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Planting by moon calendars, Nick Kollestrom || Lunar seed germination studies, E. Zurcher
Three items relating to lunar gardening and biodynamic research:
1. Nick Kollestrom calendars and noteworthy online chapter providing
background explanations and studies
2. E. Zurcher studies of lunar effects on tree seed germination; Kolisko;
observation-based emperical knowledge; phenology; bio-electric
Planting by the Moon 2000, A Gardeners' Calendar
By Nick Kollerstrom
Book for sale through Prospect Books
THE MOON AND CROP YIELD (Frames)
THE MOON AND CROP YIELD (No Frames)
Gardening and Planting By The Moon (2004)
Ordering the Book
The book 'Gardening & Gardening and Planting By The Moon' published
by Foulsham, UK is available from all good bookshops, or order from from
How Bio-Dynamic Calendars Developed: the Chronology
FARMER'S MOON COMPUTER PROGRAM
Chronobiology Of Trees: Synthesis Of Traditional Phytopractices
And Scientific Research, As A Tool Of Future Forestry
By E. Zürcher
Ernst Zürcher, Chair of Wood Sciences, Department of Forest and Wood
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, ETH Zentrum, HG F 21, CH-8092
Presented at Third IUFRO Extension Working Party Symposium, "Extension
Forestry: Bridging the Gap Between Research and Application," July 19-24,
1998, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.
International Union of Forestry Research Organizations
The subject presented here is linked to the fact that most organic
the structures which result from them have a rhythmic character. In the
in temperate latitudes, it is immediately obvious that the germination,
maturation and perennial structure formation in trees are marked by an
between active and resting phases. This alternation is materialized in
of the shoot or in the architecture of the tree, and on an anatomical
level, in the
succession and the internal structure of the growth rings.
This rhythmical characteristic of plants has always had to be taken into
account by man, a heterotrophic being, for his subsistence.
On reading works which deal with popular sayings or quote classical authors
concerning agricultural practice, or simply talking to gardeners,
farmers or foresters
with an empirical experience based on tradition, one is struck by two
Firstly, in addition to the rhythm of the seasons, lunar rhythms are
mentioned as having an influence on the growth, structures,
properties of plants.
Secondly, one is struck by certain common factors, despite the
of the sources; these similarities in the rules formulated would seem to
existence of possibly objective phenomena. For example, the general
the felling of trees are in accordance right across the continents;
whether in the alpine
arc (Hauser 1973), in the Near East (Aichinger 1936), in India, Ceylon
(Forstmann 1936; Kolisko and Kolisko 1953; Schrödter 1981), or in
Guyana, all these
traditions seem to be based on matching observations. It should be noted
that in the
past, people had more time and more peace and quiet to observe: it must
been of vital importance to them.
synodic lunar rhythm
Various studies in animal biology and on annual plants seem nevertheless
some of the empirical rules and practises linked to lunar rhythms
Schad 1997). In trees, Burr (1945, 1947) had indeed observed a rhythm of
days in the "bio-electric potential" measurable along the stem, a rhythm
the annual and the daily fluctuations, and not directly explicable by
the current site
or climatic factors. The author suggested at the time a connection with the
Materials and Methods
At first, we wanted to concentrate on the first of the 3 cycles
mentioned: on the
synodic lunar rhythm, oscillating between the New Moon (NM) and the Full
(FM). The aim was to study the effect of this rhythm on the germination
initial growth during 4 to 6 months.
For the precise moment of sowing (after a brief soaking of the seeds),
we based our
experiment on the work of Kolisko (1927, 1929, 1934, 1935), according to
maximal effect precedes the phase in question by two days. At the time,
marked the beginning of the bio-dynamic method of agriculture, founded
The trials took place in the Forestry Department of the Institut des
Agronomiques du Rwanda (aided by the Coopération Suisse - Intercoopération,
Berne), in 1990 and 1991 (with a brief preliminary trial in 1989).
Each sowing consisted of four replications of 50 seeds from the same batch.
Each replication was placed randomly in a compartment (20 cm x 20 cm) of a
wooden crate with 12 compartments kept in diffuse light by means of
The seeds, already slightly buried, were thus preserved from a possible
of the moonlight, extremely weak compared to sunlight, which is known
penetrate further than 5 to 10 mm in the soil, with the red part of the
(authors cited in Egley 1995).
A series consists of 12 successive sowings, 2 days before the full moon
14-15 days later, 2 days before the new moon (NM), and lasts generally
Results and Discussion
The speed of germination or beginning of emergence already shows a
difference between the FM and NM sowings for all the sowings (A) and
for those corresponding to the dry season which took place in the middle
trial (B) (Figure 1).
Recent experiments on the radish by Fritz in 1994 show the same tendency:
faster germination at FM (Figure 2).
Conclusion and Outlook
These trials make clear, for the first time in trees or shrubs, the
existence of a real
phenomenon, often mentioned in traditions or issuing from empirical
consisting of a link between the lunar phases (synodic rhythm) and the
at germination and during initial growth.
The author wishes to thank his Rwandan colleagues and associates for
their support etc.....
Finally, he wishes to dedicate this work to the Indian Culture of America,
which lived in harmony with the natural lunar rhythm. For the Oglalla, July
was for example the Moon of the Black Cherries.
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