Believe it or not, there is likely one huge aspect you may have been neglecting when you grow cannabis: the phases of the moon. The lunar movements are more important than you might think for all sorts of things, not least of which is your harvest. Did you know that some people use the moon as their guide for growing?
Everyone knows the moon goes through different phases, known as waxing and waning. This has to do with the angles involved in the moon’s orbit of the sun and the earth’s orbit of the sun. When it is waxing, the moon appears to be growing. It starts with the new moon, then goes to the crescent moon, first-quarter moon, and finally gibbous moon before the full moon takes place.
After the full moon, next comes the disseminating moon, second-quarter moon, and finally a balsamic moon. The full cycle, from new moon to new moon, takes place within about a month. It can be broken down into four more major stages (which are relevant for growing marijuana): new moon to first quarter, first quarter to full moon, full moon to second quarter, and second quarter to new moon.
So how does this all affect your cannabis plants? There are several aspects that the lunar movements will affect: the planting of your plants, the feeding of the plants, the removal of weeds, and the harvest of your plants at the end.
During the waxing period of the moon, your plants are going to utilize their resources for the growth and development of leaves, stems, and foliage — basically, the parts of the plant that are living above the ground. During the waning parts of the moon, on the other hand, your plants will devote most of their energies to developing and growing the root system, or the parts of the plant that are underground.
For this reason, harvesting your plants is best done when the moon is waxing (since it will have the most energy devoted to the growth of the plant above ground during this time). The waxing is also the best time to feed your plants with water, but if you’re giving them nutrients, be sure to dilute them more than usual (unless your plants are suffering from a deficiency of some sort).
That being said, the germination of your cannabis seeds is best performed during the waxing or crescent moon phase — they are going to germinate faster and more effectively. When the moon is in the gibbous phase, your plants will take in more nutrients (because of the moon’s gravitational pull). This is opposite during the balsamic phase when your plant is mostly “resting.” Therefore, the best thing to do during that phase is to prune, kill off weeds, and prepare for the next step.
If you can, always harvest during the new moon. This is because the water content within your plants is at its lowest during the new moon, meaning the next part of the process (drying and curing) will be easier, faster, and less likely to attract mould.
People who pay attention to the science behind the lunar movements have had great success with their marijuana gardens (as well as other types of gardens, for that matter). Plants are generally healthier and more resistant to diseases, they have a larger harvest at the end, and the early stages of germination and your plants living through the seedling phase are overall less risky.
You have probably heard stories about two growers who started with the same seeds, grew in more or less the same place, and adhered to the same growing guides, but somehow ended up with wildly different results. There is a chance that the moon is behind this — if one of them were aligned with the moon and the ideal growing practices that go along with it, then they almost certainly had more positive results (barring any other unexpected hurdles such as sudden infestations or extreme weather conditions).
If you have grown cannabis before, then you know that it grows in spurts rather than consistently — just like animal organisms. If these growth spurts are aligned with the moon phases, you will have greater success and a higher chance of your plants having a healthier and better season.
In the end, it’s all about timing. Luckily the phases of the moon are completely predictable and therefore an entire schedule can be mapped out accordingly. Of course, using the phases of the moon as your guide will never replace good gardening techniques. You still need to be careful about your watering and nutritional schedule, the weeding and fertilising, the temperature and humidity levels, and the possibility of any unwanted pests.
So, while the moon will not make or break your grow, it will certainly influence it — you can help make it a positive influence so that you maximize the harvest of your beloved plants.