Planting by the moon is an idea as old as agriculture, based both in folklore and superstition, but there are scientific ideas to back it up. The Earth is in a large gravitational field, influenced by both the sun and moon. The tides are highest at the time of the new and the full moon, when sun and moon are lined up with the earth. Just as the moon pulls the tides in the oceans, it also pulls upon the subtle bodies of water, causing moisture to rise in the earth, which encourages growth. The highest amount of moisture is in the soil at this time, and tests have proven that seeds will absorb the most water at the time of the full moon.
At the new moon, the lunar gravity pulls water up, and causes the seeds to swell and burst. This factor, coupled with the increasing moonlight creates balanced root and leaf growth.
In the second quarter the gravitational pull is less, but the
moonlight is strong, creating strong leaf growth. It is generally
a good time for planting, especially two days before the full moon.
After the full moon, as the moon wanes, the energy is drawing
down. The gravitation pull is high, creating more moisture in the soil,
but the moonlight is decreasing, putting energy into the roots.
In the fourth quarter there is decreased gravitational pull and
moonlight, and it is considered a resting period. This is also the
best time to cultivate, harvest, transplant and prune.