers and affects our yields. But since the early days of agriculture, gardeners have looked to more signs in nature than just the regime of the sun. In fact, one of the most overlooked aspects of growing are the phases of the moon - gardening with them in mind can have significant effects on your end product. In order to grow the best crops possible, you will have to look at the moon with different eyes. If you do, you will be rewarded with faster seed germination, better stress resistance, and bigger yields.
THE PHASES OF THE MOON
Because this is all a matter of timing, let's have a look at the different lunar phases. Phases describe the changing angle between the Moon, the Earth, and the Sun, as the Moon orbits the Earth and the Earth orbits the Sun. It visibly changes how we see the moon at night, and is the reason it is sometimes full or partly shaded.
These phases can either be classed as waxing and waning:
The moon is waxing (which means growing) in the phases known as new moon, crescent moon, first-quarter moon and gibbous moon.
It is waning (shrinking) in the phases known as full moon, disseminating, second-quarter moon and balsamic.
The actual cycle that the moon goes through these phases happens in four major stages:
• New moon to first quarter
• First quarter to full moon
• Full moon to second quarter
• Second quarter to new moon
This entire cycle will complete around once a month.
To these four stages, we can apply the four main focuses for growing, which would be planting, feeding, the destruction of weeds, and finally the harvest. Even the four intermediate phases (crescent, gibbous, disseminating and balsamic) play an important role in the cycle, as we will see in the next paragraph.
APPLYING THIS KNOWLEDGE TO YOUR GROW
So, how will the scientific knowledge of the lunar phases actually affect your grow? Generally speaking, when the Moon is waxing, plants put effort into developing leaves and above-ground systems, when it is waning, plants will put more energy into their root system. This means you should sow a leafy crop that develops above the ground, like cannabis, during a waxing Moon.
The crescent moon phase (waxing) is when the best germination occurs. Seeds sown around this time show a higher rate and speed of germination.
In the gibbous moon phase, the absorption of water and the intake of nutrients is greater, as the gravitational pull of the moon draws water upwards.
The balsamic phase has a low gravitational force and is seen as a rest period for the plant. As such, it is ideal for pruning, destroying weeds and preparing for the next grow cycle.
An excellent harvest time is during a new moon, as the gravitational effect of this phase will see the water content in the plant is at its lowest, which will speed up drying and curing.
THE TAKE AWAY FROM IT ALL
It may all sound like mumbo jumbo, but getting your head around this science can really help growers push things further - mankind has been growing their crops with the help of the moon for thousands of years for a reason. If you do a bit of digging, you will find scientific studies dedicated to assessing exactly what is going on (albeit not with cannabis).
While outdoor growers are going to be able to take the most advantage out of this, indoors growers should also bear it in mind.
For more information on outdoor growing, check out our handy and easy to follow guide, giving you the knowledge you need to take the first step into outdoor growing.
Our beloved plants go through cycles of rest and production, and if you align your technique with these cycles and their corresponding phases of the moon, you will reap the rewards for your effort. And isn't that what it is all about? So, get your moon calendar ready and try it out!