What Phase of the Moon Do You Plant Potatoes?

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What Phase of the Moon Do You Plant Potatoes?

Farming and gardening often come with a rich tapestry of traditions and beliefs. One such belief is the notion that the phase of the moon affects the success of planting certain crops, including potatoes. While some dismiss this as mere folklore, others swear by these lunar planting calendars and claim they have seen improved growth and yields. In this blog post, we will explore the idea of planting potatoes according to the phase of the moon, examining the theories and scientific evidence behind it.

Understanding Lunar Planting

Lunar planting, also known as moon gardening or lunar gardening, is the practice of aligning planting and farming activities with the lunar phases. The concept is rooted in the belief that the moon’s gravitational pull affects moisture levels in the soil and plant growth.

Proponents of lunar planting argue that different lunar phases produce varying effects on plants. They suggest that specific phases cause plants to absorb more moisture and nutrients, leading to more robust growth. When it comes to potatoes, the recommended phase for planting is often debated.

The Lunar Planting Calendar

There are various lunar planting calendars available, each with its own recommendations for when to plant potatoes. One widely used calendar suggests planting potatoes during the waxing moon, specifically during the first quarter phase. The reasoning behind this recommendation lies in the belief that the moon’s gravitational pull is stronger during this phase, promoting root growth and nutrient absorption.

Another lunar planting calendar suggests planting potatoes during the full moon phase. Advocates of this calendar emphasize that the full moon provides ample light, encouraging faster sprouting and growth. They claim that planting potatoes during the full moon ensures better yields.

The Science Behind Lunar Planting

While lunar planting has a long history and a loyal following, scientific evidence supporting its efficacy is inconclusive. Many studies have been conducted to examine the influence of lunar phases on plant growth and development, but the results remain conflicting.

One study published in the journal “Biological Rhythm Research” found no significant effects of lunar phases on plant growth in several species, including potatoes. The researchers concluded that lunar planting practices may be based on traditional beliefs rather than scientific evidence.

However, other studies have suggested a potential relationship between lunar cycles and plant growth. Research published in the “American Journal of Botany” highlighted the influence of lunar phases on root development in certain plants. While the study did not specifically focus on potatoes, it suggests that there may be some merit to the lunar planting concept.

Factors Beyond Lunar Phase

When considering when to plant potatoes, it is essential to consider factors beyond just the lunar phase. Successful potato planting relies on soil temperature, weather conditions, and other environmental factors.

Experts recommend planting potatoes when the soil temperature reaches at least 50°F (10°C), as this is the optimal range for their growth. Cold soil can hinder tuber development and slow down sprouting, leading to poor yields.

Similarly, it is important to assess weather conditions before planting. A late spring frost can damage young potato plants, so it is advisable to wait until the risk of frost has passed before planting.


While the idea of planting potatoes according to the phase of the moon may have roots in tradition and folklore, the scientific evidence supporting this practice remains inconclusive. While some studies suggest a potential influence of lunar cycles on plant growth, others show no significant effects. Ultimately, the success of your potato planting will depend on various factors, including soil temperature, weather conditions, and proper care throughout the season.

If you are curious about lunar planting and want to explore it further, you can experiment with different planting dates and compare the results. However, it is important to remember that other factors, such as soil preparation, irrigation, and pest control, play a significant role in successful potato cultivation.

Whether or not you choose to align your potato planting with the lunar phases, the joy and satisfaction of growing your own potatoes will remain regardless. Happy gardening!

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What Phase of the Moon Do You Plant Potatoes?