Most cannabis growers regard the sunlight or indoor grow lights as the central element of growing. Indeed, without any source of light, a plant would have no energy to produce its food. However, cultivators even from the bygone days of horticulture have always looked at the other facets of nature.
How Moon Cycles Influences Cannabis
Ever-present yet perpetually overlooked, the moon has significant effects on one’s growing journey. Incorporating and timing the lunar phases can lead to a successful growing season. Growers who are willing to take the time to study and apply this approach can anticipate quick germination and stress-resilient plants that will produce heavy yields.
Employing the lunar method in cultivating plants requires perfect timing. And, because timing is of the essence, growers must first learn the different phases of the moon. Each one describes a distinct angle between the moon, the planet Earth, and the sun.
The moon is either in a waxing or waning phase. During the waxing period, it has an increasing amount of lit surface. The phase begins with the new moon, followed by the crescent moon, then the first-quarter moon, and, lastly, the gibbous moon which appears before the full moon.
Unlike the former, the waning phase comes after the full moon. And, the illuminated area it displays decreases as the new moon approaches. It starts with the disseminating moon, the second-quarter moon, and, ultimately, the balsamic moon.
A full cycle takes about a month to complete. It has four major stages – the new moon, the first quarter, the full moon, and the third quarter. All these stages correspond to the four principal focuses of growing cannabis namely planting, feeding, destroying of weeds, and, finally, the harvest.
During the waxing phase of the moon, plants work on growing their leaves and above-ground anatomy. Meanwhile, in the course of the waning period, floras put more effort into developing their root system. For this reason, cultivators must sow seeds as the moon waxes.
Compared to cannabis seeds sown during the new moon, those planted before or around the full moon germinate faster. Studies also confirmed about a 45% difference in yield. Sowing in this phase allows seeds to soak up more water, which brings positive harvest results.
Watering down cannabis plants as the moon waxes prevents nutrient burn. At the same time, if a flora is suffering from phosphorus deficiency, it is also opportune for a mineral boost.
Meanwhile, if the moon is waning, pruning gives less stress on cannabis plants. Additionally, showering them with potassium at this time allows better absorption. During this phase, spraying organic pest control is most advantageous. It produces minimal damage to the floras while giving maximum impact to the pests.
Moreover, cloning, transplanting, and prepping for the next grow cycle are also best done while the moon is waning. This particular phase stimulates root development and rehabilitation.
Due to the gravitational effect of a new moon, a plant’s water content is at its lowest in this phase. As such, scheduling the harvest during this time affords a faster drying process. For better potency and maximum absorption, though, a nutrient flush is best done in a waxing moon. It should be two weeks before harvesting the crops.
More Than A Superstition
A significant part of the western horticulture has downplayed or completely dismissed the impact of the moon phases on agriculture. Without researching the list of lunar effects on plants such as cannabis, many simply deem it as hocus-pocus or foolish superstition.
The fact remains, however, that this approach brings science, nature, and the art of cultivation together. And, it is backed by much modern research of Kollerstrom and Muntz 1976; Graf, Germany from 1973 to 1975; Maria Thun, also Germany from 1952 to 1962; L. Kolisko, 1930; Professor F. Brown of Northwestern University; along with studies administered by Tulane University and Wichita State University.
Timing a plant’s period of rest and production with the moon phases is beneficial to cannabis growers. It speeds up the whole process by allowing fast germination and drying and curing routine. Not to mention, it also gives way to a healthier growth that leads to a bountiful harvest of potent buds. Cultivators only need to strictly follow the lunar calendar to succeed with this practice.