5 – Moon & Plants

The Biodynamic Star Calendar works with the Moon as a lens that focuses the star energy. This is because the Moon travels around the Earth once every 28-29 days and, in so doing, she passes in front of each of the constellations.

As she passes in front of each of the constellations she collects the energy from the stars in that constellation and focuses it onto the Earth. She acts as a lens for collecting and focusing the energy of each constellation in turn onto the Earth. This gives the days when best to work with each element in the garden as each constellation carries the energy of one of the four elements.

And these 4 elements, each carried by 3 constellations, affect and respond to a part of the plant – as in the diagram. In the star calendar each day has the moon in front of one of these constellations and so is called a Root, Leaf, Flower or Fruit day.

All plants work best if planted and cultivated on the day which echoes the reason why we are growing them. So you need to get yourself a biodynamic growing star calendar.

Earth – Root
Water – Leaf
Air – Flower
Fire – Fruit

The principles behind the star calendar are both complex and simple. The maths and astronomy (not astrology) are a bit complex for most of us, so thank goodness for Maria Thun and those behind her who are able to put it together so we don’t have to. But the basic concepts behind why such-and-such is a root day, or a flower day, are easy to grasp even for the lay person.

For instance, potatoes, carrots, beetroots, onions, swedes, parsnips etc are plants we grow for their roots. If you plant or cultivate them on a leaf, flower or fruit day they won’t be nearly so healthy, productive and tasty as they would if you worked them on a root day … as Maria found in her initial study with the radishes.

This is because the energy of the constellations isn’t right for them. You might find that they produced good foliage (leaf day planting) for instance and few or small actual spuds or carrots. If you cultivate them – i.e. weed, feed, thin out, prune – on a root day you’ll enhance their growing and produce better spuds and carrots. If you use another day they won’t be as good. This affects taste and scent as well as appearance, so cultivating your spuds on a root day makes them much tastier when you come to eat them. Similarly, harvesting – if you dig up your spuds on a root day they will store much better than if you dug them up on a leaf, flower or fruit day.

If you are working with leaf plants – hostas, lettuce, pulmonarias, cabbage, grasses, variegated ivy, herbs, etc – then you work on a leaf day.  If you are working with flowers for your borders and beds, and for eating – e.g. calendula, cauliflower, nasturtium, roses, iris, hardy geranium, clematis, mock orange, broccoli, day lily – then you want to work on flower days.  If you are working with fruits – holly, apples, spindle, Chinese lanterns, beans, raspberries – then you work on a fruit day.

You’ll see, in the Star Calendar, each day is marked as a Root, Leaf, Flower or Fruit day. This means that, on those days, the Moon is passing in front of an earth, water, air or fire constellation.

  • It’s on Root days that we spray the horn manure preparation 500.

Root days are when it’s good to do anything connected with roots and/or the soil; sowing and cultivating plants which we grow for their roots, essentially root vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, beetroots. As all plants have roots these days can be used for anything to do with the roots of any plant, and rooting plants from cuttings too. And you can sow anything on a root day … all plants have roots and need to grow them in order to live.

  • It’s on Leaf, Flower and Fruit days that we spray the horn silica preparation 501.

Leaf days are when it’s good to do anything connected with leaves. They are also good for sowing and cultivating plants which we grow fort their leaves such as Hostas, Pulmonaria, grasses, many trees & shrubs with beautiful leaves, as well as vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, cabbage. And the lawn.

  • NB – if you mow the lawn on a leaf day you will encourage it to grow! If you mow it on a root day you’ll pull all that growing energy down to the roots (which helps the grass to stay healthy and combat drought as well) and the leaves won’t grow so fast … so you don’t have to mow so often!

Flower days are when it’s good to do anything to plants you grow for their flowers. They are also good for sowing and cultivating plants which we grow fort their flowers. Such plants might be all flowering perennials and annuals; flowering trees & shrubs like magnolia, roses and fuchsias; vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, nasturtiums.

  • Some BD folk say they find cauliflowers do better if sown and cultivated on leaf days but my own experience is that I get better caulis from working them on flower days.

Fruit are days when it’s good to sow and cultivate plants which we grow for their fruit such as roses for their hips, crab apples, cotoneaster, firethorn, honeysuckles later in the year for their berries. Fruiting trees & shrubs, such as apples, pears, apricots, nut trees and bushes. Fruit such as raspberries, currants, strawberries. Vegetables such as beans, peas, tomatoes, peppers, courgettes.