The effect of the Moon on plants

Today in Gardenprue , we are going to comment on an issue that is very much in the limelight with respect to organic farming. Many people follow a lunar calendar in order to get the best results from their plants. To what extent is this practice true from a scientific point of view? Let’s see it.

WHY DOES THE MOON HAVE AN EFFECT ON PLANTS?

Rather, the question we are going to try to solve is why the Moon can exert a certain effect on crops , instead of knowing the effect it produces, which we will leave for a future entry. Knowing the function that the Moon can exert can be taken from two aspects, one from the mystical side and the other from the scientific side. Without detracting from the first, we are going to explain what scientific references exist or what mechanisms act on the plant to justify an action of the Moon on our plants.

THE LIGHT OF THE MOON. MYSTICISM OR PHOTOPERIOD?

Many properties have been attributed to our satellite that to date have not been verified. However, as far as agriculture is concerned, they have known this since ancient times, where farmers took advantage of it for their benefit, conditioning the sowing time even above the climate.

We all know the photosynthesis function carried out by plants, where they take advantage of water and light to transform it into energy and achieve development. Starting from that, if there is no lack of water, the nocturnal limitation of growth is light. But what if there is a full moon? We could think that this light is enough for the plant to carry out photosynthesis. However, this is not the case.

The maximum light that the Moon is capable of radiating from Solar energy is 7% of that received by our satellite, that being in the full Moon. This amount is insufficient to get the plant to activate its photosynthetic metabolism and begin to produce larger and more sugary fruits. As Urbano Terrón says , this light is equivalent to a 100 W lamp placed 12 meters away from a plant. So if the Moon has no effect on photosynthesis, what is it that causes crops to be influenced by it?

This dim light is capable of activating certain mechanisms on the plant

THE PHOTOPERIOD AND SAP REGULATION

That said, the light that the Moon is capable of emitting to Earth is insufficient for photosynthesis , but not enough to regulate the photoperiod. Plants are very sensitive to light stimuli and light, however scarce and dim, is capable of stimulating the phytochromes  that the plant has. For crops it is as if daylight was still in force in full darkness (without photosynthesis, as mentioned), so the movement of sap and cell activity continues as if it were daytime.

However, this does not happen in all plants. Only in those that show great sensitivity to light as in the cultivation of lettuce or in the case of radish ,  among others. There are other crops that also have less sensitivity to light and the moonlight also has an effect on them, however minimal, and others in which there is no effect.

In summary it can be said (although in the future we will do a complete article on what these effects are) that when there is a full moon or a waxing quarter , the sap moves towards the aerial part, stimulating its growth, and otherwise, a waning quarter. o New moon, the sap stays in the lower part of the plant.

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