By Luke Sumpter

Moon gardening involves carrying out specific tasks in sync with the lunar phases. Although this might seem like pseudoscience to some, gardeners have cultivated plants with the rhythm of the moon for centuries with great success. Every year, cannabis growers manage to increase the vitality of their plants and enhance yields by cultivating weed using the lunar calendar.

Far from an inert object orbiting the earth, the moon impacts plant life in a multitude of ways. Certain phases of the moon illuminate plants into the night, accelerating foliage growth. The gravitational power of the moon also pulls sap up into the leaves and flowers. When this force reduces, the nutrient-rich substance heads underground and floods the root system.

Make the most of your next cannabis grow by abiding by the lunar calendar.

Check out the lunar calendar of 2022 below, learn the best times to germinate, transplant, feed, and prune, and discover why you should harvest your weed during the full moon.

Phases of the Moon and What They Mean

Gardening in sync with the moon boils down to timing. Before we delve into what tasks to carry out, and when, we need to cover the subphases of the moon within the two primary phases.

Waxing Moon

A waxing moon makes up one of the two primary phases. Waxing means growing, so this phase encompasses a period where the moon becomes increasingly illuminated over 14–15 days. During this time, the waxing moon features four distinct forms.

Waxing Moon
  • New Moon

The new moon marks the beginning of a new lunar cycle. Here, the moon takes a position directly between the earth and the sun. The side of the moon that faces the earth appears completely dark. As the moon begins to shift into the next stage, only a thin slice of the side of the moon reflects sunlight to the earth, giving rise to a razor-sharp crescent shape.

  • Crescent

During this stage, the moon appears as a more developed crescent shape. The giant ball of rock moves out of the space directly between the earth and the sun, reflecting more sunlight towards the earth as more of the illuminated side becomes visible.

  • First Quarter

During the first quarter, the moon sits 90 degrees from the earth. From here, we can see half of the moon illuminated by the sun, taking on a semi-circular “D” shape.

  • Gibbous

As the final stage of the waxing moon, the gibbous moon reflects even more sunlight towards the earth. Although not quite full, the illuminated patch of the moon takes on a lemon-shaped appearance.

Waning Moon

The waning moon comprises the second half of the lunar cycle, and also takes place over 14–15 days. During the waning phase, the moon gradually becomes less illuminated as it nears the completion of the cycle at the point of the new moon.

Waning Moon
  • Full Moon

The full moon lights up the night sky, rains photons down onto foliage, and plays a key role when growing cannabis according to the moon. During this time, the earth sits roughly between the sun and the moon. As light from the sun rushes past our home, it lights up the entire face of the moon.

  • Disseminating

Much like the gibbous moon of the waxing phase, the disseminating moon takes on a lemon shape as it slowly becomes less illuminated during the waning phase of the lunar cycle.

  • Third Quarter

The moon returns to a 90-degree position from the earth, this time on the opposite side of the planet. Once again, it reflects the light of the sun in a way that displays a semi-circle.

  • Balsamic

The balsamic moon sits at a 45-degree position from the earth. Here, very little of the surface of this natural satellite remains visible, giving rise to a sharp crescent shape.

The Ascending and Descending Moon

The moon ascends or descends in the sky, a trait that remains unaffected by its waxing or waning status. The moon moves to a higher and lower position in a cyclic fashion over 27 days, 7 hours, and 43 minutes.

When planting with the moon, growers should take into consideration where the moon sits in the sky, as this also affects timing related to feeding, germination, and other tasks gardeners must undertake. The moon spends half of the month in the ascending phase, where it appears higher in the sky, and the other half in the descending phase, where it appears lower.

Both of these periods heavily influence weed growers planting by the moon. They dictate the movement of plant fluids during different times on the moon timetable, and guide growers in their activities.

Constellation Also Plays a Role When Growing Weed by the Moon

The night sky features 12 prominent star constellations, each associated with their own zodiac sign. All 12 signs are divided into four groups, and each group features its own element found in nature. As the moon glides over a constellation, moon growers believe this element becomes strongest in the garden, and they conduct tasks accordingly.

Constellation Also Plays a Role When Growing Weed by the Moon

  • Fire

During periods where the moon sits over a fire sign constellation, growers should focus on planting seeds. These zodiac signs make up the fire group:

- Aries
- Leo
- Sagittarius

  • Air

Growers pay significant attention to the flowers of the plant when the moon presides over an air sign. Zodiac signs of this group include:

- Gemini
- Libra
- Aquarius

  • Water

Water signs signify a time when leaves and stems swell and grow. Signs that make up this group are:

- Cancer
- Scorpio
- Pisces

  • Earth

Earth constellations are associated with the roots and soil. These signs include:

- Taurus
- Virgo
- Capricorn

How the Moon Affects Cannabis Growing

When growing cannabis using the moon calendar, cultivators can harness the effects of the celestial body to optimise plant health and productivity. The waxing and waning periods of the moon provide a natural timetable that guides growers throughout the season.

The ascending and descending periods also tell growers when to carry out certain tasks. According to moon gardeners, as the moon sinks lower, it forces sap (the life energy of plants) into the ground. In contrast, when the moon rises high, it pulls this energy up into the plants where it bathes the flowers, stems, and leaves.

Timing your gardening activities with this natural cycle will help you make the most of the lunar phases. For example, transplanting cannabis plants into the ground during a descending moon will help to give them the best start, as most of the energy they require will occupy the ground at this time.

Gardening in sync with the constellations adds further finesse to planting by the moon. Germination, watering, and feeding with these cycles work to boost the element associated with each task, enhancing the outcome of your grow.

How the Moon Affects Cannabis Growing

How to Use the 2022 Lunar Calendar During the Growing Season

Now that you know how the lunar calendar impacts plants during the growing cycle, it’s time to convert that knowledge into practical advice for growing cannabis. 

  • Germination

Growers should start germinating seeds indoors around February 16th. During this time, the full moon sits in the fire constellation of Leo; a perfect time to unleash the inner living fire of your cannabis seeds.

  • Soil Preparation

High-quality cannabis is the result of high-quality living soil abundant with worms, beneficial microbes, and plenty of organic matter to keep these tiny stewards of the Earth well-fed and thriving. As the horticultural saying goes, “Don’t aim to feed your plants; aim to feed your soil”. These tiny creatures play a vital role in plant health. Not only do they break down organic matter into usable nutrients, but they form synergistic relationships with the roots.

During the 2022 growing season, aim to make some major upgrades to your soil on March 18th by inoculating it with beneficial microbes, adding rich compost, and a layer of mulch. At this time, the waning moon sits in the earth constellation of Virgo.

  • Transplanting

As the weather begins to warm up and your plants exhibit more robust growth, you’ll need to transplant your seedlings into bigger containers or outdoor beds (after your last frost date has well passed). This will allow their root systems to expand, gather more nutrients, and support their increasing weight. Aim to transplant on March 13th (if you live somewhere with a warm, early spring season), April 9th, or June 3rd as the waxing moon sits in the water signs of Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces.

  • Training

Training plants throughout the growing cycle helps to keep them manageable and productive. Employ low-stress training (LST), ScrOG, or main-lining methods on March 4th, April 10th, May 7th, or June 4th when the waxing moon begins, and sits in a water sign.

  • Pruning

Pruning away excess foliage keeps plants tidy, disease-free, and drives vital energy toward new growth and flowers. Prune and defoliate on July 1st, July 30th, August 6th, and September 3rd as your plants begin to mature and the waxing moon enters water constellations once again.

  • Fertilisation

Adding nutrients and organic matter to your soil will fuel plant growth and increase yields. However, doing so at the right time will dramatically enhance these effects. Aim to feed your plants with organic matter, soil drenches, and foliar sprays as the descending waning moon enters a water constellation. These dates include March 23rd, April 19th, April 28th, May 25th, June 21st, July 19th, August 15th, August 25th, September 21st, October 18th, and November 15th.

  • Harvest

You should aim to harvest your plants during either a full moon or a period when the moon enters an air constellation. A full moon draws precious energy into the buds, and an air sign means less lingering moisture and a lower risk of mould. Full moon dates include June 14th, July 13th, August 12th, September 10th, October 9th, and November 8th. Air constellation dates include June 11th, July 8th, September 9th, October 7th, and November 4th.

How to Use the 2022 Lunar Calendar During the Growing Season

Harvest Moon Cannabis: Why Harvest Under a Full Moon?

There are two schools of thought when it comes to harvesting cannabis under a full moon. Since sap will be drawn up into the leaves and buds during this period, many growers believe this leads to riper buds with higher levels of terpenes and cannabinoids. On the other hand, some growers argue this is also when water content is highest, which only makes the impending drying and curing process more stressful. It's up to you to decide what your priorities are here.

Does Following the Moon's Cycle Work When Growing Cannabis?

Abiding by the moon calendar might seem strange to many cannabis growers, but cultivators have followed the moon timetable for centuries and have consistently achieved great results. If you don’t completely buy it, we recommend giving it a go anyway. At the very least, planting by the moon will keep you on schedule and make sure you tick off the right tasks at the correct time of year.

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