Planting by the moon

Written by on December 9, 2011 in My French Life

Planting by the moonIt was my neighbour Remy who first bought to my attention the unusual pursuit of planting by the moon.  I wasn’t sure whether to take him seriously or not as he also gardens to some extent by the saints days.  However, he assures me that lunar gardening is taken extremely seriously by himself and many other gardeners where we live and indeed the whole of France including many farmers.

Remy tends to become very enthusiastic about things the more he talks about them and I’m never quite sure if he’s pulling my leg.  He once told me that the French for horse in my region is “bidet” and kept encouraging me to ask for a ride on another neighbour’s bidet and of course I didn’t believe that at all.  However it turns out that he was in fact not trying to fool me – where I live many older people speak a sort of patois called Ch’ti (see our Ch’ti vocabulary) and bidet is the word for horse!  So, on the basis that Remy did not hoodwink me on the bidet issue I assume he may not be fabricating about planting by the moon, so I thought I’d look into it.  Assuming that I understand the requirements, I am going to try it out next year and let you know how I get on.

What I’ve discovered so far is that those who study the theory of lunar gardening start with the premise that the orbit of the moon affects sea tides on earth as we all know and taking it one step further the pull of the moon also affects the water table – the level of water beneath the soil in which we garden.

In a nutshell, lunar gardeners say that moisture in the soil is at its peak when the moon is waxing, and it diminishes with a waning moon.  In this case they say, planting will be more successful during the first quarter when the moon is waxing, or shifting towards a full moon. The waning moon is when the moisture content is at its lowest and as this means that there’s less sap rising in trees and shrubs – and that is the time for pruning and not planting.

Remy also says that the gravitational pull of the moon affects the water content of living things – plants, animals and people – I can’t say I’ve noticed it in myself although I think I’m generally more upbeat around the peak of a full moon so maybe there is something to it!

Well I just don’t know, but Remy has told me to get down to the book shop and buy the lunar calendar for the region which is due out now.

I shall be back with more when the moon is waxing… or waning …

A bientôt



Related Articles

Reviews for My Good Life in France by Janine Marsh

When Lesley O’Mara of Michael O’Mara publishers in London emailed me to ask if I’d be interested in having my story published, I leapt at the chance. I mean, who wouldn’t! Lesley had seen a feature on me in the Financial Times, about how I’d given up the bright lights and mean streets of London […]

Continue Reading

Reasons to love France No 5 | Paris

“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”  Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast It doesn’t just stay with you, you hanker after it forever more… What makes us fall in […]

Continue Reading

My Good Life in France by Janine Marsh | Coming to America

An email popped into my in box from my publishers the other day “You’re going to America”… Well they didn’t mean me exactly, they meant my book is being published in print (it’s already available as an ebook), but I can tell you I am no less excited about it. When I went on a […]

Continue Reading

Chicken Tales | A cat among the chickens

Sometimes I find more in the chicken pen than I expect. A while back I found a duckling, two hedgehogs and a cat… Ok, a duckling might not be such an unusual find. This one though was on its own, freezing cold, face down, being pecked by the chickens. Much as I love my girls, […]

Continue Reading

Renovating a house in France can be a never ending job

More than a decade after buying this old farmhouse to renovate in France, I was starting to think that at long last it may one day be finished. We (that is Mark my husband and me), were sort of feeling as if we were on the home run with just one last shed to renovate […]

Continue Reading


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.