You have learnt how plants use sunlight for photosynthesis. But, did you also know that you could nurture your plants with moonlight?

We know that the moon waxes and wanes. We also know that when the moon is full, it exerts a greater pull on sea tides and they rise higher and there is low tide when there is no moon.

In ancient times, people were keen observers and they discovered that a certain relationship existed between the sun, moon, the five elements and parts of a plant. The earth element corresponded with root and root vegetables. The fire element related to seeds. Bright sunshine promoted leaf growth. The air element related with flowers. Water was impacted by the moon.

Rhythms

Man discovered that harnessing these principals and rhythm of nature while growing plants can be beneficial. In modern science this is called bio-dynamic farming. It is based on the idea that the Sun, Moon and Earth all have their own rhythms. These rhythms have an impact on all life forms — plant, animal as well as human life. Timing the planting with the rhythm of the earth and moon improves the life force in vegetables.

Experts have explained the concept of lunar gardening: the moon cycle has the new moon and the full moon.

During full moon, there is increased humidity in the air and the growth of plants is enhanced. It is also a time of increased insect activity in plants and animals. There is more fungal growth and this may affect seed germination.

The full moon favours absorption of liquid manures. When the moonlight is strong, there is better leaf growth. The length of the night and the light levels play a role in the growth of the plant. Agricultural ecologists have confirmed these observations.

Experts say that during the New Moon, there is more activity underground in the roots.

What you can do

Take four pots — two for radish and two for fenugreek.

Prepare the soil and sow radish seeds as the moon wanes. Similarly, plant radish seeds during the moon’s waxing period.

For easy identification label the pots — waxing radish, waning radish.

Water the pots regularly and keep pests away.

Radish grows in about 60 days after which you can dig it out. Measure the length and circumference and note the details.

You can do the same experiment with fenugreek seeds.

Fenugreek seeds when soaked will sprout in two to three days.

You will need about a fortnight to get your crop. Make sure the soil is fertile. Prepare a pot for the waxing period and one for the waning period. Keep notes of insect activity in all four pots.

Once your fenugreek crop has grown, harvest and note your observations regarding the number and size of leaves.

Compare the data of the root vegetable and the leaf vegetable. Note the difference in the pest activity, if any.

Your experiment is over and you are now an expert lunar gardener!