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Magnetism And Plant Growth – How Do Magnets Help Plants Grow

Magnetism And Plant Growth – How Do Magnets Help Plants Grow


By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Any gardener or farmer desires consistently bigger and better plants with higher yields. The seeking of these traits has scientists testing, theorizing and hybridizing plants in an effort to achieve the optimum growth. One of these theories regards magnetism and plant growth. Magnetic fields, such as that generated by our planet, are thought to enhance plant growth. Let’s learn more.

Do Magnets Help Plants Grow?

Healthy plants are impossible without adequate intake of water and nutrients, and some studies show that magnetic exposure can enhance intake of these essential items. Why do plants react to magnets? Some of the explanation centers on a magnet’s ability to change molecules. This is an important characteristic when applied to heavily saline water. The earth’s magnetic field also has a powerful influence on all life on the planet – kind of like with the old-time gardening method of planting by the moon.

Grade school level experiments are common where the students study the effect of magnets on seeds or plants. The general consensus is that no discernible benefits are noticed. If this is the case, why would the experiments even exist? The magnetic pull of the earth is known to have an effect on living organisms and the biological processes.

The evidence indicates that the earth’s magnetic pull influences seed germination by acting as an auxin or plant hormone. The magnetic field also assists in ripening of such plants as tomatoes. Much of plant response is due to the cryptochromes, or blue light receptors, that plants bear. Animals also have cryptochromes, which are activated by light and then are sensitive to magnetic pull.

How Magnets Affect Plant Growth

Studies in Palestine have indicated that plant growth is enhanced with magnets. This doesn’t mean you directly apply a magnet to the plant, but instead, the technology involves magnetizing water.

The water in the region is heavily salted, which interrupts plant uptake. By exposing the water to magnets, the salt ions change and dissolve, creating purer water that is more easily taken up by the plant.

Studies on how magnets affect plant growth also show that magnetic treatment of seeds enhances germination by speeding up the formation of protein in the cells. Growth is more rapid and robust.

Why Do Plants React to Magnets?

The reasons behind plant response to magnets are a bit harder to understand. It seems that magnetic force pulls apart ions and changes the chemical composition of such things as salt. It also appears that magnetism and plant growth are tied together by biological impulse.

Plants have the natural response to “feel” gravity and magnetic pull just as humans and animals. The effect of magnetism actually can change the mitochondria in cells and enhance plant metabolism.

If this all sounds like mumbo jumbo, join the club. The why is not as important as the fact that magnetism does seem to drive improved plant performance. And as a gardener, this is the most important fact of all. I’ll leave the scientific explanations to a professional and enjoy the benefits.

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Light Spectrum and Plant Growth

Ever since NASA began experimenting with LEDs for growing plants in the 1980s, we have known that different light spectrums have widely varied effects on plants. Some spectrums stimulate vegetative growth and others increase the yield in flowers and fruits. Other spectrums seem to have very little effect in plant growth. Thanks to the variable light spectrum available from full spectrum LEDs we are finally starting to understand the relationship between light spectrum and plant growth, and havHow do we measure lighte applied this knowledge to each UV LED grow light we sell, not to mention the versatility of the SolarSystem® Controller.

How do we measure light?

Visible light is part of the larger electromagnetic scale which includes invisible spectrums such as radio waves and x rays. Each spectrum represents an electromagnetic frequency measured in nanometers (one billionth of a meter):


Do plants use all light spectrums produced by the sun?

Most indoor growers seem to believe that the best indoor grow lights would have the same light spectrum as the sun – a relatively full spectrum over the visible light frequencies. After all, plants evolved over millions of years to best convert light energy into carbohydrates and sugars. The most readily available light from the sun is in the middle spectrums which we see as green, yellow and orange. These are the primary frequencies that human eyes use. However, studies show that these are the least used light frequencies in plants. Most of the photosynthetic activity is in the blue and red frequencies, which makes full spectrum LED grow lights so beneficial.

The main reason for this counter-intuitive use of light by plants seems to be related to early forms of bacteria and the evolution of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis first evolved in bacteria over millions of years in the primordial sea. This evolved in bacteria long before the appearance of more complex leafy plants. These early photosynthetic bacteria extensively used the yellow, green and orange middle spectrums for photosynthesis which tended to filter out these light spectrums for plants evolving at lower levels in the ocean. As more complex plants evolved at lower levels, they we left with only the non-filtered spectrums not used by bacteria – mostly in the red and green frequencies. The yellow, green and orange light is mostly reflected off the surface of the leaves and this is why photosynthesizing plants are green.

Do different light spectrums do different work in plants?

How plants respond to light is important in understanding photosynthesis for example, different light spectrums are used for different types of growth in plants. There are millions of photosynthetic receptors in a leaf of a green plant. Each receptor includes specialized pigments that absorb specific light frequencies during photosynthesis. By measuring the amount of oxygen produced under various light spectrums we can measure the amount of photosynthetic activity under each light spectrum. This has produced a very detailed map (color frequency chart) of which light spectrum is related to which type of plant growth, which helps find the ideal photosynthesis wavelength for each specific crop.

How do plants use different light spectrums?

Ultraviolet light (10nm-400nm)

Though overexposure to radiation in the UV light spectrum is dangerous for the flora, small amounts of near-UV light can have beneficial effects. In many cases, UV light is a very important contributor for plant colors, tastes and aromas. This is an indication of near-UV light’s effect on metabolic processes. Studies show that 385 nm UV light promotes the accumulation of phenolic compounds, enhances antioxidant activity of plant extracts, but does not have any significant effect on growth processes. UVB has also been demonstrated to elevate THC levels in Cannabis*.

Blue light (430nm-450nm)

This range of spectrum enables cryptochromes and phototropins to mediate plant responses such as phototropic curvature, inhibition of elongation growth, chloroplast movement, stomatal opening and seedling growth regulation. It affects chlorophyll formation, photosynthesis processes, and through the cryptochrome and phytochrome system, raises the photomorphogenetic response.

In more practical terms, these wavelengths encourage vegetative growth and are essential in lighting for seedlings and young plants during the vegetative stage of their growth cycle, especially when “stretching” must be reduced or eliminated. It also stimulates the production of secondary pigments which can enhance colors and is known to also stimulate Terpene (i.e. fragrance) production.

Green light (500nm-550nm)

Most green light is reflected off the plant and plays a much smaller role in plant growth. However, there are some important aspects of light in this range so a certain amount of light in this spectrum range is beneficial. Green light is sometimes used as a tool for eliciting specific plant responses such as stomatal control, phototropism, photomorphogenic growth and environmental signaling. When combined with blue, red and far-red wavelengths, green light completes a comprehensive spectral treatment for understanding plant physiological activity. But what color light is best for photosynthesis? The function of green light is less well understood than the other spectrums, and there are only certain species of plants that require green light for normal growth. Its effects appear to be very strain specific.

The pigments that can absorb green are found deeper in the leaf structure. It is thought that because green light reflects off of the Chlorophyll in leaf surfaces, and thus reflected deeper into the shaded areas of the canopy than Red and Blue which are readily absorbed, that green may actually be mostly absorbed through the undersides of the leaves as it bounces around in the shaded depths of the canopy.

Red light (640nm-680nm)

Red light affects phytochrome reversibility and is the most important for flowering and fruiting regulation. These wavelengths encourage stem and vegetative growth, flowering and fruit production, and chlorophyll production.

The 660nm wavelength has a very strong photosynthetic action. It exhibits the highest action on red-absorbing phytochrome regulated germination, flowering and other processes. This wavelength is most effective for light cycle extension or night interruption to induce flowering of long-day plants or to prevent flowering of short-day plants.

Far red (730nm)

Although the 730nm wavelength is outside the photosynthetically active range, it has the strongest action on the far-red absorbing form of phytochrome, converting it back to the red-absorbing form. Plants requiring relatively low values of the phytochrome photoequilibrium to drive the flower cycle. The 730nm wavelength can be used at the end of each light cycle to promote flowering in short-day plants such as Cannabis.

Also, a higher ratio of far-red to red than found in sunlight can trigger the shade stretch response – where a plant sensing it is shaded based on an elevated ratio of far-red to red – and will stretch to try to elevate its canopy above its competitors. This is why too much far-red is not advised if compact LED lamps for growing plants are desired, or in general. But small amounts or FR as provided by California LightWorks in our R/FR channel is very beneficial, and for this reason the ratio or R to FR is fixed on one channel in the 550 series.

Using Spectrum Control with Cannabis

The exact way that plants use light is very specific to individual plant species and their natural environment. Evolution has produced a huge variety of plant strategies for growth and it is impossible to over generalize light responses. However, we do have a lot of practical experience with indoor cannabis growth results. Below are some general strategies and recommendations based on years of practical experiments with indoor lighting, including full spectrum LED systems.

The most common question we receive from growers in regards to spectrum control in cannabis cultivation is “What is the optimum Spectrum mix for Cannabis?” And the answer is it depends on what YOUR priorities are. Different spectrum mixes promote different plant morphology in different growth stages, and there simply isn’t one ideal. And that is the main benefit of LED’s over HID, the ability to use a varying grow light spectrum to design the plant for what you want from it.

There are basically 5 (or possibly more) different aspects to the end product in Cannabis that establish its value, and different people want different things.

1) Flower weight (ie. Overall flower yield)

2) Flower density (ie. Resin content and oil/wax ratio)

3) Flower cosmetic appeal (colors, structure, as well as density)

4) Fragrance (Strength i.e. terpene concentration and fragrance complexity)

5) Potency (THC and CBD levels)

What must be understood here is there is NO IDEAL SPECTRUM that will optimize ALL of these aspects of the final product simultaneously. Each can be individually optimized with LED plant lights but there will be tradeoffs.

Goals of the Commercial grower:

What followers are SOME of the typical goals the average commercial grower might consider most important:

1) Some growers may want Maximum OIL yield for edibles etc. and the cosmetic aspects and fragrance of the flowers are not important. Potency is extremely important here.

2) Some may want maximum oil yield for top-shelf extracts, shatter etc…, where flower cosmetics are unimportant, but resin yield, resin quality (oil/wax ratio) and fragrance are very important. Potency is also important and often lab measured.

3) Some may want maximum Flower yield (weight) period. There numerous factors that play into this such as Resin content vs. flower matter (fiber), wax vs. oil, etc…, but these people only care about total flower yield by weight. With the market getting more and more competitive, this mindset will struggle to compete.

4) Because of the significant differential in price between top-shelf flower and lower quality or outdoor flower, (2x or more) most commercial growers are currently looking to maximize top-quality flower yield, ie. flower with high shelf-appeal, i.e. excellent cosmetics, fragrance, and density. Potency is important and often tested but typically considered strain specific and not considered that dependent on cultivation techniques.

So all these examples will have potentially DIFFERENT ideal spectrum mixes, and while those ideal spectrum mixes are not fully known, we can get you close. And please note, any fixed spectrum light source like HPS or MH will never have the ability to accomplish ideal results in any of these areas. That will require variable spectrum control.

Also please note: The single most important element in Cannabis yield is shaping the plant BEFORE peak flower production such that only flower sites see light. This cannot be stressed enough. The best indoor grow light and the best nutrients will not affect yield as much as insuring that only flowers sites and select sun leaves see light, and that all flowers left on the plant get enough light. Also critical to this process are the proper design, layout, and mounting heights of the UV LED grow light to minimize plant shading and create consistent lighting levels.

Growth stages of Cannabis:

There are also generally 4 growth stages in cannabis that have different spectrum requirements.

  • Vegetation – In Vegetation (VEG) stage, rapid, healthy overall plant and root growth is desired, and in general most growers desire maximum growth but with shorter compact plants with short inter-nodal spacing preferred.
  • Pre-flower – Pre-flower is the period from when the 12/12 flower cycle is first initiated, to roughly the end of the second week (in an 8-week flower), or until the small flowers are prevalent and the rapid growth stretch slows. Again, for most growers, the desire in this stage is to maximize SIZE, while limiting stretch.
  • Flower – The peak Flower period is generally from week 3-7 and is the time when the plant (stem / leaf) growth stops and all the plant energy focuses on flower production. Maximum flower matter size and good structure is generally the goal here.
  • Ripen or Finish – The Ripen period is generally from week 7 to finish (in an 8-week flower) where the Flower growth, (i.e. size) slows and plant energy refocuses on resin and terpene production. This is the period where the flower acquires a significant portion of its density, ie. resin content. This transition is not clearly defined, and some strains have big increases in resin production during this period, and others not as much.

Optimizing spectrum for ideal results

Enhancing each aspect of plant growth can be a tradeoff. And. with the basics of our scientific understanding of Spectrum and Plant Morphology, we can now attempt to come up with some starting points for spectrum mixes for various end results. Please understand, these are starting points to using, for example, ultraviolet lights for plants, and you will need to experiment to reach the ideal for your environment, strain, and desired results.

Goal #1 above, Maximum OIL content for processed edibles, etc.

In this example, our goal is to maximize resin and really THC/CBD yield overall. This includes both flower AND leaves, stems, etc. So a good starting point in terms of Spectrum programs would be:

Veg: Obviously plant SIZE is the big driver at this point so a spectrum with full red and blue is important. In effect we are mimicking the sun, but with LED,s historically our best results in VEG are found with a RED/BLUE mix of around 60/40.

Pre-flower & Flower: In this case where only resin yield, not flower structure, is important, a higher blue component (ie. closer to sun) can be used rather than other approaches. A good starting point would be 70/30 RED/BLUE but possibly even more blue.

Ripening: Because we are already running extra blue in flower, no changes to light and frequency are probably necessary at this stage.

UVB: UVB supplementation is highly desirable in this approach because it can increase THC levels by as much as 30%. SO UVB should be supplemented for the last 5 weeks of flower minimum.

Goal #2 – Resin for Extracts, shatter, etc.

In this example our goals are similar to Goal 1 above except there is a greater focus on Fragrance. SO, we can follow example 1 above except that in the ripen stage we will decrease the red a little more, to raise the Blue/Red ratio to stimulate terpene production more. Say 65/35.

UVB: UVB should be utilized all the way through the flower in this case because not only do we want to increase TCH in resin, but also terpene production and other pigments all the way through flower.

Goal # 3 – Maximum Flower yield

Pure flower matter yield can be favored by running fairly high red levels all the way through, a good starting point would be 80/20. This is the kind of vegetative growth pattern seen with HPS.

Goal#4 – Maximum Top-shelf flower yield.

This type of end product is the approach where having the ability to vary spectrum in all the different growth periods is most important, and where Hybrid Spectrum LED systems (individual Red/Blue/White control) significantly out perform all other types of lighting systems.

So a good starting point for this type of grow would be:

VEG: Depending on the inter-node spacing desired, decrease R/B ratio for shorter internodes, General recommendation: 60/40 for short tight internodes. This is the ratio found in the CLW VEG spectrum mix.

Pre-flower: To again reduce stretching, R/B ratio can be increased to 70/30 for the first 2 weeks of flower, or 75/25 for taller plants. Extra deep blue will stimulate additional pigments during this critical growth period enhancing flower colors and fragrance.

Flower: In this stage we want to maximize flower SIZE, so we will increase the Red/Blue ratio to 80/20. This is ratio that is found in the California LightWorks Full Cycle spectrum mix, or with the 550 series full on. Even higher Red ratios (by lowering the blue) can be used to further promote vegetative growth in plants, but there can be a sacrifice in resin, fragrance, and secondary pigments. There is always a tradeoff between flower mass and resin (density) /cosmetic quality. We do not advise an R/B ratio above 90/10, and for no more than a week or two in the middle of peak flower, or it will impact resin and fragrance. And too low, (for example 60/40) during this critical period will promote excess leaf content in the flowers and a fluffier structure akin to outdoor flower.

Ripen: Here we look to again enhance resin and terpenes (fragrance) so we suggest lowering the R/B ratio back down to 70/30 or even 60/40 for the last 2 weeks. At this point the higher blue ratio will not alter the flower structure or promote excess bud leaves, because flower growth is winding down, and transitioning to resin production. Results in this phase of growth are very strain specific and can be influenced by nutrient changes as well, so you are encouraged to try small changes each harvest to slowly dial in your ideal.

UVB: IN this case UVB can be very important and it can be supplemented either in the last 4-5 weeks, or even throughout the entire flower cycle to stimulate pigments and terpenes and most importantly THC. Note, UVB supplementation does NOT increase CBD levels.

By using this 4-stage spectrum control approach you can truly optimize the cosmetics, fragrance, density, and color, i.e. shelf-appeal of your flower with little or no sacrifice in yield as compared to HPS or other fixed spectrum systems.

Conclusion

So, in conclusion, it cannot be stressed enough that these recommendations are only starting points for using LED lamps for growing plants. That’s because all the results are strain specific and can also vary with other factors such as temperature, shading, and nutrients.

Experimentation with additional changes such as varying the white (ie. green) levels, or gradating the changes over time instead of just switching them, are encouraged. However, we suggest you carefully document all changes and limit them to 5% change in any spectrum per growth phase, and only one change total per harvest. Too many changes in one cycle and you will not know what did what. So remember, ONE CHANGE PER HARVEST.

Also, there have been suggestions and a Dawn / Dusk type of ramp up and down to simulate the slow changes in the sun have value, but we have not seen solid universal data in this regard to date. But these types of changes are easily accomplished with the SolarSystem 550 controller.


Plant Phototropism Experiment

As plants grow, they move up toward the light. But what is a plant’s favorite color? Do plants move toward some colors more than others?

Problem

Do plants bend toward certain colors of light?

Materials

  • 2 1-foot tall cardboard boxes with lids
  • Piece of cardboard
  • Ruler
  • 2 small lamps
  • 2 full spectrum light bulbs
  • Box cutter knife
  • Masking tape
  • 1 3” x 3” piece of clear, red, green, and blue cellophane
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Camera
  • 8 bean seeds
  • 8 small pots

Procedure

  1. First, get your plants growing. Plant two of your bean seeds in two different pots, water them, and wait for them to poke out of the ground.
  2. While you’re waiting, get your boxes ready. Cut a hole 2” in diameter about 3 inches from the bottom of each box. Place the clear cellophane over the hole. This will let all of the light into the box. Over the hole in the other box, place the red cellophane. This will only let red light into the box.
  3. Put one plant in the first box and one in the second. Use a ruler to position each bean plant two inches away from the cellophane window. Take a photo of the plants, looking downward from the top of the box.
  4. Put the boxes on different sides of the same room.
  5. Now it’s time to light things up! Put the lamps next to the boxes on the side with the cellophane window. Take out your ruler again and measure to make sure that the lamps are the same distance from the hole.
  6. Put the lids on each box.
  7. Every morning, turn on each lamp. Every night, turn off the lamps before you go to bed. Leave the plants to grow for a week.
  8. After a week has passed, remove the lid and take a photo looking downward. Then remove the plants and take a photo from the front. Do the plants look different? Is one taller than the other? Is one twisted in a different direction?
  9. Do the same experiment with new bean plants, but change the color of cellophane to blue. Finally, repeat the experiment with green cellophane.
  10. Compare the photos of each bean plant after it had been growing for a week. Did the plants turn more toward a certain color? Was there a color they didn’t like?

Results

The control plants will do better than the plants that are only exposed to one wavelength of light. The plants will grow better in red and blue light than in green light. The plants will grow toward red and blue light but will not move toward the green light.

Plants love the light, right? Yes and no. Plants do love the light, but they like some wavelengths of light more than others.

When you look at a rainbow, you can see that the visible spectrum of light actually has different colors or wavelengths inside it. The visible spectrum is the light that we can see. Different objects reflect different types of light. A blue bowl reflects blue light. A green plant reflects green light.

Inside a plant are chloroplasts. Inside the chloroplasts are tiny molecules called photopigments. Photopigments help the plant absorb light. A plant has different types of photopigments so it can absorb different colors of light.

When natural light shines on a plant, that plant takes in the light from the different wavelengths and uses it to make food. This natural light is called white light, and it contains all of the types of light. If there’s only one color of light shining on a plant, then only some of the photopigments work, and the plant doesn’t grow as well. This is why your plant under the full light spectrum grew better than the plants with the cellophane filters.

Plants also move toward the light. Seeds push little leaves up from the ground into the light. A house plant in a dark room will grow toward the light. This movement in response to light is called phototropism. When a plant moves toward the light, it’s called positive tropism. When a plant moves away from light, it’s called negative tropism.

How do plants move? They do so with the help of chemicals called auxins. Think of auxins as an elastic band for cells. They help cells get longer and move. Sunlight reduces auxin, so the areas of the plant that are exposed to sunlight will have less auxin. The areas on the dark side of the plant will have more auxin. That means that they will have long, stretchy cells. This allows the plant to move toward the light.

The plants in your experiment likely showed positive tropism, except when it came to the green light. Why did the plants not move toward the green light? Plants are green, which means that they reflect green light. It bounces off the leaves. This means that they can’t use green light very well, and the green light bounces off the plant instead of encouraging movement toward the light.

Digging Deeper

What would happen if you left plants for a long time in light that was only red or blue? Would they survive?

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CO2 levels rising and rising

For at least 800,000 years the concentration of atmospheric CO2 levels ranged between 180 and 290 parts per million (ppm). In the last 10,000 years they stayed around 280 ppm until the Industrial Revolution sparked widespread use of coal.

Today’s measurements show CO2 levels were 412 ppm as of September this year, 47 percent higher than pre-industrial levels. The last time CO2 levels were above 400 ppm was 16 to 25 million years ago, when the planet and its climate were very different.

CO2 levels are increasing at a rate of 2 ppm per year. With continued use of coal, gas, and oil that could double to 560 ppm by 2100. Under those conditions the modelling shows that droughts happening much faster, lasting longer, and becoming more severe across the mid-latitudes—even when there is normal rainfall, Mankin says.


Bad news on water

It’s long been debated whether the effects of high CO2 levels on plants means more water availability on the land, says Peter Gleick, a world-renowned water expert and former president of the Pacific Institute, which works on global water issues.

“By more accurately modelling growth of biomass overall, including leaf canopy,” the study reaches “a robust, opposite, and ‘bad news’ conclusion: rising levels of CO2 and the related climate changes will worsen, not improve, water availability,” says Gleick, who was not involved with the research.

This result is “almost certainly bad news for the western U.S.,” he says.

Previous climate research has found an 80 percent likelihood of a 35-year or longer "megadrought" striking the Southwest and central Great Plains by 2100 with business-as-usual CO2 emissions. Moderate reductions in emissions will only reduce this risk to 60 percent. And this megadrought model does not include the new findings about how changes in vegetation could worsen conditions, says Gleick.

The atmosphere is already more CO2 rich and the climate is warmer. There is evidence from satellites showing significant increases in vegetation in the past 40 years, says Mankin. While growing seasons are also getting longer, it is difficult to say this recent greening of the Earth is entirely due to climate change because there have been so many human alterations to the landscape over the last 100 years, he says.


Gardening by the Moon is a great way to plan your garden. Many of our readers follow the age-old practice of planting by the Moon’s phase for a healthier, more productive garden.

Gardening by the Moon is a growing trend, but the technique isn’t anything new. Gardeners and farmers have been using moon phase gardening for ages! Best of all, it’s a fairly simple process.

According to the Garden Media Group, Gardening by the Moon is “more than just a phase. Connecting with the phases of the Moon taps into our deep desire to be in tune with nature.” (We approve of the pun.) Whatever happens in the world of trends, we’re all in favor of working with nature’s rhythms.

What Is Gardening by the Moon?

From what we are reading, many of these trend watchers are confused about the idea of Gardening or Planting by the Moon. There is a difference between traditional Gardening by the Moon and gardening by astrological “Best Days.”

Gardening by the Moon

The basic idea behind Gardening by the Moon is that the cycles of the Moon affect plant growth. Just as the Moon’s gravitational pull causes tides to rise and fall, it also affects moisture in the soil.

Therefore, it’s said that seeds will absorb more water during the full Moon and the new Moon, when more moisture is pulled to the soil surface. This causes seeds to swell, resulting in greater germination and better-established plants.

Moon phase gardening takes into account two periods of the lunar cycle: the time between the new Moon and the full Moon (the waxing of the Moon), and the time between the full Moon and the new Moon (the waning of the Moon). It’s considered best to plant certain types of plants during the waning of the Moon and other types during the waxing.

The Moon also impacts plant growth through geotropism—which is how plants grow in response to gravity. Roots grow downward in the direction of gravitational pull and stems grow in the opposite direction (i.e., upwards). This behavior can be easily demonstrated with potted plants. Lay one on its side and the stem will grow upwards. Or, consider a tulip bulb: if you plant the bulb incorrectly with the pointed end down, it will turn around and send its shoots upward, even though it’s in total darkness.

Astrological “Best Days”

Like Gardening by the Moon, astrological Best Days are based on the Moon. However, instead of depending on the Moon’s phase, Best Days take into account the Moon’s position in the astrological zodiac. When the Moon is in Taurus, for example, it is considered a good time to plant, transplant, or graft. Common gardening activities are associated with certain signs, shown here:

Activity Associated Signs
Plant, Transplant, or Graft Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces, or Taurus
Harvest Aries, Leo, Sagittarius, Gemini, or Aquarius
Build/Fix Fences or Garden Beds Capricorn
Control Insect Pests, Plow, or Weed Aries, Leo, Sagittarius, Gemini, or Aquarius
Prune Aries, Leo, or Sagittarius

To see dates of upcoming Best Days, check out our Best Days Timetable.

How to Plant by the Moon’s Phases

To plant by the Moon, follow these guidelines:

Plant your annual flowers and fruit and vegetables that bear crops above ground (such as corn, tomatoes, watermelon, and zucchini) during the waxing of the Moon—from the day the Moon is new to the day it is full. As the moonlight increases night by night, plants are encouraged to grow leaves and stems.

Plant flowering bulbs, biennial and perennial flowers, and vegetables that bear crops below ground (such as onions, carrots, and potatoes) during the waning of the Moon—from the day after it is full to the day before it is new again. As the moonlight decreases night by night, plants are encouraged to grow roots, tubers, and bulbs.

Dates for Planting by the Moon

See the Almanac Planting Calendar for planting dates based on 1) average last frost dates and 2) Moon phase. Both are customized to your local postal code ( U.S. and Canada)!

The Almanac provides favorable dates for sowing seeds or transplanting in the ground for all popular vegetables and edibles.

You could also calculate planting dates yourself by looking at our Moon Phase Calendar and the guidelines above, though this method won’t take your climate into account.

Finally, don’t forget to check out our library of Growing Guides to learn how to grow all the your favorite fruit, vegetables, and flowers!

Do you garden by the Moon? Do you think the technique helps you grow better crops? Let us know in the comments!


Why Do Plants React To Magnets: Learn How Magnets Affect Plant Growth - garden

Plant Growth Investigation

Nobody would ever think of growing a plant with any other liquid than water. If you think about it water is probably not the only liquid that can help a plant grow fast. Sugar would also be very helpful to a plant ( What Liquids Help Plants Grow Best? ). But salt can prevent the growth of a plant ( Breakthrough: How Salt Stops Plant Growth ). This can also help the way people grow their plants.

All plans are different. Certain drinks such as a carbonated drink can give a plant nutrients ( Soda Pop On Plants – Effects Of Soda On Plant Growth. ). Citrus would also be a great help to plants. Milk contains protein which helps the plants. When watering a plant, everybody knows not to over water. Liquids such as soda or juice may cause it to die with over watering. Most drinks have coloring but most-likely it will not cause anything to a plant ( How Do Food Preservatives Affect the Growth of Microorganisms? ). Water is the most common source to grow a plant, but another liquid probably could benefit as well. Sometimes when you water with an all natural juice it could kill the roots. Preservatives are a good source because it benefits a plants growth

( How Does Being Watered With Different Liquids Effect Plants' Growth? ). Chemicals may help the plant or kill the plant and it would all depend on the liquid

( Experiments for Kids | Effecting Plant Growth - Lemon Lime Adventures. ). This proves that liquids can affect the growth of plants.

Wheatgrass. This plant can grow in two weeks to a month. Wheatgrass is best grown outdoors. The plant requires liquid to make it grow. To grow wheatgrass with proper care, it needs its soil to be moist and kept watered. It is also best grown with organic soil.

There have been many experiments like mine. Such as, “Plants and how liquids affect their growth.” This person has tested sierra mist, water, and orange juice. He tested how it will affect the plants and how tall it will grow. His results were that the one grown with sierra mist made the plant grow fastest. Another source of mine was, “How does being watered with different liquids affect plants growth?” by Caitlin Waugh. The liquids she had tested were, diet coke, sprite, orange juice, water, and apple juice. She had found out that apple juice was best to use for her experiment. There was also Affecting Plant growth by Lemon Lime Adventures. They had used different types of water and coke for their experiment. They had tested the height of the plant. The different types of water they used were, tap water, river water, salt water, and carbonated water. They had predicted that river water would make the plant grow tallest. Their results were that river water helps grow best and that soda did the worst.

Lastly, each liquid can affect a plant. Some effects were that some liquids make a plant grow and some that make a plant die. Over everything other liquids do affect the way a plant grows.

"Breakthrough: How Salt Stops Plant Growth." Breakthrough: How Salt Stops Plant Growth . Web. 2 Dec. 2015.

"Experiments for Kids | Effecting Plant Growth - Lemon Lime Adventures." Lemon Lime Adventures . 14 June 2014. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.

"How Does Being Watered With Different Liquids Effect Plants' Growth?" Prezi.com . Web. 2 Dec. 2015.

"How Do Food Preservatives Affect the Growth of Microorganisms?" How Do Food Preservatives Affect the Growth of Microorganisms? Web. 2 Dec. 2015.

Soda Pop On Plants – Effects Of Soda On Plant Growth." Gardening Know How . 31 Jan. 2014. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.

"UCSB Science Line." UCSB Science Line . Web. 2 Dec. 2015.

"What Liquids Help Plants Grow Best?" What Liquids Help Plants Grow Best? Web. 2 Dec. 2015.


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